IS KADUNA GETTING Great Again? By John Danfulani, Ph.D

“Make Kaduna Great Again” was Mr. Nasir Ahmed El-rufa’i’s 2015 campaign slogan.That catchy motto was created on the political boat of change that successfully navigated Nigeria turbulence political high seas in 2015. On 11th April 2015 a political deal was sealed and a four years mandate given to a man who promised to return the former headquarters of the Northern Nigeria Region to its “former greatness”.

Governor Nasir Ahmed El-rufa’i’s four years mandate is almost halfway. Consequently, assessing his faithfulness or otherwise to the social contract entered with the people of Kaduna State can not be seen as too sudden. At this junction, it’s imperative to pose the quintessential question: Is Mr. El-rufa’i walking his talk of “Making Kaduna Great Again”? A straight, sincere, and unbiased answer is NO. Pure and simple!

The Chief Tenant of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House Kaduna tumbled in all facets of governance. His numerous executive orders that are akin to decrees in the military eras are boomeranging and causing monumental havocs to ministries, departments, and parastatals in the state. His greatest letdown is his inability to protect lives and property of the people of Kaduna State in tandem with provision of 1999 constitution(as amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is during his stewardship (May 29, 2015-February, 2017) that Kaduna State became a hub of kidnappers. One must be enmeshed in extraordinary spirit of record keeping to be able to know the number of kidnapping incidences that occurred from 29th May 2015 to the time hemming this opinion. Nevertheless, a serving Sierra Leonian envoy, two former ministers, Mrs Laurencia Laraba Malam and Mr. Bagudu Hirse, a member of Kaduna State House of Assembly, serving officer of Nigeria Army, and a column of Christian clergymen were victims. Aside these high profile incidences, there are dozens of other unreported incidences. Victims normally pay a ransom in millions before regaining their freedom.

A horde of other victims were quite unlucky not to come out of the saga alive.

Down to Southern part of Kaduna State, killings, arsons and destruction of farmlands by (now known) Fulani militia has become the norm. A sizable percentage of villagers have abandoned their ancestral lands and habitats and migrated to some closest semi urban areas. It will be a hard nut to crack for one to quantify the Fulani Militia’s destruction in monetary terms. It is even harder knowing the exact number of lives savagely and cowardly terminated by “international” band of murderous Fulani Militia. The number of casualties has triggered an unending ding dong between bodies like; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Kongi Prof. Wole Soyinka and numerous others. Whether the lowest or highest figure bandied represent the true picture of the number of casualties or not, one thing that is not under disputation is; lives were terminated by a trans-borders genocidal Fulani Militia operating in the middlebeltern region (Central Nigeria).

On 3rd and 21st December 2016 Mr. El-rufa’i robbed salt to injury by announcing that he has successfully trailed and communed with commanders of the Militia committing genocide in Southern Kaduna. That he trailed and communed with them in Niger, Chad, Mali, Cameroon, and Senegal. He made it abundantly clear that after he identified Fulani Militia,he entered into negotiations with them, and compensated some of them. After compensating the terrorists, they pledged to cease their acts of barbarism and savagery in Southern Kaduna . Sad enough, Mr. El-rufa’i was a bad deal maker because the terrorists amplified their assaults after their criminalistic deal.

It is an incontestable fact that engaging foreign nationals by a State Government is a foreign policy action. And foreign policy ala Immigration, currency matters, and Defense are under the exclusive list of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution. If Nigeria is not a clime of the flying elephants, Mr. El-rufa’i should have been cooling his mischievous heels in kirikiri prison because his action is treasonable felony, a serious offense that his immunity can’t shield him from prosecution. If “honourable” members of Kaduna State House of Assembly(KDSHA)are not political wets, the process of his impeachment would reached an advance stage, by now.

In addition to insecurity that is permeating the state, there is the menace of hyperactive intolerance to voices of dissents by Governor El-rufa’i, his political apparatchiks, and his men in the loop. Activists have been arbitrarily arrested, and maltreated like serfs in feudal political setting. Penmen who merely reported incidences in line with their constitutional rights and traditional duties also tasted the bitter pills of his intolerance like in the NAZIST Germany.

