Maryam Shettima, a.k.a Maryam Shetty, says the withdrawal of her ministerial nomination by President Bola Tinubu is the will of Allah.
On Friday, Tinubu withdrew the nomination of Shetty.
The president communicated his decision to the Senate just before the screening of ministerial nominees resumed.
It was reported that 44-year-old Maryam learned of the development when she arrived at the National Assembly complex for the screening.
In a statement on Saturday, Maryam said the nomination brought her “immense honour,” and that despite the reversal, her “best is yet to come”, adding that she remains ready to serve the country in any capacity.
“The sheer joy and pride I felt at my nomination were beyond words. It was a validation of my capabilities, a nod to my vision, and a sign that our great nation was ready to embrace a future where young women like me, even from the most traditional parts of Nigeria, can hold positions of influence and power.
“Yet, life, with its characteristic unpredictability, led to the withdrawal of my nomination. To some, this could seem like a setback, but my faith as a devout Muslim guided my understanding. I saw it as the divine will of Allah, who I believe grants power as He wishes, when He wishes. His plans are always superior to ours,” she said.
She expressed her gratitude to Tinubu for considering her for such an “esteemed position”, saying that even with the unexpected twist, the journey does not end for her.
“The journey doesn’t end here; I believe this is a mere stepping stone, the best is yet to come. My resolve to serve my beloved country, Nigeria, in any capacity I can, is stronger than ever,” she added.
Continuing, she said, “I would like to assure my incredible supporters that this is not an end, it is the dawn of a new era. I urge all of us to continue praying for our nation and to stand behind our president as he strives for better Nigeria. Together, let’s press ahead united under our #WEBELIEVE campaign.
“My nomination may have been withdrawn, but my hope is unwavering. As I have often stated, ‘Hope is not lost; maybe I will come back again.’
“This phase of my life has instilled in me a deeper sense of resilience, faith, and the value of service beyond titles and positions. It has reaffirmed my belief in the potential for change and in the inherent greatness of Nigeria. The dream is still alive, and my commitment to our nation remains steadfast.”
Maryam, a ministerial nominee from Kano, was at the National Assembly Complex on Friday for screening when President Bola Tinubu sent another name to replace her.
On Wednesday, Tinubu added 19 names, including Maryam Shetty, to the list of ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening — six days after forwarding the first 28 names.
Her nomination was greeted with mixed reactions as some described her as a “Tik Tok influencer,” while others faulted her “unimpressive” professional experience as a physiotherapist.
Unfazed by the criticisms, Maryam arrived at the upper legislative chamber in a wine-coloured headgear and black burqa.
But the Kano-born politician and her supporters were shocked when they were told at the gate of the Senate that her name had been replaced with that of Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure, another nominee from the state.
Ms Shettima is a political and social activist and a qualified physiotherapist who has worked with top-tier athletes, including legendary athlete and world record holder, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
She was on the medical team of the London Olympics where she worked with the Jamaican superstar athlete.
Born into the Kano royal family, Ms Shettima started her early education in Kano and went to Federal School of Physiotherapy in Bayero University, where she finished her B.Sc with distinction.
Ms Shettima built a distinguished career in the field of physiotherapy and alongside being a social entrepreneur, in addition to her prominent role in the field of supporting women and expanding the circle of her participation in society, made her one of the influential young leaders in Africa.
She worked briefly with Dala Orthopaedic and Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospitals in Kano before she went to London to further her education. She obtained her Masters Degree from the University of East London, Stratford, where she majored in sports physiotherapy.
Ms Shettima was awarded an Honorary Degree for her outstanding roles in Leadership and Community Development by the ESGT University of Technology, Benin Republic.
She also obtained a certificate and became a practitioner of Kingian Non-Violence, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Emory University in the United States. She also bagged a Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century Certificate from University of Virginia.
She has extensive experience working both within the clinical and international development sector, having previously worked with the UKAid funded programme – PATHS 2, the State House Clinic at the Presidential Villa and the Child Care and Wellness.