The Oasis Reporters
May 23, 2019
By Col. Gora Dauda (rtd)
This post is likely to reignite the bitterness many people have had to contend with over the turn of events in Kaduna State ever since the government of El Rufai took office.
I have a confession to make for playing the little role I played in foisting the depraved APC government on the hapless people of Kaduna State. Being a new comer onto the political turf, I was seduced by the content of the APC 2015 Campaign Manifesto tagged ‘Let’s Make Kaduna Great Again’ ( Restoration Programme 2015- 2019).
With the quality of candidates on the ticket, I had no doubt whatsoever in my mind that my State would be in safe hands if the APC won. The APC did win the election in Kaduna but immediately after the swearing in, the drum beats began to change. This change is only noticeably after examining the content of the manifesto.
The manifesto was hinged on 5 priority areas. The first being investment in education, healthcare and social welfare to ensure local residents are healthy, productive and competitive.
The second being to foster the security of lives and property throughout Kaduna State by targeting the roots and symptoms of intolerance and communal violence.
The third being to institute a good governance system that is founded on a competent and responsive public service with zero tolerance for corruption.
The forth, to maintain, rebuild and expand our decaying infrastructure particularly our water supply, electricity and road networks to accelerate the economic growth that will create a multitude of jobs.
The fifth to promote agriculture, food security and reform of land administration as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation, while preserving and enhancing environmental management.
While every word of the manifesto dripped with honey which was the reason the people of Kaduna State voted in huge numbers for the APC at the time, the El Rufai regime had shot itself on the foot when immediately the governor had taken the oath of office he began implementing exactly what was in his mind which was not part of the campaign manifesto that got him to office by singling out his adopted Fulani kinsmen for special treatment after paying them what he called compensation for losses which he claimed they suffered in the 2011 post election disturbances which in any case was not limited to Southern Kaduna alone leaving out other groups or individuals who also were affected by the disturbances.
He undertook on his own as governor to send emissaries across the West African belt to seek out Fulani who were caught up in the disturbances along with a ridiculous message assuring them that it was after all one of theirs in charge in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. This marked the dawn of the FULANIZATION policy in Kaduna State. It is still unclear if El Rufai was acting this dubious script alone or it was part of a broader script of the PMB administration.. Questions arising from this include, where did El Rufai source the monies he used to pay the compensation?
Who authorized him to undertake foreign policy on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria?
These questions remain unanswered because Kaduna State had an impotent House of Assembly whose members were purchased by the regime’s filthy lucre. Under these circumstances, how could the regime be people friendly?
Now, in a developing economic and political system as ours, whether one liked the APC or not did not make its manifesto less of a fantastic document. The problem though, lay with the implementation. The first priority which was investment in education, healthcare and social welfare became the first victim of that administration of the El Rufai regime as the regime acting under him directed the assault at educational institutions in Southern Kaduna where Secondary and Tertiary institutions where closed under the guise of insecurity. In the area of investment in healthcare and social welfare there is nothing to cheer, for in fact the population is in a more despondent and hopeless state than ever.
The second priority which had to do with fostering the security of lives and property throughout Kaduna State by the rooting out of all symptoms of intolerance and communal violence is the area in which the regime performed worse.
It will be recalled that the primary responsibility of government remains securing lives, property of the citizens as well as providing for their welfare.
However the Kaduna State Chief Security Officer from his utterances and body language, had scores to settle with the Southern part of the State for events dating back to 2011. After illegally paying compensation to his Fulani kinsmen harvested from all over the West African sub region, and as if by prior arrangement a genocide efficiently executed by so-called herders who in actual fact were a cocktail of Fulani terrorist and jihadist was unleashed on communities in Southern Kaduna. In Southern Kaduna, it was death and destruction on a scale never seen before.
Instead of soothing words to the victim communities, the Oga embarked on deploying combustible and incendiary rhetoric and doing little or nothing to calm frayed nerves. He imposed a crushing and needless curfew on the communities that kept the hapless people back as sitting ducks for the Fulani jihadists.
He made complete nonsense of the very important roles traditional rulers play in maintaining peace by summarily dismissing many of them from their posts. Near as Southern Kaduna is to the Federal capital, Abuja did nothing.
Common people began saying that rather than being the Chief Security Officer of the State he has been the State’s Chief Insecurity Officer.. While the efforts of the security forces have yielded next to nothing by way of arresting the genocidal Fulani herdsmen and terrorists, the angst of the regime has always been directed against the victim communities. The terrorist, jihadist, kidnappers have had a field day dominating the unoccupied spaces and operating at will.
