By Emeka Obasi

Senator Kashim Shettima made unusual news at the premier Nigeria Bar Association  function which held in Lagos recently. He appeared in suits and sneakers, looking like one of Charlie Boy’s  performers.

Shettima, who is the APC presidential running mate has been harangued by millions for not looking like a real English gentleman at the bar. What is trending now is called the Shettima Challenge, it has so many versions depending on the joker.

I do not think the Kanuri man was out of place. The law, they say, is an ass. Lawyers choose to dress the way they please. It is still fresh in my memory that one of them went to court dressed like a voodoo priest. Like the former Borno State governor, we all had a good laugh.

Lawyers are learned. They leave the bar and sit on the bench. And they share God’s exalted salutations. You address a judge as ‘my Lord’  even when some of them do not believe in God. And that may not stop them from lording judgement over your poor soul.

On a good day, it is crazy for a man to wear wig. Lawyers can charge you to court for indecent dressing, yet in court, their men cover themselves with flowing gowns. And when the Supreme Court rules, it is like God’s case, no appeal.

Fashion has gone bunkers. Folks no longer enjoy stretch denims, they go for torn jeans. Madmen must be laughing out loud because it is pretty difficult to distinguish a sane being from the loonies. Young men and women spend money on their natural hairs just to look like the crazy bunch.

That is why I believe Shettima should not be arrested by fashion police. He dressed like a happening guy. A smile on that face would have made a whole lot of difference, anyway. He just posed like a soldier holding cetme and ready to fire.

The man knows about suits and ties. He did not begin as a fish merchant in Lake Chad or a tomato seller from Kukawa. Shettima was a successful banker, a career which took off in Calabar during his National Youth Service Corp years between 1989 and 1990.

He did corporate banking in the Halls of Ikeja and Maiduguri and rose to the position of Deputy General Manager before joining politics in 2007. I am sure some of us did not know that his red tie could have been part of his Zenith Bank wardrobe.

While others still see Shettima from the fashion angle, my grouse with him is choosing to run as vice presidential candidate in this disturbing muslim- muslim ticket. I am not sure he thought about the precarious security situation.

Let the truth be told, anyone who believes that religion is not an issue in the Nigeria of 2022 is not being truthful. We cannot pretend about this. The country has so degenerated that a few politicians do not factor the feelings of others in their dream.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the Governor General of Nigerian politics. I gave him that title because he was able to rise from a dot in 2007 to Kingmaker in 2015. Since he began to rise, no one has been able to pull him down. That makes him great.

What baffles me is how the same Jagaban who tried to balance Lagos by bringing a Christian, Akin Ambode,  to succeed a Muslim, Babatunde Fashola, suddenly did not think about that in the quest to become president. Tinubu is too experienced not to smell danger.

The Kanuri are highly marginalised in the North, no doubt. In power and politics, they have paid their dues. Of the seven delegates who travelled to London in August 1947 for talks with the Colonial Office,  Bukar Dipcharima was the only Northerner.

Kashim Ibrahim was the first indigenous governor of  Northern Region. Zakari Maimalari was the first Northerner to attain the rank of Brigadier in the Army and first Nigerian Sandhurst trained officer. Col. Kuru Mohammed and Lt.col Abogo Largema were next in seniority.

The first Nigerian governor of the Central Bank, Aliyu Mai Bornu was Kanuri. The first Northern Inspector General of Police, Kam Selem was Kanuri too. The people produced two military governors, Abba Kyari and Musa Usman, out of the six Northerners appointed by General Yakubu Gowon, in 1967.

It is unfortunate that the Kanuri have not been allowed by their brothers from the North – West to rise to the position president and commander in chief of the Armed Forces. They have my sympathy and I would have loved a Kanuri man to run in 2031.

I thought Shettima’s dad was Sir Kashim Ibrahim. Wikipedia did that. I was politely corrected by someone close to Shettima who described the senator as a bridge builder. I hate walls which is what Shettima is developing with this muslim – muslim ticket.

This decision has K – leg. Failure will make it easier for Umara Zulum to be a favoured candidate in 2031. It is the turn of the South to produce the next president in 2023. And just as it is politically incorrect for a Southern presidential candidate to pick a Southern running mate, a muslim – muslim ticket is inappropriate.

Someone should find out why Yakubu Danjuma, Alani Akinrinade, Martin Adamu and Emmanuel Abisoye, all Christian generals, did not usurp power after Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in 1976. To balance national interest, a muslim junior officer, Shehu Yar’adua was chosen by them, over senior officers and made number two with the rank of Brigadier.

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