It is with a great enthusiasm and a deep feeling of vindication, that I put pen to paper, within such a short period of time, over the master class delivery in Borno state, by Kashim Shettima. Two weeks ago, I had published an article on Leadership newspapers, titled, “Kashim: A War Time Master Builder”. President Buhari was in Maiduguri to commission a whole ‘universe’ of projects in Borno state, executed by the prudent Borno state government, making deft touches in Education, Energy, via Solar power plants (largest in Africa), massive housing estates (both luxurious and for the masses in their thousands).
There was also an industrial hub consisting of: Tomato processing plant, Cassava processing plant, Waste recycling plant, Drip irrigation pipes production plant, Furniture production plant, Pilot juice processing plant, PVC pipes production plant; and very numerous others, powered by the 40MW solar plant (being expanded to 150MW), guaranteeing uninterrupted power supply. Kashim simply wouldn’t allow the insurgency declare an emergency on all the various sectors of Borno state’s economy. He was bent on delivering the dividends of the change agenda to his people.
As if he hadn’t been lauded enough, Gov. Kashim invited the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo to Maiduguri again, to commission another ‘galaxy’ of projects, as if to say, I am just getting started. First was the 144 houses of the Gaji Galtimari apartments completed by the Borno state government. The Vice President also commissioned a learning centre, he and his wife, had built to cater for school children, displaced by the insurgency. He also commissioned an Industrial Layout at Njimtilo. There was also the Borno state University and housing estate also at Njimtilo. There was also the Prof. Osinbajo boarding primary and secondary school along the Baga road by-pass. There was the road to Pompamari and numerous other roads and projects. There was also the Legacy Gardens Housing Estate named after Zanna Mustapha.The Vice President was on record, to have said that, “There were so many different projects to be commissioned, as a matter of fact, we had to review some of the itinerary to beat time, otherwise; we would be here till May 29th still commissioning projects”. The Vice President praised Kashim and said that, “But I think it is really a credit to the people of Borno, for the Governor is known for standing for the cause of humanity, and it is a sound testimony that he has done so much and distinguished himself in so many different ways”.
Governor Kashim Shettima had said that, “Every Nigerian above the age of 30 (including myself), is a product of the Nigerian public school system. I believe that posterity will judge us harshly, if we allow the public school system to collapse”. Committed to this sense of patriotism, Gov. Kashim has built over 40 mega schools in Borno, fully equipped, well furnished, and air conditioned, to bridge the gap in education, caused by the insurgency in the north east, as well as the general backwardness in education faced in the north.
Sam Omatseye of The Nation newspapers, had written about how a little girl, Fatimatu, had walked up to Gov. Kashim just on the walkway to Ali Modi Sheriff Primary School. Kashim held her hand and handed her over to the Principal of the school and asked that she be enrolled for free education. Countless Fatimas are presently enjoying the benefits of Kashim’s mega schools in Borno state.
If we recall, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was also in Maiduguri to commission 432 resettlement houses as well as 26 blocks of luxurious houses almost 2 years ago. Hajiya Maryam Abacha, wife of the late Head of state General Abacha, was also in Maiduguri to commission a 250 bed women and children’s hospital.
It is indeed a case of mixed blessings in Borno state, having been ravaged by an asymmetrical warfare that has refused to be extinguished: and yet, here is a son of the soil, passionate enough to obscure the hardship visited upon his people by the insurgency, and rebuild their lives with people oriented projects that the common man can relate to. He has built loads of schools for their children, to attend free. The Industrial hub has features like the mat making industries, cement bag and other related packaging items, which will provide ready employment for the people of borno.
Who would have thought that the Boko Haram infested Maiduguri would boast of the largest solar power plant in Africa; and still on an expansion drive to reach an astonishing 150MW? Who would have the temerity to go on a drive of building thousands of houses; including village resettlement units and luxury homes for the working class in the state, despite the war on terror?
Kashim has truly become the proverbial first son of the change agenda, who has stuck to the manifestoes of the campaign, and has masterfully produced people oriented projects that touch the ordinary Nigerian.
Unfortunately, I reiterate here, that Kashim at the Senate is a waste of administrative qualities which the Borno gentleman has exhibited (imagine a fulani man calling a borno man gentle?). Kashim would do better at the centre of the Federal Government’s Next Level agenda; either in Housing, Works, or similar infrastructure driven sectors, that seem to have a bit of lag, in the execution of projects. Every Borno man would be proud of Kashim, and so would every person from the North East. Kashim has done APC proud and an unbiased analysis of the change level will show that Kashim is perhaps the best performing governor that the APC has produced so far. The underlying factor that enhances and sustains good governance is continuity. We hope that Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Governor-elect of Borno state, shares the same zeal and aspirations for a better Borno; so that the state can fully recover from the travails of war. Borno was the capital of the North-eastern states and thus has the full potential of bouncing back, and superseding all the other North-eastern states. Kashim has done well in handing over a shining baton to Prof. Zulum. Kashim has indeed been the Curator of modern Borno.
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