He has turned Nigeria’s Police to an institution of harassment and intimidation of voices of dissents and political opponents like KGB of Comrade Joseph Stalin’s USSR.

A member of the Red Chamber representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District Sen. Shehu Sani was not spared, he was illegally suspended from their party (APC). And his office vandalized by thugs that majority of tongues are saying Kaduna State Government sponsored them. Members of a rival faction of APC in the state were called ants he will crush. On the 17th October of 2015 he said opponents who wouldn’t accept his interpretation of all political situations were told to head to Kufena mountain and fall down- an indirect way of telling them to go and die.

Mr. El-rufa’i’s intolerance is boundless hence the unconstitutional banning of Islamic Movement of Nigeria(Shiites), and disruption of all their religious rituals in the State. Shiites are treated sub-humanly because they are not Sunnis and Salafis Wahhabist. One can bet with his last breath that, the 12th and 13th December 2015 massacre of hundreds of Shiites wouldn’t have happened if it were any Sunni affiliated group. That has shown that, it is not only political opponents that the government is trampling on their rights and liberties but other minority religious groups.

Still within the period under review, no single people’s oriented project has been flagged off let alone commissioned. He only invented a strategy of advertising jobs in the newspapers to make people living outside Kaduna believe that there is another Emperor Meji in Kaduna . People far off Kaduna State are using such dissimulative advertisements as a yardstick of scaling his performance. For example, he advertised the Birnin Gwari Gold centre in The Leadership Newspapers in the second quarter of 2016. So far, no action on ground. That also goes with the proposed “biggest hatchery in West Africa” in Kaduna and potatoes chips making company in Manchok. Adverts were placed on construction of medical clinics in all the electoral wards of the state. It was all talks and zero action! Recently, the state government embarked on removing gluts in some gutters in Kaduna North and Kaduna South Local Governments, a work traditionally assigned to local governments. Many are wondering; if a whole state government will stoop and performed roles traditionally assigned to the lowest layer of authority, what would the lowest tiers do? After their claims, the political walls went hot with the talk that projects of clearing gluts in the gutters was part of Bill and Melinda Gates rollback malaria project.

Since assumption of office, lies have been institutionalized and made a guiding principle of governance in Kaduna State. On 6th April 2016, while chatting in Sunrise Daily of Channels TV, he lied that a single Local Government in Kaduna State has more than the entire gold in South Africa.That same day he lied that over 800 people were killed in post 2011 electoral violence and majority of the killings took place in Southern Kaduna. On the same issue on 17th January 2017 on an Aljazeera programme called The Stream, he said over 800 people were killed in Southern Kaduna during the 2011 post election skirmishes. On April 6, 2016 he said, ” majority” and on January 17, 2017 he said, “over 800” were killed.This shows that he doesn’t know the golden rule of lying that said; liars should have good memory.

Many local and international reports like Human Rights Watch of 2011 said over 800 people were annihilated in 12 States of Northern Nigeria. The question here are: is Southern Kaduna 12 State? Why the desperation in labeling Southern Kaduna as a killer’s zone? Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries International said “truth is constant but lies needs to be monitored” during his Sunday service of February 5, 2017. By these avalanche of contradictory lies, It is clear that Mr. Elrufa’i is an amateur in the act of monitoring his lies as postulated by the fiery preacher who talks straight irrespective of whose or is gored.

There is no chance left to doubt that the electoral decision of the people of Kaduna State on 11th April 2015 was a complete political miscue . Governor El-rufa’i was overrated and the people are paying daily for that mistake of overrating a grossly inept and vacillating character. Unfortunately, the institutions to check and balance his actions and inactions are ineffectually weak. Therefore, people of Kaduna State must bear with his menaces up to 10am of 29th May 2019. Before then, enjoy the rough and mischievous ride under captain Nasir Ahmed El-rufa’i.

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