OPINION : A GOVERNOR, A SENATOR AND THE PEOPLE
OPINION : A GOVERNOR, A SENATOR AND THE PEOPLE
By Tajudeen A. Tijjani
It is regrettable that the electorates in Kaduna State may have concluded that they made wrong choice during the last general elections in 2015. There is no doubt that they have not benefitted any dividends of democracy because of the political fight between two elected politicians, one a governor and the other a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Their fight, if not quickly nibbled in the bud by the party hierarchy, is capable of spelling doom for the party in future elections. It must be remembered that before the election the state governor, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai claimed to be an accidental civil servant while the Senator was known as a civil rights activist.
When both of them came on board the people of Kaduna state believed they would provide quality leadership to the electorate but to the people’s surprise, both of them have engaged in what Fela Anikulapo Kuti once described as “Roforofo fight”. Therefore, they have become saddened that the much talked about dividends of democracy in this new dispensation may elude them. What is happening between the two politicians has caused disaffection within the APC party machinery and has polarized and factionalized its members. Every other day the press is inundated with series of allegations against each other while their foot soldiers are also busy throwing brick-bats at one another.
This has affected the expectations of people of Kaduna State who massively voted for the APC and removed an incumbent governor. How can the two elected politicians solve their differences or identify them so that the state can move forward? Nigerians are right in their expectations from the Buhari Presidency and by extension all the APC controlled states, but the sad development unfolding in Kaduna Sate is as regrettable as it is condemnable. Instead of fighting each other, the two men should devote their time and energy to reposition the state from and under development.
The position of Kaduna State in Nigeria’s political history cannot be played with and that is the more reason why Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai and Senator Shehu Sani should sheath their swords and face their constitutional duties.
The crux of the rift is said to be Senator Shehu Sani’s accusation that the government of Nasir El-Rufai has allegedly abandoned the electorate and that in the last eight months the government has been busy advertising for consultancy for many projects that are not on the ground.
Honestly, the people of Kaduna State are disappointed that all the electoral promises made by Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai before he was elected as governor still remain on paper. For example, the government of Kaduna State has placed several advertisements for consultancy on many projects such as two five star hotels, building of parks and markets, among many others, which are yet to be seen on ground. There is a Hausa adage which says “Ana biki a gidan amma ba mu gan komi a kasa ba” meaning. There is a ceremony going on in our house but we didn’t see anything on ground.
Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai should as a matter of expedience change some of his unpopular actions for him to succeed in the governance of the state. A situation whereby he claims to know it all and which has earned him the name of “Dan Iya Zazzau” is not in tandem with democratic tenets. Some of the policies of the current administration may not benefit the people and need to be reviewed. Recently the governor removed the Vehicle Inspection Officer’s (VIO) from the roads without seeking the advice of the legislative arm of government to repeal an act of parliament that established the agency.
Almost, one year since the administration came on board, some of the projects embarked upon by the immediate past government have been revoked or abandoned and no new ones put in place. The Kawo-Command Junction Road work expansion which people’s money have been expended has now been abandoned without any explanation. The abandoned project would soon turn into a death trap if something is not quickly done before the next rainy season.
The action and inaction of the El-Rufai government has been dogged by lots of controversy and it is regrettable that the people do not know the focus of the government. They expect this government to have a human face because the essence of good governance anywhere in the world is centered on the welfare of the people.
It is generally agreed there is lots of work before Governor El-Rufai to do which he must surmount if only to fulfill his pre-election promises and justify the confidence people have in him and his ability to deliver while he must avoid elephant projects.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2016 budget presentation “We are here to serve. And indeed, Nigerians will get the service they have longed for and which they rightly deserve”. All other APC governors, including Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, must key in.
Tijani, a veteran journalist, wrote in from Kaduna.
7th January, 2016