Dr. Sule Ya’u Sule
Let’s get one thing clear from the beginning. I think Salihu Tanko Yakasai’s arrest is an overreaction. You can say overzealous. You can also say it is not lifted from President Muhammadu Buhari’s Playbook.
Who else has been arrested for criticising this President? If this is a localised reaction, those who arrested Salihu for asking the President to resign if he cannot stem the rising insecurity did the President’s reputation as a democrat more harm than good.
There is nothing new in the call. Numerous groups, including the opposition PDP, and even a fraction of CAN, have made similar calls in the past. The difference now is who is saying what now.
Was Malam Salihu justifiably sacked because he’s Ganduje’s spokesperson? My intervention here is that the business of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds is impolitic. Salihu’s action was highly inappropriate, an abysmal professional judgment, and lacking discretion and common sense.
Criticising President Buhari while serving the APC Government of Kano State as Spokesman is one double standard too many and reeks of professional opportunism, which must be stamped out in our industry.
When you choose to serve as a government spokesman, you position yourself as a salesman, the front office manager. The culinary equivalent would be the first person who tastes the food and confirms to customers that the menu is good for them. If you fundamentally disagree with the Government you are serving, then the honourable thing to do is quit.
The position of a spokesman in any organisation, public or private, for an individual or multinational, is a moral one. If you do not believe in your principal, totally, wholeheartedly, unequivocally, do not take the job. A spokesperson wholly subsumes himself in the cause. He must be passionate and convincing. Self-convinced! No self-doubts. No scepticism. Criticism? Do not take an appointment as a spokesperson if your heart’s not in it. It is not a calling for the fainthearted.
In this profession, there will be channels to make inputs on any issues. And if there are none or few or they are not working, fix the leak. The spokesman does not only carry the message to the public. That is the easiest part. He in-feeds the system with his professional counsel, and he makes his input. He advises and listens, and understands his principal, the issues, the context, the audience, history, the present, future tense. When a spokesperson speaks, he embodies the message, the character, the beliefs of his source. If you don’t believe in the message or the head, do not speak. The moment you stop believing is also the end of the story. You do not have the prerogative to serve two masters. What do you call that, conscience? No, it’s straight professional corruption. Buhari and Ganduje are both APC. It is between six and half a dozen. President Buhari is the primary reason Ganduje is still Governor of Kano State today. It goes beyond securing political capital. It is about the optics and consistency of the Party’s governance messaging and integrity.
Any Ganduje appointee criticising President Buhari or his Government is off his rocker. Criticising the President while speaking for the Governor, should invite more than a rebuke.
They can quit. That is the honourable thing to do once they can no longer tolerate or accept what is going on in Government. You cannot be in Government and be criticising the same Government. It is unethical. It sends the wrong signals. Under normal circumstances, such a person should be sanctioned if he belonged to a professional body. NIPR should take note. The first unwritten law of marketing also applies to our noble profession: do not sell what you cannot buy.
One last point. Some would say that those who sow in the wind will reap the whirlwind. What does Malam Salihu know about Immutable Karma, the inescapable law of justice, that those who go to equity with soiled hands will have their day, someday. Several colleagues have since drawn our attention to the manner Salihu used to abuse my principal Malam Ibrahim Shekarau while he was Governor. Criticism no, it was blatant abuse after abuse, using uncouth language to dish out fabricated stories and distorted facts as opinion. Salihu lost his head when Malam contested for the Presidency under the ANPP against the then CPC candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. Salihu rained abuses on Malam. At some point, because of my relationship with his elder brother, I called him aside and urged him to moderate his views. I advised Salihu to lower the temperature of his vitriolic.
Politics is not war. My well-meaning interventions did little to moderate him anyway. But at least I tried. The abuses continued. They didn’t make sense to neutral people, but it was the electoral campaign time, the season of madness. He abused Malam to impress Buhari. Now, he flogs Buhari, to, what, spite Ganduje? A spokesperson’s best tools are decorum, decency, belief and passion.
Dr. Sule is a spokesperson of former governor of Kano state and senator representing Kano central in the senate Ibrahim Shekarau
Tinubu and Ganduje Shouldn’t Play with Fire in Kano
By Farooq A. Kperogi
In a predictable, premeditated, and carefully choreographed judicial charade, the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the verdict of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that reversed the electoral triumph of NNPP’s Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State. I sincerely hope this assault on justice isn’t the spark that ignites an inferno in Kano—and in the country.
The signs had been evident since early October that a predetermination had been made that irrespective of the facts, the flawed, preplanned judgment of the election petition tribunal must be preserved at all costs.
For example, on October 6, the Head of the Legal Department of INEC in Kano State by the name of Suleiman Alkali wrote a curious letter stating that INEC, which had declared NNP’s Yusuf as the validly elected winner of the governorship election in Kano, was no longer interested in defending its declaration.
