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Kano: Empty leadership, huge liability

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Abdullahi-Ganduje

Umar Haruna Doguwa

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that siren till she transformed us into beasts” – Patrick Henry

I was the pioneer elected All Progressives Congress (APC) party Chairman Kano State.

As Chairman, I organized, coordinated and spearheaded the processes and campaigns that brought Governor Ganduje to power in 2015.

It means I am well positioned to know all that has transpired before, during and after his emergence as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and as Governor.

My reasons for writing this piece today therefore are: First, I am duty bound to review and reflect on the promises and pledges we made to the good people of Kano State against the backdrop of darkness, occasioned by misgovernance enveloping Kano today.

Secondly, I write this as a True Musilm knowing fully well how all religions implore its followers to fulfill promises and pledges made by individuals or parties.

Thirdly, my reason is to echo the silent screaming of the hapless majority bearing the brunt of an inept leadership that in any case, they did not vote for.

Kwankwasiyya Ambassador

At his inauguration for a first term of office as Governor, Ganduje uttered the folllwing words: “I pledge to continue with the good works we started since the first tenure of our administration (1999-2003/2011-2015).

“There is no gain saying that the APC as a party and we as contestants in particular, gained tremendously from this colossal giant (Kwankwaso) whose monumental strides virtually obliterated the relevance of other parties in the State.

“I on behalf of all elected office holders therefore, assure you that we will continue to be good ambassadors of the Kwankwasiyya movement in the service of our dear State and the country at large”(Gov. Ganduje’s inaugural speech 2015, page 1 paragraphs 2).

This was the first reassurance that Governor Ganduje gave to the good people of Kano State.

This inaugural speech was the seal on all promises and pledges made by myself as chairman of the party (APC) and leader of the campaign tour on his behalf and Governor Ganduje (Then Deputy Governor and our party’s candidate) to Kano State electorates during our tour of the 44 Local Governments Area councils which was delivered a few minutes after he was administered to an OATH of office by the then Acting Chief Judge of the State with the Holy Quran.

This was watched and witnessed by thousands of good people of Kano, including myself standing next to him on the podium.

Born on 25th December, 1949 (Officially, on Christmas day), Governor Ganduje must have known the gravity of making promises, pledges and his subsequent physical swearing with Holy Quran and its consequences before making it.

I am particularly craving the indulgence of Kano citizens and Nigerians in general to read and re-read that inaugural speech of Gov. Ganduje in 2015 to see for themselves the many mouthwatering promises and pledges it contains, especially on the continuation of the “Excellent works started under the able leadership of the indefatigable leader Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso during his first and second tenure” as conspicuously stated by Gov. Ganduje in his inaugural speech 2015 page 2 paragraph 2, the promises of which he (Gov. Ganduje) has the power and resources to execute (if he’s willing to) as the Chief Executive Officer of Kano State.

Education on my mind

While reading and re-reading through the inaugural speech, one aspect that continuously caught my attention is Education. Obviously Education, because an ignorant man is doomed for poverty and the level of educational achievements made in the State by the Indefatigable Leader Engr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who bequeathed enduring and effective structures, from basic to tertiary levels, built solidly to stand the test of time.

The primary schools with well-structured schools feeding system that was envied by many States including the Federal Government, the two set of free uniforms to each primary schools pupil, the massive purchase of instructional materials, the thousands of additional new blocks built and equipped (an upstairs building that can be seen throughout the State known popularly as Kwankwassiya blocks), the regular training and re-training of teachers, the prompt payment of salaries on the 25th of every month, the recruitment of additional staff, the renovations of existing classroom blocks and offices through Community Re-orientation Committees (CRC), the re-introduction of boarding primary schools and the teacher: student ratio of 1:54 (source -Kano state school census data MOE 2014/2015) and many more.

The secondary schools also enjoyed that excellent strides from Kwankwaso’s purposeful administration were he built and equipped 100 new laboratories to WAEC and NECO standard, built four (4) mega secondary schools, apart from the many junior and senior secondary schools built across the state.

Additionally, he built houses for teachers in day secondary schools in most of the rural areas, provided large number of long luxurious buses that constantly convey girls to and from schools; specifically to encourage girl-child education which was applauded by world recognized NGO’s.

