By Biodun Busari
The Director, Media and Publicity of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga has criticised Nigerians who attacked the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima’s outfit at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference.
Recall Shettima was dragged by a section of Nigerian tweeps for wearing an oversized suit and sneakers combo and not unbuttoning the suit when he sat at the conference which took place at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos state.
The former Borno state governor was at the colloquium to represent the APC presidential flagbearer on Monday where he spoke about how he and Tinubu would transform Nigeria if elected in the 2023 presidential election as they did to Lagos and Borno states respectively when they were governors.
Onanuga, however, berated Shettima’s critics for not paying attention to his oration at the event, adding that they behave like herdsman’s cows paying attention to irrelevant things.
Tinubu’s spokesman said this in an opinion article titled ‘Kashim Shettima: the starboy of the NBA show’ on Tuesday.
Onanuga partly said, “If someone had landed in Nigeria from Mars on Monday and read treads on Twitter Nigeria, he would have thought Senator Kashim Shettima was one tasteless, uneducated Nigerian. But the man so derisively targeted by a section of Twittersphere was nothing of such.
“He was a victim of the Twitter herd, people who behave like the herdsman’s cows, without any reflection and tweet what others in their group are tweeting, tweets dripping with hate and insults, that ought not to be on the social media platform were the Twitter police alive to their responsibility.
“Shettima, two-term governor of Borno, a serving senator and vice presidential candidate of the APC became the butt of derisive jokes that Monday, because he featured as a panelist at the NBA Conference in Lagos. He came to represent Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“He was the first to take the podium, which was provided after he had started speaking. He jettisoned a prepared speech on the topic and rather chose to speak on the track records of Tinubu as governor of Lagos and his record as governor of Borno state.
“His delivery, done extemporaneously, was top notch. As many unbiased listeners said, he was the starboy at the segment of the conference. He spoke eloquently with conviction. He quoted figures and he said he and Tinubu will replicate their joint records at the centre from 29 May 2023.
“Senator Shettima outshone other speakers. He was better than Obi, who as usual reeled out fake statistics about oil production and theft, unemployment, declared Nigeria a failed state but failed to offer solutions. Atiku who also came tried to make a political capital out of ASUU strike by advocating the transfer of Federal universities to the states.
“After all, he said some of the universities had regional history. He was referring to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife and Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nsukka. Hours later Atiku walked back the suggestion and denied ever saying so.
“Shettima spoke about how Tinubu and his successors grew the economy of Lagos from N600 million revenue base to N51 billion today, to become Africa’s fourth biggest economy. He spoke about their readiness to deploy his experience in fighting insurgents to deal with problems of banditry and kidnapping today.
“Clearly, some sections of people in the hall were not interested in Shettima’s speech. They were focussed on the mundane: his attire. But they got it all wrong. If they had not been limited by their own bushman’s narrow view, they would have known that it was pointless ridiculing the senator with his suit and tie. They were the people that needed further exposure on the correctness of dress modes.”