Vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima, has again come under intense fire on social media after clarifying the comments in which he likened the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu to the late dictator, Sani Abacha.
1st News reports that Shettima had been heavily criticized on Twitter for comparing Tinubu to Abacha in terms of his sense of hospitality.
Subsequently, in the wake of the widespread criticism that had trailed his statement, the former Borno State Governor had taken to Twitter on Friday, September 16, 2022 to clarify his comments. However, Shettima seemed to have inadvertently lit another fuse with his clarification.
Specifically, he had tweeted: ‘’The obsession with distorting one’s views to settle partisan scores brings to mind a certain WBC Commentary.
“The trouble with deliberate bias,” it says, “is that it cannot be erased by sound education”. The video of my speech in Lagos is out there for those sincerely curious.
‘’I never attributed hospitality to Abacha in my speech. I did a rundown of our past Presidents and played up “the taciturnity and a dose of ruthlessness of a Sani Abacha” to show we need strongmen to deal with the nonstate actors who’ve turned Nigeria into a vast killing-field.
‘’I was quick to tease the audience, appreciating the humour hovering around the hall, with the familiar jibe that nice men don’t make good leaders. By nice men I meant those who get easily manipulated and pressured to divert state resources to appeal to private expectations.’’
ALSO READ: Nigerias react as Shettima says Tinubu will combine Abacha, Buhari qualities in leading Nigeria
I never attributed hospitality to Abacha in my speech. I did a rundown of our past Presidents and played up “the taciturnity and a dose of ruthlessness of a Sani Abacha” to show we need strongmen to deal with the nonstate actors who’ve turned Nigeria into a vast killing-field. 2/
— Kashim Shettima (@KashimSM) September 16, 2022
However, 1st News reports that Nigerians had, once again, taken the APC Vice Presidential candidate to task; querying his reference to the ruthlessness of Abacha.
Correspondingly, a cross-section of users wasted no time in highlighting some of the excesses of the late military dictator. Also, many had reminded Shettima that Nigeria did not need a throw-back to those qualities in 2023.
In addition, the overwhelming view seemed to indicate that the APC VP candidate had made things worse with his clarification.
As a matter of fact, the development has seen the term Abacha trending on the micro-blogging site. Below are a few of the reactions from Nigerians on the trending subject.
We don't need strongmen to do nothing. We need genuine and sincere leadership that will lead by example and prove to the people that he treats all fairly and equally. Strongmen have destroyed nations and not bettered them.
— ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor (@exquisiteOG) September 16, 2022
ruthlessness of Abacha?. What ruthlessness? ruthlessness of gagging the press, ruthlessness of disappearing discerning voices? ruthlessness of looting the nation blind?.
May God keep a mind like you far far away from Aso rock. Amen!
— Fidel Slim Guevara (@Slimchineme) September 16, 2022
Has Abacha become a role model to the ruling class?
— Segun Omosule PhD (@SegunOmosule1) September 16, 2022
Earlier, Shettima had also stated that if elected president, Tinubu will want to move things along; particularly since he shares President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to doing so.
Further, he asserted that only Bola Tinubu, the APC’s presidential nominee, possesses the attributes the nation demands.
Equally important, he had made the comments on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at the Yoruba Tennis Club’s 96th anniversary celebration in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
“We are convinced that the general political situation in Nigeria needs the competencies of a detribalised and committed Nigerian like Tinubu to re-ignite the requisite values that can help us rededicate ourselves and all Nigerians to collectively tackle the challenges of national cohesion.
“In 2023, we need a Nigerian leader that has the humility and generosity of spirit of the likes of general Yakubu Gowon. We need a leader that has abnegation and commitment of Muhammadu Buhari.
“We need a leader that has the work ethic and broadmindedness of an Olusegun Obasanjo; a leader that has the situational pragmatism and understanding of Nigeria’s security; the maradonic skill of Ibrahim Babangida.
“Also, we need a leader with a vision and sense of responsibility and commitment; somebody who understands the national title of the nation of an Abdulsalami Abubakar, and in our systemic circumstances; a leader with a dose of the hospitality of a Sani Abacha.
“We need a leader with the intellectual acumen with the action to catapult this nation to a higher pedestrian. And we need a leader who is not bound by regional or religious sentiment,” Shettima said.