Also there was prompt payments of full salary every 25th day of the month, Car Loan for teachers, a teacher – student ratio of 1:31 in JSS and 1: 32 in SS ( source – Kano state school census data MOE 2014/2015) to mention just a few.

The tertiary education experienced a revolution, the conceptualization and actualization of two state owned universities; The Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil and the Northwest University Kano, the establishment and maintenance of more than twenty additional new higher institutions; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Tudun Wada, College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Kunchi, Informatics Institute, Kura, Reformatory Institute, Kiru, Fisheries Institute, Bagauda, Horticulture Institute, Bagauda, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Madobi, to mention but a few.

He also Sponsored Kano State indigenes to various private universities at home and abroad based purely on merit for undergraduate and postgraduate studies respectively, which eventually placed Kano State among the States with highest number of Masters and PhD holders now.

He Improved infrastructure in all the existing tertiary institutions ; Audu Bako College of Agriculture , Dambatta, Aminu Kano College of Legal and Islamic Studies Kano, Kano State Polytechnic, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education Kumbotso, College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Kano.

The midas touch are verifiable.

There was prompt payment of Registration Fees for Kano State indigenes that got admission into The Nigerian Law Schools nationwide, least I forget, there was Total Free Education at all levels in the State.

Discontinuing the legacy

The Above picture and many more are what His Excellency Governor  Abdullahi Umar Ganduje inherited on the 29th of May 2015 as Governor of Kano State in Education sector alone and which he eloquently described in summary on page 2 of the inaugural speech as “excellent achievements”.

These achievements are what Governor Ganduje promised, pledged and sworn with the Holy Quran to continue with, listened to by the mammoth audience physically present and on radio.

He also was watched on YouTube, Television, Twitter etc worldwide by millions of people interested in the development of Kano State. As the saying goes, promises and pledges are meant to be kept, because broken promises are like broken mirrors.

They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at broken images of themselves.

They (Promises and pledges made during the campaign) must therefore be looked into in comparison with the sad story that obtains now.

“I pledge to continue with the good works”. Curiosity,

I picked up my Oxford English Dictionary to find the real meaning of these words:

I: used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself

Pledge: (Noun) A solemn promise or undertaking. (Verb) Commit by solemn promise.

Continue: To persist in an activity or process.

Good: Having required qualities of high standards.

Work: 1)A task or tasks to be undertaken. 2) A thing or things done or made, the result of an action.

After going through these definitions and knowing fully well what is obtained now in Kano State from primary to tertiary institutions- the near non- existence of feeding program in primary schools, the cancellation of two sets of free uniforms to primary school pupils, the scarcity of instruction materials, the uncertainty of “full” salary even on the 30th of every month to teachers not to talk of car loans, the overcrowded classes with teacher-students ratio of 1:113 (Source – Kano MOE Schools Census Data 2018), the epileptic services of schools buses for girls where more than 60% of the vehicles were grounded over minor repairs, the overcrowded classes

with teacher-students ratio of 1:52 for JSS and 1: 42 for SS (Source – KMOE Schools Census Data 2018) which is below standard.

One may even be tempted to ask why I am using 2018 data when actually we are in 2020.

Well, that is the latest results available with the Government!

I seriously wonder which data do they use for planning!!!.

The monumental disaster of closing established schools e.g, School of Remedial Studies, Kunchi, the Corporate Security Institute, Gabasawa and many more, the cancellation of free education at all levels, in its place announcing the free and compulsory education program for Primary schools only after amassing 15Billion Naira “Education Development Loan”, the Primary education that was made free and compulsory nationwide by Olusegun Obasanjo the then Head of State as far back as 1976 through UPE is now being made free again in 2020 (laughable).

With all these in my mind, I begin to ask myself whether actually Governor Ganduje wanted to say in his inaugural speech (2015), “I pleadge to DISCONTINUE with the Good works”, Yes to discontinue, if not, how can an elderly man (71years old officially) fall short of keeping his promises and pledges made under oath willingly watched and listened to by millions worldwide, even as he has the means?

This I think, provides the missing link, as to why Kano people voted the way they did in 2019 Governorship Election.

This Government is not worth re-electing and majority of Kano citizens did not re-elect it, but it was imposed on us and we are allowed to bear the cross of its emptiness, which Kano citizens saw right on time, accounting for why they refused to vote for it.