“I have been instructed by the commission headquarters that INEC as an umpire has no reason to appeal any judgment,” he wrote. “Consequently, the National Commission in charge of Legal Services and National Commissioner in charge of Kano zone directed that the appeal be withdrawn and all processes for all appeals should be forwarded to the Kano Office.”
In response to the jolt and outrage that the letter generated, Sam Olumekun, INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, said Alkali wasn’t authorized to write the letter, pointing out that the letter had “since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.” We weren’t told the nature of the “reprimand” because it was a lie.
That was exactly what played out when INEC acted in cahoots with Ahmed Lawan to steal APC’s Bashir Machina’s Yobe North Senatorial District primary win, which the Supreme Court affirmed in a shameless show of what I called judicial banditry.
(Retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammed quoted his colleague’s quotation of my abrasive censure of the Supreme Court in his parting shots at his colleagues even though he and his colleague didn’t give me credit— and slightly misquoted me. I said in a February 6 article titled “Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits” that “Nigeria’s Supreme Court is, without a doubt, a rotten gaggle of useless, purchasable judicial bandits. The highest bidder gets their judgement.” Dattijo used “voter” where I used “rotten.”)
Anyway, on September 5, 2022, an INEC lawyer by the name of Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had filed an affidavit at the Federal High Court to discredit the result of its own election that had declared Machina as the winner of the Yobe North APC senatorial primary election.
In the aftermath of the shock and fury that attended this, Festus Okoye, at the time INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee Festus, repudiated Ikpeazu’s affidavit and said, “the Commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking Officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.”
Well, that situation was repeated in Kano in October this year, almost exactly a year later. It seems to be a well-practiced pattern. INEC first flies a kite, sees how high it flies, then crashes it. But the whole point is to prepare the minds of the public for what is being hatched so as to minimize its shock value when it finally materializes.
If the outcome of the Ahmed Lawan and Bashir Machina case is any guide, it means INEC is deeply complicit in Ganduje’s chicanery and plot to steal Yusuf’s governorship. It might also mean that the “judicial bandits” I talked about at the Supreme Court are waiting in the wings to feast on another stolen electoral dinner. I hope I am wrong.
The second indication that this appeal court judgment was a well-rehearsed theater came when the appeal court completed its deliberations on November 6 but deferred its judgment until November 17 and then requested that security be heightened in Kano in anticipation of the publicizing of its judgement. Only people in a dry run for the abortion of justice ask for anticipatory protection from their potential victims.
As I pointed out in my September 23, 2023, column titled “Why the Kano Verdict Can’t Stand,” it is apparent that former Kano State governor and current APC national chairman Abdullahi Ganduje has resolved to damn all consequences and use the federal might at his disposal to wrest the power that his party and his flunkey lost to Rabiu Kwankwaso and his son-in-law in the governorship election.
“APC appears intent to get back through judicial manipulation what it lost through the ballot box,” I wrote. “It’s a higher-order, more sophisticated, and less primitive version of the broad-day electoral heist they perpetrated in 2019 after former Governor Abdullahi ‘Gandollar’ Ganduje lost to the same Abba Yusuf.”
In a defiant disregard for potentially untoward consequences, Ganduje—of course, with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s blessing—has decided to pull all strings to snatch judicial victory from the jaws of electoral defeat.
As I will show shortly, both the election tribunal and the appeal court are not even pretending to be fair in their judgments. They have already been handed a verdict and mandated to fish for evidence to justify it. The verdict, of course, is that NNPP’s Abba Yusuf must go and must be replaced by APC’s Nasiru Gawuna.
In rhetorical studies, we call that finalism, that is, a conclusion in search of evidence. Psychologists call it “motivated reasoning,” that is, tendentious interpretation intentionally designed to produce a predetermined outcome. Philosophers call that armchair hermeneutics, that is, reasoning that ignores the evidence.
The Daily Trust reported Justice Moore A. Adumein as predicating the nullification of Yusuf’s victory on the fact of his not being a member of the NNPP when he was nominated by the party. “As rightfully found, Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was purportedly sponsored by his party and he was not qualified to contest the March Governorship Election,” Justice Adumein reportedly said.
Yet, in quashing the election of APC’s House of Representatives member Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso and reinstating NNPP’s Yusuf Umar Datti as the validly elected member to represent Kano’s Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam Federal Constituency seat, the same appeal court said two weeks ago that “the issue of membership of a political party is an internal affair, which no court has jurisdiction on,” according to the LEADERSHIP newspaper.
I had thought that this was settled law. As I wrote in a previous column, “A May 26 Supreme Court ruling also says rival parties have no right to question the validity of the internal decisions made by other parties unless they can prove that they suffered demonstrable harm as a result of the internal decisions another party took. So, the Kano governorship election tribunal’s verdict on this issue will be as dead as a dodo upon appeal.”
