2019: el-Rufai’s ‘Almost Done Deal’ Can’t Be Assured, BY SIMON REEF MUSA

A child who is afraid of the burial ground is forced to whistle away his fear when passing through the graveyard. Those whose performance in office has been dismally disappointing are always quick to cover the ground with their words (apologies to Chinua Achebe), but when the time comes to prove their words, they simply run away.

A pregnant woman needs no support from anyone to convince the public that she is expecting a child. I was amused when yesterday, Monday November 26, 2018, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State declared that “in spite of all the risks we have taken and all the people we are supposed to have upset, the election on March 2, 2019, as far as Kaduna state is concern, is almost a done deal.”

How can a governor whose appalling performance profile lay claim to having his re-election “almost a done deal”? Yes, I am aware that politicians are sometimes incurable optimists, but the governor’s claim to victory in 2019 is an exercise in futility. Looking at what the Kaduna APC Government has achieved, victory for the party at the 2019 polls can only be achieved outside the ballot box.  el-Rufai is an expert at waging mind wars. He knows the enormous power of defeating the resolve of man long before the real battle. Falsehood only becomes the truth when it is constantly regurgitated into the subconscious realm without any contrary claim. With an awesome propaganda machine that is well oiled through engagement of professionals schooled in dialectics of publicist laundering for effective delivery, the Quantity Surveyor from Zaria is working towards conquering his opponents mentally even before the campaign starts.

Speaking as a special guest at the 2018 National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) conference, el-Rufai held his audience captive when he declared: “Being re-elected is not important. What is important is doing the right thing and posterity will judge us. From all indications, from everything I have seen, because we call regularly, we are very scientific, we don’t guess in the dark.”

Like many others, I have find it incomprehensible to understand upon what basis el-Rufai anchored his boast that his re-election is “almost a done deal.” By far, considering the track record of the administration, the state has never had it so bad in all ramifications. Despite the so-called reforms in health, education and others, cascading poverty has been the lots of our people. Three and half years of the el-Rufai’s footprints in the state have unleashed colossal failure of unimaginable proportion. One needs not to go far to be convinced that come 2019, anyone but el-Rufai is the only option left for us.

The APC Government in Kaduna State is a mannequin that masquerades as possessing the capacity for advancing human development. It’s tragic that nearly six months to the expiration of his tenure, the APC IN Kaduna State is set to commence a systematic campaign aimed at intimidating opponents and preparing the ground towards the emasculation of the popular will of the people. I am sure that the APC Government in Kaduna may be looking elsewhere for political victory in 2019 outside the ballot box. Those close to what has been happening in the state would readily realise that electorates are patiently waiting to do away with a government that has not only enthroned cronyism but also denigrated and impoverished them.

Okay, let’s agree that Kaduna State occupies the first position in the ease of doing business. In what way has that helped in bringing development to the state? Has the State witnessed the resuscitation of textile firms as promised by el-Rufai in 2015?  The Kaduna State Government has sacked no fewer than 36,000 civil servants, including 25, 000 primary school teachers. Again, no fewer than 4,000 monarchs have been denied their royal seats on the pretext that they were surrogates to previous politicians? Has that improved the position of the state financially? What is the position of the state on WAEC performance four years ago? Has the state improved educationally? The so-called recruitment of 25,000 teachers is only seen on pages of newspaper, as some of the schools are in acute shortage of staff. Under el-Rufai, tertiary institutions in a particular zone were closed down for a whole academic year, while secondary and primary schools in the same zone continued their academic activities uninterrupted. The promise to end kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state is still a promise, with many hundreds of lives snuffed out in Birnin Gwari, Kasuwan Magani and Southern Kaduna communities. Despite propaganda that the APC Government is building an El-dorado, Kaduna citizens and residents feel the pangs of despair and now wear mournful looks to lament flourishing tyranny in democratic clothing.

What has the recruitment of 75 lawyers by the state got to do with boosting efficiency in enhancing delivery of justice? For a state that is gradually gaining despicable notoriety in the disobedience of court orders, the APC Government in Kaduna is a political debauchery that must find its tomb on March 2, 2019. That is the only way to retrieve our state from a government that does not give a damn to what the people think of it.

I am unfazed by the claim by Governor el-Rufai that his re-election is “almost a done deal.” Government are not formed by a ‘deal’. Having abandoned the people who gave him power, el-Rufai has become a political loathing that must be replaced. Defeating an incumbent government is never an easy task; it requires political mobilisation to form a solid munition against unwanted occupants of power. Like many of our citizens and residents, I am convinced that el-Rufai has lost the capacity to govern Kaduna State, as he cannot be trusted to be just and fair to all. He has exploited our fault lines and is working assiduously to awaken primitive sentiments that have remained in our past. Less than a week to the formal commencement for the governorship campaigns, we must be ready to confront the falsehood of this government with facts.  As the APC is about to walk pass through political mausoleum; let us know that the death of the party is irrevocable. What is in doubt is the cost for its burial rites. Let us be unperturbed by the deployment of mind games by the governor to win an initial whistling of his re-election as “almost a done deal”. We all must be ready to resist legally any form of elongation of the APC Government beyond May 29, 2019 by ensuring that all votes count. Politicians who are now engaged in cutting sideline deals for pecuniary interest must be told that the re-election of el-Rufai amounts to a descent into the abyss of frightening uncertainties.  The coming weeks may be difficult and wearisome, but let us not be unmindful that unless we are ready to die for something, we are not ready to live for anything. If regime change successfully took place in 2015, we may as well work in unison to ensure that the “almost done deal” for el-Rufai’s re-election does not come to pass.

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