Umar Haruna Doguwa is a PDP Kwankwasiyya stalwart in Kano state.

Opinion

Childhood killer diseases: NGO gets $29m grants to reach 1m caregivers

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An International Non-Governmental Organization, New Incentive, said it has received a grant of $29 million under it project – All Babies Are Equal targeted to reach over one million caregivers and immunize their infants against childhood killer diseases in four Northwest States .

Kano Focus reports that the four Northern states are Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara and Sokoto.

These childhood killer diseases include, tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococcal disease and measles.

The Stakeholder Relations Director, of the NGO Nura Muhammad disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting with the benefiting states held in Kano.

Muhammad said the grant would be disbursed as conditional cash transfer to support the caregivers to ensure they avail their infants for the Immunization.

He said, “New Incentive – All Babies Are Equal, NI-ABAE has received commitments of over $29 million of funding over the next 3 years to reach over 1 million caregivers and their infants in Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto States.

This covers expansion to 35 LGAs with continued operations through Dec 2023.

“The organization aims to reduce child mortality through cost-effective and evidence-based health interventions.

In Nigeria, the organization operates as the All Babies Are Equal Initiative and implements the conditional cash transfers (CCT) for routine immunization (CCTs for RI) program.

“The flagship CCTs for RI program operated by ABAE disburses cash incentives to caregivers conditional on infants receiving four vaccines: BCG (against tuberculosis), PENTA (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b), PCV (against pneumococcal disease), and MCV (against measles).

These vaccinations are part of the routine schedule for infant immunizations in Nigeria and are provided at no cost to the caregiver through government-supported clinics.

Upon confirmation of their infant receiving a vaccine, the caregiver receives ₦500 for the first four routine immunization visits and ₦2,000 for the fifth visit.

“The cash transfers compensate for transport, lost trading income, and waiting time while creating behavioural change through awareness of routine immunizations.

“The CCTs for RI Program has been implemented in the states of Katsina, Zamfara, 2017 while Jigawa in 2018.

To date, the program has enrolled over 390,000 infants whose caregivers have received over 1 billion naira in conditional cash transfers.

An independent impact assessment of NI-ABAE’s CCTs for RI program (2017 – 2020) found that the program increases the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by 27 percentage points, and increases rates of individual vaccinations by 14 to 21 percentage points.

Beyond vaccination, the assessment found that the program contributed to improved knowledge about vaccination among caregivers in the catchment areas served by the program.

“Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions, saving 2 to 3 million lives yearly (WHO) and there is evidence that suggests a 27 percentage points increase in the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by a conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program (NI-ABAE RCT Impact Assessment 2017-2020),” the Stakeholder Relations Director, Nura Muhammad however said.

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Opinion

Meet Abdul: The most talented Dabo Babies player of all time

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Picking out the footballing stars of the future is a tricky task.

There are so many factors which could hinder the progression of even the most professional of teenagers.

But some do seem destined to reach the top, while others display a work ethic that’s even greater than the natural talent at their disposal.

The second paragraph could be the case with Dabo Babies talented, 19-year-old forward Abdul Attacker.

He burst onto the scene when he was playing for a local club, Golden Bullet and was snapped up by famous Dabo Babes FC after the departure of former Nigeria U-20 star, Nazifi Yahaya.

And has since caught the attention of football enthusiast across the country with his brilliant display for Dabo Babes.

Abdul tormented four-time Nigeria Professional Football League Champions, Kano Pillars FC after he scored twice against the Sai Masu Gida in a friendly match before the kickoff of the second stanza of the just concluded 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League season (NPFL).

He was the catalyst to Dabo Babes good run to the Kano state Tofa Premier League title driving the famous academy from game to game until they reach the final.

The dazzling forward produces mouthwatering display to earn himself accolades from the Pen Profession who could not hide their love for the next Super Star during the Tofa Premier League final.

He likes his game to that of Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema and Bayern Munich deadly striker, Robert Lewandowski.

The 19-year-old’s talent and versatility has some people wondering whether he could be a bolster for the Nigeria National U-20 team, the Flying Eagles for their upcoming assignments.

As preparations for the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League season gearing towards climax, many top clubs are interested in snapping him to bolster their squad as well as few other European top teams.

He has scored 55 goals and provided further 22 assists for Dabo Babes in less than three and a half years.