The question now is, why is NNPP’s Yusuf being held to a different standard? I get that Kwankwaso and Yusuf didn’t handle their victory well. Instead of being happy, their victory roused destructive vengeance and mean-spiritedness in them. But that’s no reason to steal their legitimately earned victory.
I am certain that NNPP will take this case to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court is guided by its precedents, which is never guaranteed, I have no doubt that it will invalidate the judgements of the lower courts.
But this is clearly not a legal issue. It’s a battle for political supremacy in Kano between Ganduje and Kwankwaso in which Ganduje is deploying the courts as cudgels to fustigate Kwankwaso.
My advice for President Tinubu is to be very watchful because this is really treacherous territory. Righteous anger over obvious injustice—on top of ongoing existential torment in the country—can spark violence whose consequence we can’t predict.
Farooq A. Kperogi is a Professor of journalism and emerging media at Kennesaw State University, U.S.A
This article was first published on his Facebook page.
A Deep Dive into Kano State 2023 Education Sector: Observations and Call to Action
Dr Auwalu Halilu and Dr Abdussalam Kani
The focus and direction of the 2023 Budget Policy Statement are improving the quality of basic and post-basic education and also improving the quality of Health Care Delivery Services, reintroducing the empowerment institute to improve skill acquisition, empowerment programs, agriculture and food security, water supply and sanitation, and improving citizens’ security, lives, and properties.
Following thorough analysis and review of the 2023 budget performance of Q1 and Q2 , it is discovered that N36,739 billion is allocated for education recurrent spending and N31,631 billion is earmarked for capital investment. Despite the fact that the recurrent allocation (N36,739 billion) is bigger than the capital allocation (N31,631 billion), the latter demonstrates the government’s commitment to lowering the cost of governance in the education sector. Allocation variance in reporting Q1 (N6,781,113.262) was recorded as secondary education allocation.
However, in Q2, (N23,150,268,550) was reported. Similarly, the first stage of tertiary education was recorded as N9,117,108,45 and N2,163,780,361 while the second stage was N14,182,780,361 and N11,973,320,383 correspondingly. Differences in primary education releases were recorded as zero in QI, whereas in Q2 they were reported as N4,762,754,059, bringing the total move to N9,523,708,118,43. The quarterly budget performance report is incomplete and is released late.
Based on the above observations, the following recommendations are made:
a. There is a need to raise budget allocations and releases to overhead costs for education since effective monitoring and supervision is critical for enhancing service delivery efficiency.
b. There is a requirement to ensure that the education sector consistently meets the UNESCO criterion of 26%.
c. It is necessary to guarantee that the quarterly budget performance report is thorough and available for public consumption on time.
d. It is necessary to guarantee that capital allocation is moderately bigger than recurrent allocation in order to reduce governance costs and create jobs in Kano state.
e. The foregoing variances and discrepancies should be resolved for accountability and openness.
f. Capital component releases remain lackluster, necessitating considerable capital project commitments to improve service delivery.
g. More oversight by the State House of Assembly will improve not only releases but will ensure value for money.
h. Continuous improvement in public budget education is required to promote value for money and ownership. This can be accomplished through media engagement, town hall meetings, and workshops, if necessary.
i. Strategic communications and involvement are required to guarantee widespread public acceptance of government budget measures.
In conclusion, we really appreciate the government’s enormous efforts to ensure quality education provision in the state across all levels. It is our hope that the issues/observations expressed and the recommendations made will be thoroughly and diligently implemented and put to use by the relevant stakeholders in order to promote accountability in tracking expenditure in the Kano State Education Sector Budget. Let’s get involved, ask tough questions, and hold the government accountable.
This statement comes at the end of a two-day step-down workshop on a new budget tracking template for the education and health projects, which was organized by Hasken Kano, CSACEFA, AMMKAS, and FIDAC with assistance from PERL-Kano.
Dr Auwal Halilu,
State Coordinator, CSACEFA.
Dr Abdussalam Muhammad Kani
Executive Director, FIDAC
A Day to remember for CP Gumel
By Garba Musa
When the socio-political and economic organization, Kano Leads (Da Ruwana) finds it expedient to honour the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Usaini Gumel penultimate Saturday in Kano they did it in style. They chose a serene and convivial venue, The Afficent, at Sultan Road GRA, Kano to say a big thank you to him for his selfless and excellent service to Kano State and Nigeria in general.
It could be recalled that during the 2023 General Elections, Commissioners of Police around the Federation were transferred to States other than the ones they were holding for a transparent and smooth election processes. Kano was lucky to have CP Mohammed Usaini Gumel posted from Sokoto State as the co-ordinating Police Commissioner and he did extremely well to the delight of the citizenry. Everyone, including Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) showed appreciation. Infact KCCI paid a courtesy visit to CP Usaini at the Command Headquarters in Bompai led by the Chairman, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed (Sarkin Shanun Kano) and delivered a letter of appreciation at the way he handled the case of Kano during the elections.
