SOUTHERN KADUNA PEOPLES’ UNION
The Kafanchan Campus of the Kaduna State University (KASU) was closed on the 19th of December, 2016 and since then it has remained closed and the students of that campus left to idle away unnecessarily. While they are made redundant, their colleagues in the Kaduna Campus of the same institution have been hitherto attending their classes and by implication attaining a comparative advantage.
SOKAPU has consistently called for the reopening of the Kafanchan campus but Governor Nasir El-rufai has deliberately refused to heed to our call or those of other well-meaning Nigerians. The shallow and worn-out excuse being used is still ‘insecurity’ even though abuse of executive powers now weighs in stronger, and it’s glaring that keeping the campus closed confers a fake aura of persistent insecurity in Southern Kaduna and justifies Gov El-rufai’s pastime of labelling the Southern Kaduna victims as the aggressors.
In pursuit of that, not minding the collateral damage, which in this case is clearly intended, the Governor has ensured that young and impressionable Nigerian students studying on the Kafanchan campus of KASU waste away. This is surprising because with Nigeria’s literacy rate hovering at just above 59.6 percent according to UNESCO’s 2015 estimates, the governor doesn’t need anybody to remind him of the clear and present danger of such excercise.
However, in an ironic twist, the Governor, in search of more education himself, has now enrolled at the University – Merit in the Netherlands as a part-time PhD student. Impressive by any standards! The fact that the Governor is still pursuing more educational laurels despite his age coupled with those he has, and deliberately denying young Nigerians their inalienable rights of pursuing their academic improvement perfectly evokes the Orwellian impression of inequality in an animal farm.
Is it not an irony that the Director of UNU-Merit and the Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Prof Bart Verspagen will be doing all within his power to ensure a conducive environment for our governor to carry out his research for his studies, while the same person is abusing his executive powers to deny his people same? We of the Southern Kaduna stock are sure that the Governor, as a student of governance, knows that the GDP of a country could also be affected by its literacy level through workplace productivity and unemployment.
Why then should the Kafanchan Campus of KASU be still under lock and key under the excuse of insecurity when other Schools in Kafanchan are all opened? the College of Nursing is open, the Kafanchan campus of the College of Education Gidan Waya is in session, all primary and secondary schools are open and in session. Even the Kafanchan zonal office of the Ministry of Education is open and running normal hours. All markets in Kafanchan, including local markets in the suburb, now function regularly.
Then what exactly is the real reason behind the continued closure of the campus? We ask this with all seriousness because even the College of Education Gidan Waya that is still closed was deliberately not secured at the peak of all the killings at that axis which led to students exiting the school.
When the Senator Kabir Gaiya led ad-hoc committee on the Southern Kaduna killings met with the governor on 31 January 2017, he told them that the state has spent about 4bn on security. Could the continued closure be an attempt at justifying the expenditure?
If not, then the continued closure is either a direct indictment on the hundreds of military, police and other security personnel currently in Southern Kaduna or an indictment of the Governor’s poor and biased handling of the constant attacks on our people.
We wish to alert the world that since December 2016 young men and traditional rulers from Southern Kaduna have been held in detention centres on the instructions of the Kaduna State Government, while armed herdsmen are allowed to walk free. Alhaji Haruna Usman, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), on Monday, March 20, 2017 accused the Nigeria Army of shooting dead 17 Fulani herdsmen and burning down over 47 fulani houses in Southern Kaduna, a statement capable of inciting violence and mayhem. The military through their spokesman denied the false accusations, and the Kaduna State government went mute. Yet Audu Maikori was detained twice and is being tried now by the same government for what the they referred to as cyber crime for posting pictures of killings on the internet. We will want to know if Southern Kaduna indigenes are treated under a different law.
The Governor, while not only satisfied with looking the other way while Southern Kaduna people are being killed, strangulating our economic development through a punitive curfew that has been on since December 2016, has now shown clearly that he is also working so hard to cripple us educationally that no one is in doubt of his real intention.
On the other hand, if there is no deliberate agenda to cripple Southern Kaduna on all fronts, then the Kafanchan campus of KASU should be opened without delay and the students given the opportunity to go back to their classes. This is our minimum demand.
Signed: Mr Yakubu Kuzamani
National Public Relation Officer