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Why I left APC – Kofa

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The Director General of Bola Tinubu’s campaign organisation Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa has finally announced his defection to New Nigeria People Party.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kofa announced his formal defection to New Nigeria People Party NNPP on Wednesday on his verified Facebook page.

Below is the full statement

In the past nine years, I devoted my material, intellectual and political resources to propel the cause of the All Progressives Congress. As Chairman of the House Committee on Finance in the last quarter of 2013, when the alliances that would become the APC materialized, I took a huge risk to join other compatriots in leading 60 members of the House of Representatives from the People’s Democratic Party to the APC. I provided the seed money for logistics and venue for our meetings, and this aided our internal revolt to weaken the then ruling party and a government fiercely threatened by the prospects of the new party we set out to market to the good people of Nigeria a benign alternative. I became a subject of intense threats and personality attacks from a vindictive government that deployed the resources of the state to hound me as a high-ranking committee Chairman from the fast-growing party.

In 2015, I emerged as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and, in line with the cardinal principles of the new APC government, I launched an ambitious reform of the appropriation process. While the APC supported and encouraged me at the initial stage, that support fizzled out when I needed it the most. I lost two years of my term in suspension and, by the time I returned to the House, the presiding officers were already at ‘war’ with the party and the executive arm of government. The party and government needed help again.

The APC government needed a strong support base and platform to withstand the gathering aggression from the National Assembly. That threat inspired the formation of the Pro-Buhari Parliamentary Support Group to protect the interests of the party in the legislature. While the activities of the group took off in the Senate and led by the current APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, it could not in the House. When I returned to the House in 2018, I convened and led the Parliamentary Support Group amidst several caveats to desist from doing so and threats of suspension again. I stood my ground and engineered a working relationship with our counterparts at the Senate to build an infrangible support base in NASS for the APC-led government ahead of the 2019 general elections.

When I won an election for the third term to the House in 2019, I felt it was time to take on a new responsibility, and I intended to run for the position of the Speaker or the Deputy. The party prevailed on me to shelve my ambition in the interest of zoning. I did and accepted to lead the campaign of the current Speaker. We worked day and night and defied crude antagonism and sabotage to guarantee APC’s chances of securing the Speakership position. In the end, we all paid our dues to a party that isn’t only refusing to acknowledge the sacrifices of its frontline foot-soldiers, but quick to throw them under the bus.

Before I was appointed Executive Director at Federal Housing Authority, I had lost my seat through a questionable court judgement, especially in the subsequent by-election where the whole world witnessed the interferences that cost me the seat with some leaders of the APC involved. Though my new role was an appointment much lower than my previous positions, I accepted it in a good faith, believing it’s another avenue to serve my fatherland. I found myself inundated by too many conflicting reforms and policies at the FHA, I began to lose appetite for the job. In the whole of these, the APC left me in the wilderness.

In my twenty-three years of postgraduate experience, the last seven years were my most unremarkable, so much that my long-established career almost reached a point of utter implosion. The sixteen years before then were driven by prosperity and accelerated growth for which I’m grateful to the Almighty Allah and the amazing people in my circle. In those pleasant years, I was at peace with myself and my career. I was focused and felt appreciated. I enjoyed quality mentorship, love, and support from some of the nation’s great minds who are still active in our politics. They can attest to my character, loyalty, selflessness, and commitment to whichever cause I took part in. It must be underlined, though, that I was financially stable before joining politics and have always been a financial contributor to all the political groups and activities I have been involved.

The horrifying disappointments of my past seven years revolved around this character who’s determined to destroy anybody that activates his glaring inferiority complex. His sadistic instincts make him quite a frightening ally, so much that he feels the need to treat his allies as the marginalized black Africans in apartheid-era South Africans to feel a sense of superiority and misguided advantage. I dedicated everything to the political interests of this man, but he kept asking for more. This circus became too embarrassing that I had to take a step back for soul-searching to redeem myself. There’s a difference between service for the common good and a quest to be worshipped by one’s allies. We must never confuse loyalty with slavery.

I have a family, state, and country to live for, and I cannot give my life to him. This is one impossible sacrifice. But this man yearned for that and put me through a mentally draining phase in my life that I had to step aside to reflect on my political choices. It’s unsurprising that all his political principals and lieutenants are deserting him, and he risks becoming an island at the end of his stewardship. When he tried to lure me back a few days ago in a lengthy phone conversation, I asked him a question to stir up deep introspection on his demoralizing interpersonal relations. I asked if, as a father, he would want others to treat his children in the fashion he treats us his political allies and lieutenants. At the appropriate time, I intend to discuss the viciousness of this man in detail.

