In an apparent bid to temper expectations, the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, says the administration of his principal, Bola Tinubu, may not be off to a rosy start.
Both Tinubu and Shettima are expected to be sworn in on Monday, signalling the end of the administration of outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari after the completion of two four-year terms.
Shettima, in an address delivered on Friday at the 2023 Presidential Inauguration Public Lecture at the National Mosque, Abuja, assured Nigerians that Tinubu would hit the ground running.
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“The starting point might not be rosy, let me be very honest with you. The oil subsidy has become an albatross around our necks. The multiple exchange rates system is a drain on the national economy and creates a dual economic system,” he said.
“There are certain decisions that the new administration will take, but in the fullness of time, Nigerians will come not only to appreciate but also to celebrate us.”
According to him, the incoming administration does not have the luxury of time as the challenges facing the nation are “humongous.”
“As the Chinese will say, ‘The worst curse that a Chinese man may wish on you is for you to live in interesting times.’ And indeed, we are living in interesting times. But rest assured that in the fullness of time, Nigerians will come to pay glowing tributes to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.
Describing power as the “most ephemeral” of God’s gifts to humanity, the Vice President-elect argued that a person’s pedigree does not make them who they are.
“We’re here — we’re leaders — not because of our intellect. Neither Kashim Shettima nor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu holds any PhD degree. We are what we are not because of our physical powers. We are what we are, not because of our political sagacity. There are better politicians.
“Power, to us, will be a humbling experience. It’s an opportunity to serve God and humanity. And whether we accept it or not, we are going to spend more years of our lives outside power than in power,” he said.
Shettima described his principal as a pure-minded leader who would “do justice” to all Nigerians, irrespective of differences in political affiliations, religious persuasions, tribal or sectional backgrounds.
“We’re all united by our common heritage of poverty, destitution and insecurity. This is the time for all of us to coalesce into a single force,” he added.