It was based on this background that Kano Leads (Da Ruwana) took the giant step to honour him with a dinner party tagged “Kano Mun Gode”. He really deserves whatever the Kanawa could do for him given the excellent antecedents in his short stay in Kano State. Immediately, he settled down the erudite Commissioner looked into the dangerous and fearful crime of phone snatching that pervades at the time. Innocent citizens were being hacked down to death because of their cell phone. The culprits and heartless criminals would not spare one’s life after dispossessing him or her of the phone, but use a sharp knife to kill instantly. I could not sleep when l saw the picture of a Jalla Radio Staff lying on the road covered by his own blood after an attack by phone snatchers.
How cruel and unkind can a human-being be. The memory has remained a nightmare for me. Luckily, the chap survived it after good Samaritans came to his rescue. Others were not so lucky and they were in hundreds. This is now a thing of the past, courtesy of CP Gumel. He turned his attention to another murderous group better known as ‘Yan Daba who engage in fatal attacks on people in several localities within Kano Municipality. The way Gumel tamed this dangerous group clearly exposes his professional training as a security officer with special dispensation and sound investigative prowess. He arranged a football match between them and the Police Command which enabled them to integrate back to the society.
As at today fifty (50) of the over two hundred repentant ‘Yan Daba were trained and absorbed into the State Police constabulary. We have seen many Police Commissioners in Kano State from 1967 to date but it is difficult to beat this maestro of a Policeman. He has also brought a new meaning to community policing, not only in Kano but the Nation as a whole.
It is because of all t he above and others not mentioned on improvement of the security architecture in Kano that the Board of Trustees (BOT) of Kano Leads (Da Ruwana) decided to honour him with a thank you reception with the crème-de-la-crème of kano Elites (both traditional, business and academic) to show appreciation for the excellent job he has been doing to Kano.
According to the Chairman of Kano Leads Alhaji (Barrister) Bashir Mohammed Dalhatu, the Waziri of Dutse, the get-together was done to give honour to whom due. He reiterates the fact that Kano Leads should have been ‘Kano-Jigawa Leads, but since the two States were conjoined twins, the name remains Kano Leads. He took delight in showing the gathering that he is from Jigawa State and so was Commissioner Gumel and the ubiquitous Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Kiyawa. He espouses and congratulated Alhaji Gumel for his exploits and promise that the organization will always shine its searchlight on any citizen from this end who exhibits semblances of selfless service and integrity to assigned duties.
The President of Kano Leads, Barrister Aisha Dankani, mni was no less in praise for CP Gumel as she was in awe of how he professionally and craftly overcame the menace that enveloped Kano before and during the 2023 election period. She craved his indulgence to turn his attention to the gory crime of rape which was gaining momentum in Kano with its attendant social stigma to families.
Speaker after speaker from the representative of His Highness, Emir of Kano, Sarkin Dawaki Maituta to Alhaji Sa’idu Adahama, Gwani Faruk Umar who both extolled the good virtues of CP Gumel and the recognition of his professional prowess, deployed positively in bringing peace and tranquility to Kano. They both drew the attention of Governments to involve traditional institutions in community policing for a peaceful and vibrant society as Sa’ad bn Waqas was saying in his sermons.
A short lecture on the essence of security and protection of life and property in Islam was delivered by Professor Bashir Aliyu Umar, the Chief Iman of Al-Furqan Mosque, after w hich Gwani Faruk Umar read some verses of the Holy Quran and a prayer for the success of Commissioner of Police Mohammed Usaini Gumel in all his endeavours, was observed.
Earlier in his response, the celebrant expressed his gratitude to the Almighty Allah and the Board of Trustees of Kano Leads for finding him worthy of a dinner of that magnitude. He promised to continue with his effort to sanitize Kano State and neighbouring States from criminals and vowed to take the issue of rape head-on henceforth. We pray for him for Allah’s deliverance. Dignitaries from the security agencies, including the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Shika graced the occasion. His lovely wife Hajiya Hadiza was around to give him necessary support, while sister organizations like the Arewa Consultative Farum (ACF) represented by its Kano Chairman, Gwani Faruk Umar and the Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) was fully represented by its members.
Members of the Press from the Print, electronic and social media came in droves. The Master of Ceremony, Doctor Bala Muhammad of Bayero University displayed the footprint of greats like our own Ahmed Aminu, to the satisfaction of all.
There was a lot of eat and drink and the occasion was orderly and circumspect. It was really a day to remember not only for CP Gumel, but for all of us that attended the occasion.
Musa, is a retired permanent secretary in Kano state civil service.
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