Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is also the presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), criticized Vice-President Kashim Shettima’s legacy, stating that he has turned Borno State from ‘the Home of Peace’ into a hellish condition.
Atiku said this through a statement by his special assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, as a response to a joke made by Shettima after the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) verdict.
Following the favorable judgment for President Bola Tinubu and himself from the Presidential Election Petition Court, Vice-President Kashim Shettima spoke about Atiku Abubakar. Shettima stated that he holds Atiku in high regard as an elder statesman, due to the social-cultural interactions between the Fulanis and the Kanuris in the North, he could freely make jokes or insults about Atiku, knowing that they would be taken in stride.
Shettima’s joke about Atike
Shettima humorously suggested that instead of retiring Atiku to Dubai or Morocco, he would retire him to Fombina. There, he joked, he would buy Atiku goats, broilers, and layers so that he could spend his days tending to livestock. The vice president made it clear that his comments were made in a jesting manner.
Atiku responded citing Shettima’s failure
In response, Atiku criticized Shettima’s performance as governor and chief security officer of Borno State, describing it as a complete failure. He said that Shettima has the worst governance record in Nigerian history and couldn’t alleviate poverty in Borno State, and was contemplating investing in him.
Atiku further noted that Shettima has a penchant for making uninspiring jokes. It cited past instances where Shettima suggested that Vice-President Osinbajo would be better suited as an ice cream man rather than a politician and another occasion where he said Nigeria needed a leader like Sani Abacha.
The statement continued to critique Shettima’s behavior, describing it as more fitting for a circus act than for someone holding the office of vice president. It highlighted an instance where Shettima attended the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association dressed in an ill-fitting suit, sneakers, and a poorly tied tie.
The statement questioned whether Shettima aims to be a statesman or would rather be likened to Baba Sala, a renowned Nigerian comedian of blessed memory. It concluded by saying that Shettima’s conduct is certainly not appropriate for someone who currently occupies the esteemed position of vice president, even if it’s only a temporary role.
Shaibu’s statement on Shettima’s ‘uninspiring joke’
Shaibu went on to say that Shettima has made it a habit to mock others because he has nothing meaningful to say about himself or his principal, President Bola Tinubu. It pointed out that Tinubu’s first three months in office have only exacerbated poverty and inflation in the country.
Shaibu recalled that Shettima was initially appointed as the commissioner for finance before becoming the governor of Borno State. He noted that those who brought Shettima into government had high expectations for him, given his background in the banking sector.
However, during his tenure as governor from 2011 to 2019, he stated that Borno State was completely overrun by terrorists during that period. It also accused him of ignoring a security report that warned of an impending attack on Chibok, which ultimately led to the abduction of over 250 schoolgirls.
The statement from Shaibu further criticized Shettima’s handling of security issues during his tenure as governor of Borno State. It cited Charles Eguridu, the head of WAEC’s National Office in Nigeria, who stated in 2014 that Shettima had been warned about the risks of holding exams in Chibok. Eguridu advised relocating the students to the relatively safer city of Maiduguri, but Shettima chose not to, resulting in the abduction of the students, half of whom remain missing to this day.
Shaibu went on to say that even four years after leaving office, the residents of Borno State are still suffering from what he termed “the mistake called Shettima.” Rather than showing remorse, Shettima continues to act like a clown, making inappropriate jokes about others. Shaibu urged the Vice-President to focus on seeking divine forgiveness for the suffering he has caused the people of Borno State.
The statement concluded by advising Shettima to improve his conduct, stating that his lack of sophistication is diminishing the dignity of the Office of the Vice-President. Shaibu suggested that Shettima could benefit from attending a finishing school on Atiku’s scholarship to learn how to behave like a polished statesman.
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