Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Despite winning all the elections contested during the 2015 general election, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State wednesday warned All Progressives Congress (APC) faithful not to underestimate opposition going into the next elections.
Speaking during the inauguration of the campaign council and committees of the APC in Maiduguri yesterday, Shettima said: “There are two mistakes we should never make. The first mistake will be to underestimate our opponents in any party.
“There are those who assume that I, Shettima, underrate opponents. They say so because they don’t know me well enough. I do not underrate opponents. What I do is to foresee opponents and neutralise them long before the contest.
“There were those who thought I was being naive by the way we have been handling things but as Allah would ordain it, the more they underestimate us, the more we succeed. And we succeed without being arrogant. We recognise that no one succeeds alone. So, I do not underrate opponents.”
The governor added: “In fact, I overestimate them and that is why I started working well ahead.”
He asked that: “Even with the immense popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari, I want us to campaign vigorously and mobilise votes for him. I also want us to know that helping Buhari should not be limited to getting him serious votes. It should also entail mobilising and working legally to deny his opponents votes in the state.”
“The second mistake we should never make is for anyone to nurse the intention of working against an APC candidate in anyway. As stakeholders, you should bear in mind that your political reputation will lie with your collaborative effort to win all elections in your area.”
The governor also used the occasion to condole the families of those who lost their lives when a pavilion at Ramat Square collapsed during the APC presidential and governorship campaign rally attended by President Muhammadu Buhari in Maiduguri last week.
He said: “I will like to once again extend our heartfelt grief over the tragic collapse of a pavilion at the Ramat square during the campaign rally. As we know, the collapse was due to high number of people some of who took the adventurous risk of climbing the roof top.”