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Opinion

Lamido, Jega celebrate NEPU @ 71 

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Aminu Kano

Dr. Nuruddeen Muhammad 

Yesterday, Sunday, the 8th of August, 2021, I accompanied His Excellency Dr Sule Lamido  (CON) who was the speaker at a symposium organised by the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, Bayero University Kano (Mambayya House) to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Northern Elements Progressives Union (NEPU), with the theme; ‘Politics of Principles and the Phenomenon of Political Party Defections in Nigeria’.

Sule Lamido

The event which held under the distinguished chairmanship of the cerebral Dr. Tijjani Muhammad Naniya, also had the ebullient Dr. Auwalu Anwar as the sole discussant. While Professor Attahiru Jega, Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir, Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, Professor Sule Bello, Dr. Nasir Fagge, former NEPU/PRP regional, federal and state parliamentarians, women and youth leaders from across the country, notably Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and Kaduna States all ran incisive commentaries.

Prof. Dandatti Abdulkadir

The cacophony of voices were as fierce as they were sharply different in tone, content and delivery. But by far, that which stood out and generated most responses was Dr Lamido’s lead assertion that the raison d’etre for the NEPU/PRP ideological and political initiatives was to liberate the common folks (the Talakawas), first from the clutches of the combined reppression of the colonial overloads and their willing surrogates in the Native Authority establishments in Northern Nigeria, and the restrictions placed on them in political participation, aspirations and freedoms.

He forcefully argued that the movements have achieved on both counts as the children of yesterday’s Talakawas are today the new overloads and oppressors who deny their fellow Talakawas quality leadership as presidents, governors, parliamentarians, ministers, council chairmen and their councils. He concluded that the movements (atleast as organised political actions) should rest and cease to exist. And that today’s progressives should instead leverage around available political opportunities/platforms to confront the existing selfish order using present day political sentiments and realities as mobilization tools.

Prof. Hafiz Abubakar

But recalling copiously from memory, the lead speaker canvassed for an ideological graft transplant from the NEPU/PRP days in ways that the moral and ethical characters of both politics and governance of today can benefit from the sound value systems of old oder.

He narrated how he first resigned as a member of the House of Representatives in Lagos in 1983 purely on moral grounds, and then flew to Kano to convince the then Governor Alhaji Abubakar Rimi to do same as the governor of the old Kano State when the duo defected from the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) that gave them the mandates in the first place.

He then described the present phenomenon of political party defections in Nigeria as the worst form of corruption.

This profound submission drew a symphony of responses from today’s PRP practitioners who are mostly academics. Leading the park was Professor Attahiru Jega who argued that without justice in leadership and the level of impunity as is the case today, the NEPU/PRP cause has just begun and asked Sule Lamido to come lead the national onslaught.

Many other PhDs and Professors joined in the call that Lamido would later say lacked sufficient local and broader national political insight. It is significant to note that I was to totally align myself with the Sule Lamido’s perspective of the argument only yesterday, having engaged with him for over a decade on the same exact topic as the Jegas had done yesterday at Mambayya.

I am now fully convinced that the NEPU/PRP politics exclusively represented yesterday’s political sentiments and realities in the North with no much utility for either our present political and social circumstances or broader national appeal.

Sule Lamido, Dr Nuruddeen Muhammad and other guests

The Mambayya rendezvous is prehaps the only remaining theatre in Nigeria where political practitioners, activists and ideologues meet political researchers, theorists and even wannabees in a real time intellectual brawl. Bayero University Kano is both creative and thoughful in this annual ritual. Mallam Aminu Kano and his comrades had lived a very politically active, intellectually robust, and ideologically/philosophically sound lives to deserve this honour.

When academic excellence and classroom sense meet self taught philosophers and the practical hands on the streets, a cetain unique flavour emerges. Yesterday’s flavor has unfortunately left a distinctively sour test in my mouth. The fact that the Talaka is today his very own oppressor is a very bitter pill for some of us to swallow. And even more bitter is the second fact that the second on coming liberation of the Talakawas (from themselves this time around) will have to invent it’s devices with no NEPU/PRP emotional relic to rely on.

This, on a very personal note, was a befitting way to round off my three weeks extended sallah visit in Jigawa.

Dr. Muhammad was Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs & Federal Minister of Information as

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