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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

Meet unsung court registrar, Ustaz Sunusi Khalifa

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Ustaz Sunusi Khalifa, Principal Registrar of Chief Magistrate Court 9, Nomansland.

Sunusi Umar Sadiq

When our courts’ business has for long become a cash and carry business, when the attention your case gets depends on the amount of money you give, when everything smells and breathes of money, when even the welcome you get depends on how much you give, there stands out one person, alone on a very high moral ground, and to whom public service is a sacred trust that must be discharged against all odds, without expecting any benefits in return. His name is Sunusi (Khalifa). He is the Principal Registrar of Chief Magistrate Court 9, Nomansland.

He doesn’t ask for money. He is too noble to do that. Not only that, he only takes what is necessary from lawyers to render the services they require, compilation of record of proceedings in most cases.

I once gave him money as ‘deposit’ with the intention of giving him more when I came back for the records. He insisted that the ‘deposit’ was enough and I shouldn’t care to pay anything more. At another time I gave him what other registrars will definitely ask for more. Khalifa insisted that I should reduce something out of it as the amount I gave was too much for what I wanted.

For Khalifa, his salary is his consideration for which he is under an obligation to discharge duties. While other registrars will demand thousand of Naira to enroll order and have it signed, Khalifa does that as a matter of course, a normal course of business.

It is a pity that this rare gentleman is unheard and unsung. I have not heard of any award of excellence for him from the Branches, the MULAN or any other organization or association.

Heaven rewards. The world appreciates. I will be glad if Khalifa gets appreciated though he is not in need of it. It will, however, send a very strong message to those who make our court some sort of market places and our machinery of justice (or is it machinery of law) a booming business in which every situation is exploitable.

Kudos, bravo and gracias to my namesake. We are aware of your gentle and sterling qualities and I personally always tell your story. And I do so in the most colorful of language. Something like this:

‘There is a court registrar that never asks for money. If you need anything he only takes the exact cost. If you give him more than that, he will return the surplus and say “wannan kudin ai ya yi yawa”.’

Barrister Sunusi Umar Sadiq is a legal practitioner based in Kano

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RE: In defense of Salihu Tanko Yakasai

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Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Salihu Tanko Yakasai

The above article written by Sule Yau Sule, the spokesperson of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, might seem like a defence against my unlawful detention on 26th February 2021 in Kano, but soon after the first paragraph, it morphed into an attack on me while I was still in detention.

Though the writer superficially intended to “defend” me against the injustice meted against me for justifiably and conscientiously expressing my opinion on the current drift of the country toward cul-de-sac in apparent deviation from the vision of the ruling party to take the country away from the abyss in 2015, Sule Ya’u Sule ended up castigating me for simply exercising my constitutional rights of freedom of speech as enshrined in the constitution.

The article also bordered around ethics and professionalism of the work of a spokesperson as highlighted by the learned writer. If he had stopped there, one would have taken it objectively and picked all the lessons therein, which truly, are valid and worthy of being noted. Unfortunately, the writer digressed far away from the subject matter and delved into politics, bringing to the forefront a grudge he has been nurturing against me for over a decade, because we were on opposing sides politically with his principal when we were in the defunct ANPP.

To set the record straight, I joined APP back in December 2000 and a couple of years later, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau equally joined partisan politics and contested for the governorship election in 2003. When I joined politics, Alhaji Al-Amin Ibrahim Little was the leader of the party in the state, but when he lost the party to Shekarau and decamped to PRP, I remained in APP and went on to serve as the returning officer for Shekarau’s election, which he eventually won largely due to Buhari’s huge influence. But soon after that, Shekarau drew the line against us, Buhari’s supporters in the state, which birthed our rivalry with the Shekarau’s camp. My political mentor then was Hon. Balarabe Wakili who was instrumental in Shekarau becoming a member of the APP at that time. This was the genesis of our crises in Kano APP which led to our exit from the party in 2011 to form CPC.