Indeed, I love the APC, and I fought for it to the best of my capability. I’m going to miss the party, no doubt, but my survival is vital at this point in my political life. I have built lasting friendships in the party, some of whom are leaders I will hold dearly for the rest of my life, including President Muhammadu Buhari to whom I’ve enjoyed a rare privilege of access whenever I requested to meet him. I shall remain his son even after 2023.  I thank everyone for their support and kindness.

However, my exit from the APC means I’ve ceased to be involved in the presidential campaign of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The fact is, no individual can be a significant minus in Asiwaju’s campaign. The campaign is armor-built and designed to excel even without me. Based on the passion and dedication of the team invested in his aspiration, not even Asiwaju can stop his campaign let alone an Abdulmumin Jibrin. I want to appeal to the public to avoid overestimating my relevance to the team and stop the rumour and creating all sort of theories around this matter.  I have my value but it will not take away anything from the menu I saw on the BAT campaign table. For the avoidance of doubt, let me clarify that I have no problem whatsoever with Asiwaju. We have never for once had issues. My problems were local and all politics are local. Asiwaju took a sincere interest in me and gave me the free hands to participate in his project, and my exit from the party doesn’t erase my respect for him and belief in his capacity and vision to redeem the fortunes of Nigeria.

But there has to be a Jibrin first before a Jibrin works for anyone. I have to take the needed measure to ensure that I survive an onslaught by a vengeful man who abuses the privileges of his distinguished office to frustrate my career and the career of many others.  Obsessed with my political prospects even away from home, he came for my role in Asiwaju’s campaign and pressed hard to replace me. Asiwaju did his best to intervene to prevent my exit from the party. Not because it would affect his campaign in any way but for the genuine likeness he has for me. Unfortunately, wherever this man after my career function, I feel a sense of obligation to flee for my political safety. It’s one toxicity I’m no longer prepared to endure, and I do want to use this opportunity to apologize to the entire BAT family across the country for whatever embarrassment or inconvenience my sudden exit from the APC must’ve caused. I have already met Asiwaju to tender my apology, and he will continue to be a father to me and his house, my home.

Let me also use this opportunity to inform the public that I have joined the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) under the leadership of Engr Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to continue the pursuit of peace and progress in serving our dear Kano state and the entire nation. This is another avenue to serve the people and participate in delivering quality governance and development across the nation, and I’m most grateful for the warm reception and exciting prospects ahead.

Thank you

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How KaLMA boost learning outcomes in Kano state

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Students in classroom

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Kano Maths and Literacy Accelerator (KaLMA) has boosted learning outcomes in 181 schools across Wudil and Dawakin Tofa local government areas.

KANO FOCUS reports that between January and August 2021, when in-person teaching resumed, the number of primary school children with foundational skills in Hausa and maths grew by 18 per cent, and in English by 11 per cent.

The programme’s impact on lower-level skills was even more significant, rising by 37 per cent in Hausa, 36 per cent in maths, and 39 per cent in English.

Students in classroom

The programme has already reached over 37,000 children and 1,200 teachers. Plans are now in place to extend its impact to 450 schools and 3,000 more teachers in five other government areas of Kano.

Some of the parents said they are impressed with the way they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in the communities.’

They revealed that “Children were not reading in our schools, but they are doing so now in schools with the coming of KaLMA.”

Teacher in classroom

KaLMA is supporting children in Kano state, to build the foundational and language skills they need to succeed.

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, KaLMA is a partnership between the British Council, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, the Ministry of Education, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa.

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How gender stereotyping hampers girl child education in Jemagu town

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The trauma of not being able to get husbands after higher education has continued to discourage many parents in Jemagu from sending their girls to school, most especially as their boys hardly go beyond secondary school.

KANO FOCUS reports that in Jemagu town Warawa Local Government Area of Kano State, girls hardly go beyond secondary school because they would find it very difficult to marry as their men don’t usually go for those who go beyond that level.

Men in Jemagu believe that girls who go beyond secondary school would have experienced some social life that would make them very difficult to control. Residents said their children’s education, especially the girls, began and ended in Jemagu primary and secondary schools.

Babangida Adamu is among the men in Jemagu who believe that it is not proper to marry a girl who has gone beyond secondary school. He added that girls who acquire higher education would not like to marry men who have no formal education.

Babangida Adamu

“The truth is that any woman who acquired higher education would not like to marry a man with lower education. I will also not marry a girl who has university degree because I do not have a degree. This is why most men will not like to marry girls with higher education,” Adamu said.

