Tinubu not discriminating against North, says Shettima

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not discriminate against the North, Vice President Kashim Shettima reassured yesterday.

He said his principal was not working against the region’s interests.

He spoke in Kano while receiving a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Bajabiamila, on a condolence visit over the death of his mother-in-law, Hajiya Maryam Abubakar.

The vice president cited the appointment of the two defence ministers (Abubakara Badaru and Bello Matawalle), the Chief of Defence Staff (Gen Christopher Musa), and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (DIG Hashimu Argungu rtd) , among others, all from the North, as evidence of the president’s commitment to the region’s growth.

He urged Nigerians to support  President Tinubu’s efforts to make Nigeria great, emphasising that governance transcends political affiliations.

Shettima stressed that the country’s unity and progress were more important than party differences.

He cited the support he received from the Kano State Government, led by Governor Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), during his time of bereavement.

Shettima said the country had moved beyond politics and was now in the act of governance, saying there was a need for collective efforts to achieve greatness.

He noted that Nigeria’s greatness was a collective responsibility.

Shettima described President Tinubu as an exceedingly good man with a clean heart who has a lot on his sleeves for the entire nation.

“He means well for Kano; he means well for the north and he means well for the nation,” the vice president said.

On the security challenges, Shettima said President Tinubu was determined to redefine governance.

“He is determined to address the challenges of security facing the entire nation.

“That is why the President deliberately picked the Minister of Defence and Minister of State Defence from the Northwest, the Chief of Defence Staff from the Northwest and the Chief of Air Staff from the Northwest – Kano, to be specific.

“The President picked the Minister of Police Affairs and Minister of State for Police Affairs from the North.

“To address the hunger challenges, the president picked the Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State Agriculture from the North.

“So, if anybody starts carrying stories that the president does not mean well for the north, tell them it is a lie,” he said.

Shettima said it was time the administration started laying out the facts for people to make informed judgments.

He added: “Where there is a will, there is always a way. And no matter how the darkness of the night lasts, it must give way to the light of the dawn.

“I want to call on all of you to rally around him so that together, we shall salvage this nation.

“It is not a game of apportioning blame; it is a game of making this country work. And if Nigeria works, Africa will work.”

The vice president expressed sincere gratitude to President Tinubu for sending a high-level delegation to condole with him.

“This confirms the purity of the heart and empathy of Mr President.

“May God make it easy for our president to govern this country well. May Allah grant him good health, wisdom and the tenacity of purpose,” he said.

He also expressed special gratitude to Governor Yusuf and the people of Kano for hosting him well.

“Governance was literally suspended in Kano in the past three days to host us.

“We have moved beyond politics to the phase of governance and what binds us together supersedes whatever that divides us.

“We shall continue to nurture this relationship for the peace and development of the country, as there can never be development without peace, and there can never be peace without development,” he said.

First Lady Oluremi Tinubu also sent a delegation led by Mrs Ekaette Akpabio; wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the wife of the Minister of Budget and Planning.

On arrival in Kano, the delegation led by Gbajabiamila was received by Gov. Yusuf.

While delivering the president’s condolence message to Shettima, Gbajabiamila said President Tinubu felt saddened about the passing of Shettima’s mother-in-law and sent his deepest sympathy and prayers.

“The President has sent us to commiserate with you and your family.

“He sends his best wishes, prayers and thoughts to you and your wife and the entire family of the deceased.

“Mr President has asked that we convey to you his deepest sympathy and his prayers that the Almighty Allah grant our mother Aljannah Firdaus and forgive her sins.

“It’s indeed saddening that she died. We commiserate with you on behalf of Mr President, on behalf of the government and on behalf of his cabinet and the whole federal government of Nigeria,” he said.