I was in my mid 30s during the 2011 general elections and, of course, I went all out in my attacks on Shekarau which I later regretted and posted on my Facebook page, apologising for such a behavior; a post which is still there on my page if he wishes to look it up. I do remember Sule Ya’u Sule’s call one evening, a few days before I made the apology, and in that call, he gave me some sound advice on the choice of words whenever criticising Shekarau, a point I took to heart, and unlike what he has stated in his recent article, I have never attacked Shekarau again after that phone call till date.

Now back to the part of the article in which he has talked about ethics and what not. I am a person that take corrections to heart and I have picked all his points like a student in his class. But you see, the funny part about life is that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Let me refresh Sule Ya’u Sule’s memory about how when he was the spokesperson of the then Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, he fabricated a letter allegedly from the EFCC claiming that Shekarau had been cleared of all charges, which turned out to be a big lie, thereby causing a huge embarrassment to his principal to the extent that he was suspended for six months only to be reinstated after several pleas and interventions.

As stated by Sule in his article, “A spokesperson’s best tools are decorum, decency, belief and passion.” So I ask Sule, is embarrassing your principal also among the tools of a spokesperson? May I also ask, what punishment did he receive from NIPR at that time? If he did not receive any, perhaps he should include it in his note to the professional body in order to come up with a suitable punishment against others that will try to emulate him and ridicule their principals with fake clearance letters.

Let me also take this opportunity to set the record straight on the issue of my comments that resulted in my unlawful detention. I neither planned it nor did I have the intention of provoking such reactions. It was a spontaneous reaction on my part triggered by a number of the recent rise of insecurity in the country particularly in the north. I have personally suffered two major security issues in the last four months; the murder of my younger sister’s husband in Bauchi in front of my sister and her kids and the kidnapping of my sister’s husband’s younger brother in his house in Kaduna. N5 million had to be paid as a ransom to secure his release and in the process of raising the money, armed robbers carted away N1 million of the amount. I was certainly not thinking about ethics when I reacted to the devastating news of the abduction of the over 300 Zamfara girls. I believe anyone with a tiny bit of conscience will certainly be moved by the abduction.

Perhaps Sule is too pre-occupied with enforcing PR ethics of a spokesperson that he has lost all his conscience to the extent that he cannot see that I am a human, which comes first, before any ethics or even a temporary position that I will not occupy for life.

On a final note, though Sule is a PhD holder in Mass Communications and a professional by all standards in the field, both in terms of qualifications and experience, when it comes to human relations, I believe he is merely a kindergarten pupil. If he truly regards me as a brother as he had claimed in the article, he would not have written such a politicised opinion at a moment when I was still in unlawful detention and my family and friends were equally terrified as to what might happen to me. Irrespective of whether I was out of line or not, that is certainly not the action of someone you consider a brother. I remember when I was first appointed as the Director-General, Media in 2016, the first thing I did was to pay a visit to my predecessors to seek for their blessings and guidance, namely: Baba Halilu Dantiye, late Umar Saidu Tudun Wada and Sule Ya’u Sule. Sule promised to provide me with all the support I needed to execute my work, but little did I know that he was holding a decade-long grudge against me. Indeed with friends like Sule, who needs enemies?

Salihu Tanko Yakasai (Dawisu) is the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Community Kano Hub of the World Economic Forum. 

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Salihu Tanko: Ganduje playing politics with aides’ sack – Shaaban Sharada

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I read with dismay a statement by the sacked media aide of Kano state governor in the person of Salihu Tanko Yakasai that the All Progressives Congress led- government has failed Nigerians while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.

It is unfortunate to see such a controversial statement coming from an aide of a governor of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) despite efforts of the APC Extraordinary Convention Committee led by His Excellency Mai Mala Buni.

The statement is uncalled for and smacks of an attempted sabotage to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and it further brings to the fore the ignorance of the said aide on how security architecture works.

Since the abduction of the Jangebe Students, I have spoken with relevant security chiefs who have assured me of efforts they are making to rescue the girls safely.

