Few days after he was given a yellow card by the Kaduna Restoration Group, students in the higher institutions located in the Southern part of Kaduna State have open a register for their counterparts home and abroad to sign a No Confidence Vote against the state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.
A statement signed by the National President, Southern Kaduna Youth and Student’s Forum (SKYSFOM) Jesse Galadima said an online portal has been open for students in the cities and abroad to filled while a book will be passed by officials for students residing in the rural areas to sign.
“We hereby declare the opening of a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE Register on Governor El-Rufai against his punitive, vindictive and genocidal education policy in Southern Kaduna.”
“We hereby call on all our members within Nigeria and the Diaspora to massively append their signatures in passing the VOTES,” the statement said.
On the registration centres, the statement advised members to visit the SKYSFOM social media (Facebook) platforms and vote on the voting portal it has developed.
According to the group, “Voting shall take a week from today. We call on members to massively respond within this stipulated time.”
“For our members in the rural areas who may not have access to internet services, we have opened various manual voting centres in designated locations in LGAs of Southern Kaduna as will be passed on to you by your SKYSFOM representatives, to avoid state-sponsored sabotage,” the statement added.
The students said the vote reaches a threshold, it shall use the result to make a case within the Nigeria Human Rights bodies and International Rights Agencies.
“We shall push for justice and for restitution within and after the government of Nasir el-Rufai. The general public will recall that after armed policemen and DSS operatives botched our press conference of the Southern Kaduna Youth and Students Forum (SKYSFOM) in Kaduna on 12th June 2017, which was aimed at drawing the attention of the state government towards reopening the College of Education (COE) Gidan Way; College of Nursing Kafanchan and the Kaduna State University (KASU), Kafanchan Campus, we gave a three weeks ultimatum to the state government to reopen the schools or face the actions of students.”
“SKYSFOM is still maintaining her position on the reopening of the Tertiary Institutions in the Southern part of Kaduna State, and the three weeks ultimatum given to the Kaduna State government by the national body of the SKYSFOM on this matter elapsed at 12:00 midnight Friday 30th June, 2017.”
“Contrary to the recent press outing by the Kaduna State Government on this issue, that the Government of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai does not have a plan to slow down and kill education in the Southern part of Kaduna state, but that rather, the state government is providing a robust plan to uplift standard of education in all parts of Kaduna state, we dare to say that this claim cannot be uniformly true. If not, why are the activities of those institutions in the northern part of the state ongoing?
“Gentlemen of the Press, I wish to inform you that ABU Zaria is running some Degree and Diploma Courses for COE, Gidan Waya at its Kafanchan Campus. These courses are relatively elitist and cater for mostly the working class. The Kafanchan campus is an integral part of the CEO, Gidan Waya. To show the double standard of the security claims to the closure of other tertiary schools in Southern Kaduna, the Kafanchan campus has never been closed. Not even in the heat of the violence. Academic activities have and are still going on.”
“Prof. Andrew Nok, Kaduna State Commissioner of Education, who addressed the Press on this issue, insisted that the closure of our schools is over security concerns. This action of the government, in our opinion, is a blackmail to the people of Southern Kaduna as it is portraying to the world that Southern Kaduna is a war zone, contrary to the peace we are now enjoying.”
“In response to the aforementioned press conference which took place on Thursday 29th June, 2017 through the Commissioners of Education and Health alongside the spokesperson to the Kaduna state government, in which government affirmed its desire not to reopen the schools based on the claim of working on security report and by extension, suggesting that Southern Kaduna is not safe for schools to re-open. We find their response to be illogical, ridiculous and laughable. This has motivated us to ask some salient questions: 1. Why has the Federal School of Statistics Manchock as well as the degree and diploma programs affiliated to ABU Zaria run at the Kafanchan Campus of CEO, Gidan Waya, running smoothly without any challenge?
“2. Which one poses more security risk between allowing primary and secondary schools in the area to be opened since January or the tertiary institution with mature personalities?
“3.How have workers in various government agencies working in the areas and also market activities in the same areas, been going on smoothly since January without any security challenge affecting them? To show the hypocrisy of the state government over the reasons for the closure of the schools in Southern Kaduna, the state is planning a Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST). Ironically, while the Governor has refused to have our schools opened, he has gone ahead to invite people to the Kaduna book festival. If the schools those he invited had been closed too, where would the governor have seen them to invite to his books festival? He is trying to promote what he is denying others. Consequently, we call on all the writers, poets and academicians that have been invited to boycott it and tell the governor to reopen our schools.”
According to the statement signed by Jesse Galadima, June 30th, 2017, marked the end of the 3 weeks ultimatum given to the state government to re-open the institutions adding that SKYSFOM has noticed the politics the government is trying to play with education in Kaduna state, especially in the southern zone.
“Meanwhile, we call on our members from the affected institutions never to get frustrated by the travails meted on us by this anti-education administration of governor Nasir El-Rufai and we must display every sense of civility in achieving our victory. Dear respectable members of the press, we thank you for your great services to the people of Kaduna state and Nigeria,” the statement added.