Anti-Restructuring: Nigerians Must Halt Shettima’s Audacity

Anti-Restructuring Nigerians Must Halt Shettima's Audacity
Kashim Shettima
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Just when Nigerians were beginning to get used to having the frail Lagos landlord – Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Presidential candidate of a party that has brought nothing but misery to the most populous country in Africa, they were once again hit by another spine-chiller, this time, it was the choice of a running mate in the former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima. That choice has only exposed the All Progressives Party (APC) as a party that hates Nigeria but a party that wants the self-acclaimed ‘giant of Africa’ to remain stunted while eventually driving her to avoidable anarchy. 

Following his emergence as the Presidential candidate of the party in June against all odds, Tinubu once again decided to put his political prowess to another difficult litmus test ahead of the 2023 general election, this time, it was with his decision to pick Shettima, who is a fellow Muslim, as his presidential running mate. The announcement, a few weeks ago sparked serious outrage, especially among Christians in the country who felt the balance was necessary for a secular country like Nigeria, however, the notorious ‘Jagaban’ who was not going to have any of that simply stuck to his guns and he is now in the eye of the storm.

Today, it has become more evident to Nigerians that the need to reject the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is even beyond a lack of religious compatibility and inclusiveness. It is way beyond that. The choice of Shettima is a horrendous one that should make Nigerians panic. Asides being a terror sympathiser, the former Governor of Borno State, just recently expressed his disdain for perhaps the only panacea for the continued corporate existence of Nigeria which is restructuring.

Read Also: Shettima: The Ethnic Bigot And Religious Fanatic

Speaking at a recent media parley in Abuja, the ever arrogant-Shettima, without equivocation declared ‘To hell with restructuring’ to the surprise of his listening audience. To make matters worse, he went on to add ‘restructuring my foot’ in a very narcissistic manner that left his audience shocked to their marrows. It is almost impossible to believe that someone vying to occupy the number two office in Nigeria will have the guts to describe restructuring as ‘madness’, but it did happen and sadly, Nigerians are not making a fuss about it. The cold truth here is that many politicians in Nigeria especially the ones of Northern extraction have got accustomed to the outright dismissal and in some cases, the trivialisation of requisite constitutional reforms and restructuring in Nigeria which from every indication is urgently required, and that is exactly what Shettima simply displayed.

During the media parley, Shettma had declared; ‘when people are talking of artificial intelligence, when others are talking of robotics engineering, of nanotechnology, we are talking of restructuring the federation. Our problem is not an issue of devolution of powers’ which from all indications is an indication that he got his quota system-induced judgment to be beclouded by his inability to grapple with the correlation that, behind the success of those ‘people’ he cited is the appropriate constitutional rules in those societies and working countries. He said this while forgetting that for instance, the USA he might conveniently want to compare Nigeria with presently is built on three tiers and arms of government that are not only independent but functional.

Sometime in 2021, governors from the Southern part of Nigeria had risen from a meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, declaring that for the country to make any meaningful progress going forward, it must be restructured. Ostensibly, Shettima’s ignorant utterances came as the first direct response by any governor from the Northern half of Nigeria to their Southern counterparts. The question that should be on the lips of every conscientious Nigerian is, what really is APC’s plan for Nigeria? Is it to continue the present vicious cycle of dilly-dallying in obscure mediocrity and bad governance? Isn’t it visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that with the present structure of Nigeria, the country can never grow? Isn’t it obvious that Abuja is encumbered and almost choking? Do they hate Nigeria that much?

With those throbbing utterances, Shettima simply exposed his aversion to critical reasoning. Not only did he refuse to think, but he also dragged the North into this failure. By openly denigrating restructuring, and having such strong words for those asking for it, Shettima simply showed that the skewed federation imposed on Nigeria by its creators works better in his interest and interest of all who, despite their education, are too lazy to think outside the box.

By now, the awkwardly backward Shettima is supposed to have developed the capacity to see beyond oil. Nigeria has been selling oil for the past six decades and earned over $3 trillion yet nothing is working in the country. Not power, not roads, not aviation, not healthcare. Nothing! And this is the anomaly Shetima wants to continue. It is such a shame! Even his party, the APC, is driving a diversification plan and they had restructuring in their manifesto, but sadly, Shettima’s mind is still locked in oil. Such lazy thinkers and unproductive elements must be kept out of Aso Rock. This should serve as a clarion call on Nigerians, if the country is not restructured in the next 12 months, what will be left of the country will be nothing but chaos and anarchy and the effects would be unimaginable. This must not be allowed to happen.

In conclusion, for Shettima and his little-minded likes, their attitudes toward the restructuring question have spanned the spectrum of genuine ignorance down to feigned ignorance, to paranoia and finally political arrogance, however, what they have failed to realise is that anytime a spring is pressed down too hard, it comes up forcefully. Those currently calling for the restructuring of Nigeria are neither fools nor idiots. And for the APC, they have for the umpteenth time, displayed its disdain for Nigerians, it is up to the downtrodden Nigerians to return the favour accordingly. Something has to give way. For Nigeria to work, the country must be politically restructured and this is something Shettima must get into his thick skull which is presently bedeviled with arrogance and absence of sound reasoning.

Africa Daily News, New York

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