In defense of Salihu Tanko Yakasai

My relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari – Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Instead of Yakasai to exploit his privilege by praying for the successful rescue of the school girls by security operatives under the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, he is rather ridiculing their efforts through a series of unwarranted media attacks that are seen as an attempt to instigate fear in the victims’ parents and mislead the general public to tarnish the image of the APC led government.

Buhari has improved security

It is on record that the security situation of the country has improved since the assumption of Buhari as President.

Essentially, the nature of insecurity prior to the Buhari administration is different from the current security situation in the country.

If you could recall, there was a time when our daughters, sisters and wives of both basic and tertiary institutions cannot go to school without going through a thorough search.

The market was a no go place, places of worship became  places to  fear, while a one or two hours journey became a 10-hour journey due to stop and searches by security men on the roads.

All those measures did not stop terrorists from bombing mosques, churches, markets, and motor parks etc.

A typical example is the 2014 Kano central mosque bomb blast that claimed the lives of more than 1,000  people in a day.

The insecurity was not restricted to the North West and North East alone, as it escalated to the Federal Capital Territory where terrorists attacked the United Nations building in Abuja.

It is a mark of the improved security situation in the country that the recently abducted Kagara Students were released last Saturday.

The process that the government followed in ensuring the release of these students safely will be applied to rescue the Jangebe Students In sha Allah as I’ve been assured by the relevant security agencies and the governor of the state as well.

Yakasai playing Ganduje’s script

Yakasai’s attack is not surprising though, as he might be acting under the command of his principal, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje who is known for speaking from both sides of his mouth.

Ganduje had last year suspended Yakasai over a statement accusing the President of lacking empathy during the EndSARS protest.

Attack on Buhari: Ganduje suspends media aide

It was alleged that the governor planned the suspension like a movie where he promised to reinstate him back. This came to pass some months later.

It is obvious that his current purported sack has a political undertone.

It would be recalled that one of Ganduje’s Commissioners celebrated the death of Chief of Staff Mallam Abba Kyari last year.

The governor in his usual manner of playing to the gallery and after pressure by Nigerians decided to sack the Commissioner but later appointed him  to serve in various government committees including the Chairmanship of the  AKK Gas Pipeline implementation Committee in Kano.

This is how the governor is working closely with people that personally berate President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ganduje sabotaging the APC

Ganduje’s sabotage does not stop there; he has a good relationship with members of the opposition whom he appointed into juicy positions while other party members are kept aside.

Example of this is the Commissioner for water resources who is a card carrying member of the PDP.

His anti-party activities against the All Progressives Congress and other efforts he is making in frustrating party members in the state is an attempt to weaken the party because he has sensed that his political ambition in 2023 is looking unachievable.

A Commissioner for Education in his government was also seen displaying a ballot paper where he voted for PDP in the recent bye election at Kiru/Bebeji Constituency.

This is a sabotage to our party at a time we are trying to reconcile warring party members across states to further strengthen the capacity of the APC in the 2023 election.

The recent party registration and revalidation exercise in Kano was not a success as Ganduje was the decider of who should be registered or not as the revalidation documents were domiciled in the government house.

I’m a victim of this as I was denied revalidation of my APC membership at my ward in Sharada, despite being a stakeholder and member of the House of Representatives in the state.

Even an ordinary member of the party doesn’t deserve this, especially when the party is targeting 25 million members.

Why is this injustice being meted out on members of the defunct CPC and loyalists of President Buhari?

Of all the Commissioners down to local government Chairmen and top government appointees, there is none from the defunct CPC.

I’m in contact with relevant security agencies and I am aware of efforts they are making to restore the security of our dear nation.

Nigeria is one, we should keep ethnic, religious and political sentiments aside, and we should tell the truth in real sense and not personal attack.

As a loyalist of the President who has worked closely with him, I know his commitment to seeing a prosperous, peaceful and united Nigeria.

His patriotism, transparency, and accountability is a testimony to his love for this country.

Hon. Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada represents Kano Municipal in the House of Representatives and chairs the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence.

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