On Shettima’s Impactful Lawmaking Career
By Lawan Bukar Maigana
“Leaders aren’t born. They are made, and they are made just like anything else, through HARDWORK and that is the price we have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal at all”
– Vince Lombardi
Senator Kashim Shettima has come a long way in the politics and governance of Borno state. He has been through it all and seen it all with the good people of the state. Since the dawn of the current republic, no single politician has dominated the political landscape of the state like a colossus the way he has done.
And what has been the impact of his political dominance? Eight years of robust, solid and courageous leadership. The kind of leadership that kept him awake round the clock in which he stood by the people of the state in the face of deadly insurgency. Observers have repeatedly said if not for the tenacity, resilience and determination of Shettima, the evil intentions of the Boko Haram murderers would have taken shape and by now the entire northeast zone would have turned to another Somalia.
Another of Shettima’s impact has been three years of excellent representation at the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly, specifically the Senate, where his 108 colleagues would have within the last three years experienced, first hand, his erudition, philosophical depth, understanding of issues, patriotism and open mindedness.
Even in the midst of insurgency, Shettima did a lot in the area of infrastructure as Governor of the state. He uplifted the educational standards of the state and sent thousands of indigenes abroad for studies, many of whom are now back, helping the country in different scientific fields. Even though they agree that he was an extraordinary public servant as Governor of the state, many Borno indigenes are however of the belief that his greatest asset is his talent-hunting skills for leadership positions. They believe his greatest achievement in public service is gifting the state a wonderful successor in the person of Professor Babagana Zulum.
As Governor, he worked with a team of brilliant commissioners and aides and when he was done, he chose the best of them all as successor and the state is better for it today. Zulum has become the most sought after Governor and the face of good governance anywhere in the country today.
But the focus of this piece is Shettima’s eventful first term as Senator representing Borno Central in the Red Chamber which has recently won him the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to return to the Chamber ahead of next year’s elections.
His activities and engagements on the Floor made Borno people proud of their former governor, hence the ease with which he secured the ruling party ticket. He has in the last three years or so redefined the concept of lawmaking, and the role of parliamentarians in the governance process.
He was known to have sponsored many bills and moved many motions of critical national importance such as tackling insecurity, plight of insurgency victims, and strengthening the capacity of security agencies, among others.
While he has not relented in drawing the attention of his colleagues in the hallowed chamber to the trauma of Internally-Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in Borno state and beyond, Shettima has also been raising the bar on what is known as youth and women empowerment.
Specifically, Shettima, on 15 December 2020, distributed sewing and grinding machines to over 1,000 insurgency-affected women and youths who were beneficiaries of a skill acquisition training programme he had sponsored.
He also sponsored a capacity-building and empowerment programmes on Fish Meal Processing in Borno Central Senatorial District, in collaboration with the Institute of Freshwater and Fisheries in Niger State.
Participants of the training, at the moment, aside being self-reliant, are now merchants of fish, with several employees on their payroll.
One cannot discuss the Bill for the Establishment of six additional law schools in the six geopolitical zones of the country, and the Peace Corps Bill, which will create massive job opportunities for our youths, without mentioning Senator Shettima. He was instrumental to the passage of the two bills.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, it was certain that the electorate in Borno State will again offer their mandate, on a gold platter, to the cerebral and articulate Shettima.
Hence, they resoundingly gave him their votes at the recently-conducted shadow APC senatorial primaries in Borno Central, with the expectation that he will, this time around, even better the achievements recorded in his first term.
While recent happenings in the ruling party in Abuja may push Shettima to higher responsibilities, it is however important that officials of the party in Borno Central appreciate his impact in the Senate and rewarded him with a return ticket.
For Shettima’s lawmaking career, it is a case of one brilliant term deserves another.