The Oasis Reporters
May 12, 2018
Citizens of Oyo and Kaduna states who left daily needs shopping for the weekend got the shock of their lives because Kasua market as well as other markets in Kaduna State, including Gbagi, Oja Oba, Agbeni etc markets in Ibadan city with the rest of Oyo State have been ordered shut by the two respective governors today, May 12, 2018.
There’s a reason though.
Local council polls are holding. The respective governors, Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State had made the promise of local elections a priority in their campaign manifestos.
When they discovered that it paid them more to appoint local government officials rather than get them elected in free and fair polls, they postponed it and kept far away from their promises.
National elections are about nine months away and knowing that the press would play reminder tapes of those promises, Nasir El Rufai decided to stage his own, on the back of the suspicious outbreak of fire that damaged the electoral office complex recently.
He needs all the help he can get for his reelection bid early in 2019 despite his dwindling goodwill especially in the largely Christian south of Kaduna State, reeling from continuous harassments and gangland executions of local indigenous people allegedly masterminded by his tribesmen known as Fulani herdsmen terrorists, ranked the third deadliest terrorists organisation in the world by global terror ranking index organisations often quoted widely.
Nasir El Rufai would be needing friendly or pliant local government chieftains for his desperately needed reelection campaign, so this election, delayed for almost three years is crucial to him.
He may be looking up to Kaduna north with a preponderance of Muslim hausas and his Fulani tribesmen to save his seat next year.
Meanwhile, he and the three senators representing Kaduna State at the national Assembly are practically speaking, at daggers drawn. Insults have been hauled from and to each other. The building of the Kaduna north senator, Mr. Hunkuyi was demolished by the Governor in the night, a practice that befell the shiite Muslim minority sect in the University town of Zaria in 2016.
This was the announcement that came from his media handlers yesterday restricting vehicular movements till 1700hrs, Nigerian time, +1 hour GMT :
LG Poll: KDSG announces restriction of movement
As previously announced, the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission will conduct elections into the 23 Local Government Councils in the state on Saturday, 12th May 2018.
Pursuant to this, SIECOM has requested that movement on all state roads be restricted on the election day.
Accordingly, the Kaduna State Government hereby notifies the general public that vehicular movement on all state roads will be restricted between 6am and 5pm on Saturday, 12th May 2018.
Security has been beefed up across the state to guarantee the peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections. The security agencies will enforce the restriction of movement.
The Kaduna State Government appeals to all residents to conduct themselves in accordance with the law, and to report any suspicious or illegal conduct to the appropriate security agencies.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity)
11th May 2018.
The case of Oyo State is slightly different as the governor is locked in battle for the control of the soul of the party, All Progressive Congress with the communications Minister, Adebayo, a known Buhari acolyte. He wants to be governor. And Isiaka Ajimobi is not coming back to the seat after his final tenure expires on May 29, 2019.
Though he is ineligible to run again for the gubernatorial seat, Ajimobi is in secret pains trying to ensure that his handpicked candidate succeeds him for very many obvious reasons, chiefly to avoid an adversarial probe into his 8 year tenure, many insist was lacklustre. Workers salaries have remained unpaid, running into hundreds of millions, some enterprises have been disrupted and a lot of services remain a mirage in the south west state.
Oyo State has been thrown into huge debts, questioning Ajimobi’s administrative and financial skills and many say he is serving with a monumental lack of excellence.
Many political analysts in the State capital, Ibadan have compared him to a former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi. Both southern states have much in common. They receive almost equal amount of financial allocation from the federation account funded by crude oil income. Their populations are almost at par.
While Peter Obi was turning his state into an economic paradise and reconstructing infrastructure destroyed since civil war days over 50 years ago while paying salaries regularly, unfailingly, Ajimobi was busy on a binge, not knowing which way to go and leading the State to stagnation and debt.
In academic rankings Anambra state continued to move up in JAMB and WAEC statistics, while Oyo State continues to be be getting dwarfed by Boko Haram ravaged states of Bornu and others in the rankings from behind.
The local elections may turn out to be a mini referendum of some sorts or a badly flawed one, for election gloss is the secret paint of Nigerian politicians.
Markets and roads will be open in Oyo State by 1500hrs (+1 GMT ) .