A 25-year-old Khadija Muhammad Jemagu, who recently obtained a diploma in Marketing from the Kano State Polytechnic but does not have government job or husband, said she had resorted to helping a non-governmental organisation to promote girl-child education in her community. She believes there is the need to intensify awareness among parents on the importance of girl-child education.

According to Khadija, many people have told her that since she has chosen western education, it would be difficult for any man in her village to come close to her because the men believe that she is wiser than any man that may be willing to marry her since most of them do not have more than secondary education.

“Even before I finished my diploma, many people would go about saying that since my father had chosen to send us to school, they would see who would come and marry us. And for several years I have been living like this because in this our village, no man has ever come to me with marriage proposal, simply because I have a diploma,” she said.

Jemagu primary school

But despite this belief in Jemagu, some girls like Hussaina Muhammad are still trying to obtain a certificate on education, but there is no man within the community willing to marry her at the moment. She, however, insists that her educational ambition is a priority.

But Hussaina believes she can still get a husband within or outside her community provided she becomes well educated. She vowed that insult and discrimination from men within her village would not discourage her ambition.

“After secondary school, I started my National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme here in Warawa, but you know the belief our people. They see us as prostitutes; therefore, no one will come to offer his hand in marriage to us. But I will not be discouraged because I believe that whenever it is time for me to marry, God will definitely bring a husband for me,” she said.

Zainab Makera was able to get married after secondary school. She wants to proceed but is faced with a difficult choice – to further her education or stay with her husband. She said she had been trying to convince her husband to allow her continue but she was told that if she really wanted to continue with her education, she had to get divorced.

Zainab Makera

Meanwhile, few women who were able to convince their husbands to allow them proceed beyond secondary school “are constantly being rejected by community members,” said Hussaina.

According to education authorities in Warawa Local Government, this belief is not the only problem affecting girl-child education in Jemagu.

Lack of commitment by parents, especially mothers, may have worsened the situation over the years.

“There are several reasons why girls don’t go to school frequently; few of them have to do with the attitude of their parents, especially women who often sent their female children for hawking and other domestic works that stop them from attending classes,” said Munnir Muhammad, an education secretary in Warawa.

On the issue of girls not being able to get husbands after attending higher institution at Jemagu, Munnir believes that the problem is not only in Jemagu or Warawa Local Government.

“It is a general societal problem in northern Nigeria, where men, especially those with formal education usually reject women with higher education. Additionally, the government is working with parents-teachers associations, mothers associations and other relevant stakeholders to improve girl-child education in Warawa Local Government.”

Jemagu town, Warawa local government area

Meanwhile, residents said apart from poverty among the local community, lack of awareness by government authorities and poor education infrastructure, the problem of water supply in Jemagu village is forcing many children, especially girls, to skip school because they have to travel long distance to fetch water for the house. But government authorities assured that the problem of water supply in this village would soon be a thing of the past.

While recognising the threat of rejecting girls beyond secondary school as a major problem affecting girl-child education in the area, the caretaker chairman of Warawa Local Government, Lamido Sanusi, acknowledged that the problem of water is another major issue at Jemagu village. He said their ambition was to ensure that every girl-child is educated from primary school to university level without any form of discrimination across all villages and towns of Warawa Local Government.

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Hajj 2024: Kano asks NAHCON to reverse BTA issuance via card

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Director General of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Lamin Rabi’u Danbappa has described as unjustified, the decision of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to pay part of the Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, for this year’s Hajj via payment card.

KANO FOCUS reports that the DG made the call at a meeting to discuss the issue pertaining the BTA at he board’s headquarters on Thursday.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had issues a directive to state pilgrims boards pilgrims to pay $200 BTA in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible by the pilgrims via card in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement by the board’s spokesman, Suleman Abdullahi Dederi, Danbappa pointed out that “many pilgrims come from rural areas and may not be familiar with using cards to access their funds in Saudi Arabia.”

Danbappa therefore called on the NAHCON to reconsider this decision, noting that “it imposes additional hardships on the pilgrims, who are already facing challenges due to the high Hajj fare this year.

“The Director General emphasized that requiring pilgrims to use cards in Saudi Arabia could lead to numerous problems during the Hajj exercises.

“He stressed that the BTA is intended to assist pilgrims and should not be a cause of confusion or difficulty,” the statement reads in part.

He urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the BTA is provided in a manner that genuinely assists the pilgrims, without complicating their experience.

The statement added that the Chairman Board of Directors of the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan, led the meeting to discuss the issue pertaining to the BTA.

Lawan stated that the board had recently received a directive from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria regarding the BTA process.

According to the directive, pilgrims will receive only $200 in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible via card in Saudi Arabia.

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