The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on Thursday warned politicians and members of his state that though his time is running out as the state’s chief executive, he would not tolerate anyone that tries to undermine his office.
The governor who said this during the 2018 budget presentation ceremony at the Borno State House of Assembly also gave a review of his last six and half years in office with a call to all public officers in the state to appraise themselves on their stewardship.
With only 17 months remaining in the time he is constitutionally allowed to served as a governor, Mr. Shettima, in tears, said his nearly seven years experience as a governor has made him to appreciate how vainly and transient political power could be.
In what appeared an early valedictory speech, Mr. Shettima said the 2018 budget presentation comes as the last but one he would ever present as the governor of Borno State.
Thanking the people of Borno and those that have worked with him so far for all the support he enjoyed in running a war-wrecked state, the governor said unlike his processors. his administration’s progress has been largely “taken backwards” despite “taking steps forward.”
The governor, who is said to be dealing with dissent within his inner circle especially on the 2019 elections, issued a thinly veiled warning that suggested he may have had enough from them.
Mr. Shettima spoke to a large audience of party members and stakeholders comprising all the senators, representatives, state legislators, officials and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, and top civil servants in the state.
Mr Shettima then presented a N170 billion 2018 budget estimate that was 7.4 per cent lower compared to the current year’s.
The education sector takes the lion share of 26 per cent.
His transcribed speech reads thus:
“Mr Speaker, Honorable Members before I leave here today, I will like to share with you and talk about what most serving public officers hate to talk about. When I first appeared here in December in 2011, I believe most of us here and other associates of our administration must have thought that 8 years to have in office was too long a time. Perhaps some of us might have seen 8 years as forever.
“Today here we are at the end of 2017. If Allah is to spare our lives to complete our tenure in office, today will be my second to the last budget presentation as governor of Borno state. If Allah wills at about this time next year I will be presenting my final budget as governor. What this should remind all of us is the ephemeral nature of power.
“Most people don’t like to be reminded as their term in office is winding out. But I have never been carried away by my power or the ephemeral nature of power. In and outside public office what would always be remembered is the legacy one is able to bequeath. It is never how long or short one holds public office. But how well citizens benefitted from the time you hold sway in their trust.
I will please like all of us here to create some quiet moment today and reflect on the six and half years we have served at different capacities in this administration. Let us ask ourselves how much benefit the people of Borno have had had from the individual roles we have played. We should perhaps go even further to compare whatever we may have benefitted personally to the service we have given to our people.
“Regardless of what we are, we have to tell our selves the honest truth and by the next one year presents another opportunity for us to work hard and build on the legacies we intend to leave behind.
“It is certain that the middle of 2108 will be disrupted by politics; but again I will like to remind us that we have individual and collective responsibility to move with the speed of light if necessary to to ensure that we complete and put to use our numerous projects and programmes; particularly the new schools for the education of over 52,000 school age children whose parents were murdered as a result of the Boko Haram crisis.
“We should all work hard to see to it that our displaced brothers and sisters return to safe, rebuilt and peaceful communities. Importantly, they should return with dignity. We owe it to God and to humanity to restore the dignity of our people.
“Mr Speaker, Honorable members, ladies and gentle men. I know we have achieved so much together, I stand to thank everyone of you. However there is a lot more to be done. We must remember while previous administration has been relatively a peace walk, we have been managing one of the worst crisis to befall mankind.
The previous government has the luxury of taking steps forward. But in our own case we have to combat with being taken backwards with taking steps forward. I believe posterity will ultimately judge all of us if we fail.”
“But like I have always said, we have to complete our works for the good people of Borno. When we do that, insha Allah, our names will be written in gold. No matter how anyone tries to distort history, facts will always speak for themselves. May Allah guide us in changing Borno for better. The next six months will be absolutely important and strategic enough for this administration.
“I wish to call on all of us here to unite and eschew our differences. Of course there cannot be absolute peach because the kind of peace some people are clamouring for can only be gotten in the grave yard. There has to be contest for power and relevance – it is ingrain in human nature.
“But what is confronting us as a people is far beyond politics; we have never had it so tough because the people of Borno with one thousand years of recorded history we can still unite as community irrespective of our difference political appellation, religious or tribal persuasion. We can still feud as one and forge ahead. Believe me Mr Speaker; where there is a will there is a way.
“But believe me in the next one year, let no one take me for granted. In our determination to rebuild and reposition Borno, we will not discountenance the effort of any one or any group of people that tries to undermine our existence; I will be tough and deploy the full wrath of my powers and the law on any one that tries to undermine me. Let no one undermine my influence; let no one mistaken my simplicity and humility as a sign of weakness.”