Former Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima has thrown his weight behind the call for power shift to Southern Nigeria in 2023.
He said it was only right for the North especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) to allow power to shift to the South, insisting that there was a gentlemen’s agreement that power must rotate between North and South at the formation of the ruling party.
Shettima, who is now a Senator representing Borno Central, made the call for power shift in Abuja on Friday, 2 Jujy, 2021 at the public presentation of the book titled: “Standing for the Truth with Courage”.
He said in his remarks at the book launch that the hope of the country rest on the mind set of her people, said the problem was not religion or ethnicity but people using it to achieve their goals.
He said: “Our problems are not that of religion or ethnicity. Religion has become a body of rituals devoid of any practical value. People use religion to advance their own individual interests – we have god on our lips and devil in our hearts.
“No religion sanctions oppression. The hope for the black man rests not on South Africans or Kenyans. The hope for the black man rests with the people of this country.”
He warned that: “We have to make this country work. Our country of 211 million people, if this country is to implode where are we going to go? Down is the Atlantic Ocean. Up is Niger Republic. The population of Niger Republic is not up to the population of Kano State. We are going to eat up the entire food reserves of Niger Republic in under two weeks. To our eastern side are the mountain ranges of Cameroon and the Central African Republic. They too have been contending with their own problems.
“On our western sides are the tiny states of Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana. How can they contain us? I told some Western Ambassadors that if this country is to implode, we are not going to go through Libya. Our people will storm Europe through Morocco.”
He added that: “If just two million Syrians knocking on the doors of Europe has brought about Brexit and the emergence of Trump in America, what do you say of about 25 million English speaking Nigerians knocking on the doors of Europe? It would cause reverberations. I believe in equity, justice and fairness.”
He stressed that: “After power have resided in the North for eight years, the irreducible minimum is that there should be a power shift to the South for equity and for justice. We are against oppression and marginalisation by any one group against another.”
Shettima claimed that: “There’s a gentleman agreement in the APC at its formative stage for Power to rotate between the North & the South. And even in the colony of thieves, there exist a code of moral behaviour.”
He warned that: “Just because we are Politicians, how can we believe anything goes?. NO!!!.We should have minimal thresholds below which we shouldn’t operate. President Buhari with his 12 million Votes could not become the President on three attempts until we had a handshake across the River. We are an honourable people and we have to honour our commitment to that pact.”
He said: “The irreducible minimum is for a Power Shift to Southern Nigeria, unless the advocates of Power retention have a hidden agenda for the dismemberment of the Nation. And to be fair to the President, he has neither endorsed nor showed preference for any of the Gladiators.”
The Former Governor said: “With all sense of modesty, if there’s any title for a Political godson,I can comfortably claim to be President Buhari’s Eldest Political Son.In both 2015 & 2019 Presidential Elections, President Buhari garnered the highest quantum of Votes, percentage wise, not in his native Katsina State;not in Kaduna where he calls home for the past five decades; certainly not in Kano with a substantial Daurawa Community nor in Jigawa with his filial ties to neighbouring Kazaure Emirate.The President got the highest percentage of votes in Borno, where he garnered 97% in 2015 & 95% in 2019, followed by our Sister State of Yobe.”
He advised political gladiators across the country to give hear to his call, noting that: “As the Igbos would say,’if a Child washes his hands,he could eat with Kings’.We have truly washed our hands & are major Stakeholders in the Nigeria Project.I believe we have a right to air our views and be listened to.”
Also speaking at the Book Launch, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, called for unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
He said the best way to guarantee unity of Nigeria was for all the people to come together, while commending Gadzama for using his experience to illustrate the importance of standing for truth in his book.
He said: “We are going through difficult times in our country, economic and security but let us recognise that the whole world is going through the same challenge.
“Nigeria is part of the world. But the leadership under which we operate shows we shall indeed overcome all these. If we keep united, keep building, we cannot be ignored by any other country in the world.
“I am convinced that under the leadership of President Buhari, there is going to be a better future. He belongs to all Nigerians.”