I first appointed Zulum as rector and after his tenure, he had no house of his own and no car of his own. Then, I challenged him by appointing him the pioneer commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement and he did wonderfully well. He spent a total number of 156 days in Bama, sleeping in Bama with soldiers and Civilian JTF, with masons, and with labourers. In our eight years, Zulum rarely left Borno. Despite handling billions in our reconstruction works he had nothing personal. He did not empower his kinsmen to become millionaires and multi-millionaires. He was largely responsible for our reconstruction of more than 30,000 projects in many places across the state. So, when it came to the issue of succession, I knew that most of the people that aspired to be governor of Borno were eminently qualified:
Some people raised fears that Prof Babagana Umara Zulum is known to have independent mindset so he could easily go out of my control. However, I knew that I was leaving office. I also came to terms with the reality that I could not be a former governor and a ‘governor’ at the same time. I needed someone who could surpass my achievement; someone that is head and shoulders above me in terms of intellect, in terms of capacity, in terms of indefatigability. I settled for Zulum for the collective good of the people of Borno and it is one of the decisions I most cherish and glad to have made for Borno. I believe posterity will in the fullness of time, vindicate me for doing or passing every judgment on Prof. Zulum.
Former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima.