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The Oasis Reporters

December 2, 2017

The family Professor Andrew Jonathan Nok left behind, in a photograph with Kaduna state Governor, Mal. Nasir El-Rufai (holding Nok’s portrait).

We are in mourning over one of our finest in Professor Jonathan Andrew Nok who passed on a few days back. Bad as the situation is the Holy Bible teachers us as Christians that in every situation we find ourselves, we must give thanks and so Lord, we say THANK YOU.

The passing of Prof Nok is just one in a series of tragedies that have befallen our Kaduna State and Southern Kaduna in particular. To begin to undertake an enquiry into why the erudite Prof left so early in the day can be likened to seeking a needle buried in a haystack. That undertaking is not important at this point and unlikely to be at any other point because the damage has already been done. Something tells me that the Prof came aboard the current Kaduna State government to key into the thinking during the electioneering campaign of Making Kaduna Great Again. He was assigned to the Health portfolio from where he moved to the Ministry for Education.

It would appear that our Kaduna State was primed for a similar fate as the Titanic. No sooner had the present government come onboard that it began to run into a series of storms. The first was the tenuous security situation particularly in Southern Kaduna which saw many of our loved ones despatched to their early graves at the hands of Fulani terrorist gangs. What was required at that time was the deployment of subtle and soothing language to calm frayed nerves.
What our people received from those whose constitutional responsibility essentially was to amongst others provide security and welfare for us was toxic and highly combustible rhetoric.
Here was a clear case of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Southern Kaduna people denied by some of our own people blinded by power.
These elements held and are still holding the view that though we were being flagellated, we were to take it with equanimity and to give thanks to those orchestrating the injustice.

Two ministries the Education and Health bore the brunt of the onslaught against especially the people of Southern Kaduna.
In a decree reminiscent of the Military totalitarian period, the dictator closed down tertiary institutions for an indefinite period hiding behind the mask of insecurity.
As if by happenstance the 2 Ministries had Southern Kaduna sons as Commissioners. All entreaties to reopen the institutions were arrogantly rebuffed. The dictator’s strategy was to use our hands to destroy us. If the assault was intended to have the 2 Commissioners resign their appointments, it failled.
At a point, I thought they should have picked up the gauntlet and resigned but they did not. It must be emphasized that there is so much decay in the education sector to the extent that it stinks to high heavens which presupposes that urgent repair work needed to be undertaken.

The albatross though is the approach to the problem starting from the Primary School level. In a dubious and highly controversial competency test administered to the primary school teachers, the result has it that about 70% failure was recorded and they are all due for the sack should the Mallam not have a rethink. But for the simple reason of a pending case before a court, about of 21,780 teachers would have been sacked. As we speak over 4,000 local government staff have just been sacked. The manner of the sack is so devoid of compassion that the already charged enonomic conditions in Kaduna State is set to deteriorat.

As we mourn Prof Nok who is physically departed from us, we must know that as a people, there are still many rivers to cross. We are therefore mourning the departed as well as those who are being thrown out of work. I am really at a loss over how to describe a government which promises to create jobs only to turn around to take away those jobs other administrations created. How these anti people policies can be explained within the context of Making Kaduna Great Again can only be left to conjecture. The people of Southern Kaduna have travailled through many an unfriendly administration as was the case when Col Hamid Ali was administrator. Miraculously, our people have since recovered and moved on with their lives.

Even as the current onslaught is being executed mainly targeted at the Southern Kaduna people, somehow and from some where the strength to overcome will abound. A compassionate politician from within our State so irked by the spade of sackings had to write individually to all the traditional rulers assuring them that their dismissal is only Temporal. This gives me the hope that more of those sacked by this government are likely to be recalled by a future people friendly government as was the case after Hamid Ali had himself expired as Administrator of Kaduna State. For those who are deploying the power our votes gave them against us, we are patiently waiting for another opportunity to exercise our franchise once more in less than a year and half they can bet that we shall not all be guilty of amnesia.

For the late Prof Jonathan Andrew Nok, you made your mark on humanity, every letter of your name is written in gold. We shall be missing you only physically but will shall continue to harvest from the knowledge you so bountifully left behind for humanity. As you return to the bowels of mother earth, we wish you perfect rest in the bosom of the LORD.

Written by Gora Dauda.
He writes from Kaduna.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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