Discussing succession at a time President Muhammadu Buhari is attending to his health is nothing less than insanity, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has said.
The governor was reacting to a call by the Deputy Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Danlami Kubo, that Mr. Shettima succeed Mr. Buhari as president.
The governor, who is currently in Oslo, Norway, for a humanitarian conference on Nigeria and Lake Chad, spoke through his spokesperson, Isa Gusau.
Mr. Shettima said he was angered by the lawmaker’s comment and it doesn’t represent his views in anyway.
“He came (to Norway) so that donors do not get a wrong signal that would show the Borno State Government being less committed to those making donations to support citizens of the State,” Mr. Gusau said.
“I received a Google alert of the story credited to a lawmaker in Borno State over issue of succession. Governor Kashim Shettima was deeply angered by that report and he has tried reaching the lawmaker to clarify if he granted that interview or he was misrepresented. In the meantime, Governor Shettima feels it would amount to moral insanity for any Nigerian to be discussing issues of succession at a time a very popular, highly experienced and capable sitting president is managing his health.”
In the message sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Gusau then quoted the governor condemning the call.
“We have a sitting President, a popular one that we are all proud of for working more than anyone would have done in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency which is our number one problem in our state, the north-east and the Northern region,” Mr. Shettima said.
“How can anyone in his right thinking be talking about succession when a cherished President is dealing with his health? It would amount to moral insanity for anyone to be discussing succession of President Buhari at this time. What has gone wrong with our moral values? Has politics taken over our sanity? What is most precious to me is to have Boko Haram brought to an end and I don’t think anyone would have done better than what President Buhari is doing for us. This call does not represent the slightest of my thoughts.”
The Borno governor said he believed that from Nigeria’s democratic history, people who emerged president were those invited to vie for the position.
“… only a mad man blindly aspires to be Nigeria’s President if history is anything to go by. From 1979 to date, nobody with aspiration for the presidency has achieved it.
“President Shagari was invited to contest without aspiration in 1979; President Obasanjo was invited to contest without aspiration in 1999; President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was invited to contest without aspiration in 2007; President Jonathan who eventually succeeded Yar’Adua, was also invited to become Vice President without aspiration. Even President Buhari with his electrifying popularity didn’t win the presidency in his 2003, 2007 and 2011 aspirations until in 2015 when he was invited to contest.
“This is the complexity of Nigeria’s politics and any person with the slightest wisdom must learn from history and face his business of the day.”
The Borno Governor indicated his willingness to support the re-election of Mr. Buhari as president in 2019.
“Insha Allah, President Buhari will be fine and will be popularly re-elected to positively change Nigeria forever,” he said.
He added that his “greatest wish is that the person succeeding me as the next governor of Borno State doesn’t inherit the Boko Haram crisis like I inherited the crisis in 2011 and my other wish is that Borno is rebuilt before whoever is taking over from me at Allah’s appointed time.”
“I am not the ungrateful and not the blindly ambitious type and I thank Allah for his grace and pray that I succeed in positively reversing the Borno story,” he said.