When Humanity Speaks For Kashim Shettima

By: James Bwala

The residence of the incoming vice president, senator Kashim Shettima, was transformed into a kind of mecca. Suddenly a throng of well-wishers gathered to wish the Maiduguri resident well. Kashim Shettima has developed and maintained relationships with both the affluent and the impoverished.

He stands out due to his special traits and innovations in maintaining lasting relationships with others. Many who do not know about his past and relationship with the people may just leave with the feelings that such a massive crowd was around him for the position he attends after the long battles and wars that have been fought and won in many fronts. The 2023 general elections offer over 200 million Nigerians who exercise their rights in choosing leaders to take the affairs of the country for the next four years is the game changer in political calculations that analysts and writers have predicted long before now. But a deep look into the gathering in Maiduguri opens an understanding into how far the Shettima relationship with the people have gone.

Of course! These are relationships of different levels. Here I am only looking at his admiring relationship with the lowly in the society, especially those he came across many years ago and the relationship candle was still burning. One of those in attendance to congratulate Kashim Shettima on becoming the next vice president of Nigeria are the Bororo schoolchildren. Together with their teachers, some 400 of these students from the school march into the compound. They came not only to congratulate the newly elected vice president but also to show their appreciation for him for honoring his commitment to support their welfare and education many years after he stepped down from his position as governor of Borno state. A dream that none of them had ever imagined could come true until they came face to face with Kashim Shettima when he was the governor of Benue and that relationship paid its price because today, they are able to speak both English and Arabic fluently. The students express their gratitude for his support in both English and Arabic to demonstrate how far they have been able to achieve credible results from their learning. While praising the vice president elect, their words and lyrics reflect an expression that comes from a heart that is overflowing with gratitude. They show the vice president elect as emotionally touched and admirably confident in the work of humanity, going above and beyond the usual meetings with regular students with touching actions and speech. Meetings with a man simply known as Ba’Modu during Kashim Shettima’s week-long visit to Maiduguri were another impressive aspect of his abilities. This again demonstrates the fatherly love and selflessness of the vice president-elect, and it gave Ba Modu, whose life’s journey led him closer to Shettima while working at the renowned Osinbajo school in Maiduguri, a new lease on life.

According to legend, Ba Modu is a foreman when a chance presents itself and he experiences a meeting that would forever change his life. On a routine inspection of government-run projects, Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno state at the time, met Ba Modu.

Ba Modu afterwards benefited from his expanded resources of humanity and opportunity that flowed with love for many years after their initial encounter at the construction sites.

Ba Modu is the father of 34 children, 33 of whom are boys and one girl. Kashim Shettima has been helping him with potential life-saving chances ever since they first met. He starts a business for him and has since provided him with a means of revenue so he can support his enormous family. Those close to Ba Modu claim that he was also given a car to ease his everyday struggles. Together with 21 of his school-age children, Ba Modu visited Kashim Shettima at his home in Maiduguri. After the vice president-elect and governor of Borno state Zulum, two of the kids were given the names Kashim Shettima and Babagana Zulum.

Shettima instructed that the family receive 5 bags of sugar and 10 bags of rice for the fasting time during the visit, which took place days before the Ramadan fasting began.

In order to make it easier for them to get to school, he also ordered that the 21 children who are of school age be taken to a private school and given access to a school bus. Those who saw it were complimentary of the vice president-elect.

Yet, Ba Modu, a local of Bulabulin Garnam in the Maiduguri metropolitan area, is aware that his friend is above mere platitudes.

He sees Kashim Shettima as a messenger from God who can rescue him from the snares of poverty.

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