Bearing the brunt of insecurity have been Southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari and the Kaduna/Abuja highway. The much vaunted claim of unmanned aerial vehicles otherwise called drones for security monitoring and reporting has come to nought. The only place that may appear secure is Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, and its precincts.
The third priority, instituting a good governance system that is founded on a competent and responsive public service with zero tolerance for corruption had been implemented in the most paradoxical style. There was the bogus claim of the APC government returning to the Civil Service their authority based on competence and merit which the ruling party (PDP) at the time had wrestled from them. The El Rufai regime went on to make for lack of a more appropriate phrase make a complete mess of the Kaduna State Civil Service which hitherto was the pride of the State and envy of others. The government embarked on a ruthless and senseless retirement of experienced civil servants without replacing them. The retirements was so indiscriminate that the morale of the remaining civil servants went very low. As this post is being read, no civil servant in Kaduna is sure he/she will have a fulfilled career. Nobody knows exactly what the regime intends to make of what is remaining as the Kaduna State Civil Service. This priority in the manifesto was simply a campaign ploy to malign the ruling party (PDP) at the time.
The fourth priority involved the maintenance, rebuilding and expanding the State’s decaying infrastructure particularly water supply, electricity and road networks to accelerate economic growth that will create multitude of jobs. Four years down the line, practically no such maintenance, rebuilding and or expansion of decayed infrastructure has been carried out, rather assets belonging to the people of Kaduna State in a bazaar-like fashion were auctioned to family members, friends and cronies of the regime.
In the place of building or rebuilding, the bulldozers moved in to demolish people’s houses and some business premises for reasons neither here nor there. The elusive Zaria water project which has been used by successive governments to siphon money is still nowhere near completion. Water being such a vital requirement for both domestic and industrial needs even in the State capital, is so scarce not to even talk of the rural areas. Four years down the line, there is nothing of worth that the El Rufai regime has achieved for Kaduna State aside tears, sorrow and pains.
The fifth priority, promoting agriculture, food security and reform of land administration as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation while preserving and enhancing environmental management is yet to bear fruits. Nothing significant has been achieved in the area of promoting agriculture and food security. For a fact, farming being the major preoccupation of our mostly peasant population has become an endangered undertaking as farmers are too scared to venture out to their farms because of the menace of kidnappers. Early in the life of the regime Fulani herders with the utmost of impunity would drive their herds onto peoples farms to graze on the crops, challenge them as the owner of the farm will attract death or serious injury. Crops ready for harvesting were burnt by the jihadist after their cattle must have fed on them.
In the area of land administration, but for the renovation at a stupendous and ridiculous cost of the former Ministry of Lands and Survey renamed Kaduna Geographical and Information Service, accessing land in Kaduna has become the more difficult. The people had hoped that it will be much easier to obtain land documents but there is disappointment and or dejection for anyone who started the processes of obtaining such land documents. Against this background how can Kaduna possibly make progress?
It is on account of the massive failure of governance that the electorate in the State resolved to see the back of the regime in the 2019 election but the regime fought back deploying whatever was available in it’s arsenal to undermine the credibility of the electoral process. The crushing poverty which the regime itself engineered was used to advantage through vote buying. Even religious leaders and clerics could not resist the monies given them to sway mainly the poor people’s political opinion in favour of the APC.
State resources were suspected to have been used massively to influence the outcome of the election. Even at that, there is no way for the people of Kaduna State to have willingly returned El Rufai for a second term. What passed for the gubernatorial election and outcome in Kaduna State ought to find accommodation in the Guinness Book of Records as the grandest electoral heist of all times. We wait patiently to see what the election tribunal in the case of the El Rufai fluke victory will come up with.
I worry so much about these characters who claim religiosity yet will brazenly go out and not only stealing but manipulating votes to remain in power.
As I have penned down in earlier posts, we have done our duty by going out to vote, but our votes could not make the difference not because of their numbers but simply on account of the fact that the electoral umpire working in concert with the dictatorship in Kaduna had made up their minds to produce a specific outcome.
We are just a few days away from inaugurating this fraudulent and dubious government for yet another 4 year term and the reader may be wondering why this post is necessary at this point in time. The answer is very easy ‘ TO PUT THE RECORDS STRAIGHT ‘.
It is not yet over because one vote is still being expected to be cast. That vote belongs to God Almighty and this single vote will right the wrongs wrought on the electorates of Kaduna State.
To God Be The Glory.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
He writes from Southern Kaduna.