Ice cream, tomato seller: Kashim Shettima apologises to Osinbajo, Lawan

Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Sunday morning apologised to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, saying he did not mean to denigrate them.

Shettima’s apology comes barely 48 hours after his interview on Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’ on Friday.

The former governor, who is a strong ally of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had described Osinbajo as a decent man who should be selling popcorn and ice cream.

He said, “Osinbajo is a good man; he’s a nice man. But nice men do not make good leaders, because nice men tend to be nasty. Nice men should be selling popcorn, ice cream.”

On Lawan, Shettima said the facts are clear that the senate president, who cuts the image of a tomato trader, lacks capacity to confront the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“Go to Ohafia or Arochukwu and ask for Ahmed Lawan, the first thing that will come to their mind is that of a tomato dealer who is bringing tomatoes from Maiduguri. Go to any part of the south. Does the brand name sell?” he said.

However, a remorseful Shettima took to his Twitter account to apologise days later, saying his remarks were misrepresented.

He said, “My interview on Channels TV was taken out of context. When I appeared on Channels TV last Friday amidst the tension rippling through our political arena, it was to underline the promise of Tinubu’s presidential bid held for those yet to establish the certainty of the hurdle ahead of the convention.

“I never set out to denigrate the personality of any aspirant, and definitely not that of my dear friends and allies. None of them is an opponent, so their aspiration isn’t a threat to us.

“They appear so in the sprint to become the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 elections, but they are our allies in the marathon.

“My assessments of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and Senator Ahmad Lawan, were well-intentioned. I never set out to subject them to ridicule but, rather, to stir up interest in the contrasting virtues of the cast of aspirants putting up a fight against my preferred aspirant, one most favoured and advantaged to guarantee APC’s victory in the forthcoming presidential election.

“The interpretations of my remarks on Osinbajo and Senator Lawan are, thus, being done literally and overblown. The interpretations of my remarks on Osinbajo and Lawan are, thus, being done literally and overblown.

“My words weren’t woven to portray them as unworthy aspirants, but merely to qualify them as non-threatening contenders. I, however, take full responsibility for my utterances and wish to appeal to our teeming supporters to neither take my words out of their metaphoric contexts nor interpret them as a measure and declaration of hostility towards my dear friends and allies.

“I, hereby, tender my unreserved apologies to the Vice President and the President of the Senate for the unintended pains my jibes might have caused them and their families and supporters.

“A divided house, even if in the assumptions and imaginations of supporters with a distant grasp of our relationships with other aspirants, is the last impression we wish to create among Nigerians. I want this to be taken as an appeal to our supporters across all political camps to build bridges and mend fences as the actual journey is just about to begin. Victory, for the discerning, has always been the first lap of the race.”

The Punch