Yellow card for el-Rufa’i, by Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed

The good people of Kaduna State are very much frustrated over glaring failure to actualize their hopes and wishes. An atmosphere of disappointment has currently permeated the state invoking an eerie feeling of letdown. It is that of sadness and frustration because things are not happening according to peoples’ expectations or satisfactorily because their aspirations have been hopelessly fritted away.

They contended that Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i, the governor they had enthusiastically elected was a colossal disappointment, having earlier fervently prayed that he would eventually be a veritable source of their success. He had previously exhibited characteristics that suggested his undisguised capabilities to help actualize their dream and bring relief to their varied predicaments, but alas, he had woefully disappointed them, leaving then in anguish and untold miseries. He had regrettably failed to deliver the dividends of democracy and was in no position to alleviate the sufferings of his people through quick intervention to improve their welfare,

There is a deep seated belief that Governor Nasir and his government had turned out to be dormant and inactive several months after take-off, sliding into unbelievable state of comatose to the extent of inability to perform their basic obligations to the people they had callously forsaken. That was why an ideological coalition of different stakeholders in Kaduna State, Kaduna Restoration Group, considered it imperative to caution Malam Nasiru in a lenghty, but bitter and acerbic correspondence which they titled ‘The Growing Trend of Civilian Dictatorship in Kaduna State.’

It is true that under the loose and brisk watch of Governor el-Rufa’i, the state he chaperons was fast sliding into political abyss which portends great danger to the entire people of the state whose livelihood and welfare are steadily being endangered. There have been so many incidences of autocratic actions almost on daily basis perpetrated by the governor or the irrepressible agents of his government. The Group’s grouse was that the good people of Kaduna State have painfully realized that Nasiru’s government had been advertising its democratic credentials and celebrating its achievements overtly, but covertly what was obviously realistic was that the so-called achievements were fictitious and non-existent. It soon dawned on the Kaduna State populace that the government was extensively populated with core loyalists of the governor with materialistic and mercantilist disposition, imported into the state to massage his ego and to displace qualified state indigenes that can do the job better.

Sadly, Nasiru’s government has pathetically failed to unveil any agenda concerned with practical results than with theories and principles. From its badly managed school feeding programme which gulped a whopping ten billion dollars in just eight months, according to the governor’s implausible and incredible estimates, to the theatrical commissioning of the so-called Zaria Treatment Plant, it could be seen that Nasir el-Rufa’i is a big joker who believes in reaping where he did not sow.

The school feeding programme was a classical example of how not to undertake a public-oriented exercise that will uplift expectations but only to dash them heartlessly. Similarly, phase one of the three-phase Zaria Water Treatment Plant was successfully completed by the PDP administration, and its Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero had flagged off the commencement of the second phase and provided enough materials for its execution. Governor el-Rufa’i had only succeeded in hoodwinking the people of Zaria by replicating the commissioning ceremony in May this year. What had actually belied his intention was the fact that till today no drop of water had reached any home after the deceptive commissioning jamboree. That had really shown that no further action was carried out by his government on the water plant from where previous administration had left it.

In fact stories of Governor Nasiru’s escapades are akin to brash adventures, showing recklessness and utter disregard for the rule of law. The mindless demolition exercises carried out in Zaria and Kaduna of the houses of hapless and unfortunate citizens left many pauperized and in reprehensible destitution. Most of the victims were among the hordes that tenaciously participated in the campaigns and electoral processes that installed Nasir as a governor without strenuous effort. What an indifferent breach of trust?

Needless to say, Governor Nasir’s anti peoples’ policies are legion. They range from contract scams which violated and excluded financial rules and regulations from their inception to unilateral awards, the bastardization of Civil and unified Local Government services and the employment of discredited consultants whose terms of engagement are not consistent with the bureaucratic norms and their services are not beneficial to the people of the state. These so-called consultants are not familiar with the state and are totally ignorant about the aspirations of its people. What they are only known for is their insatiable appetite for money which they stockpile any how without regard to due process. Their main function is to disallow the locals participate freely in economic activities while their main role is to arrange capital flight or helping to move resources out of the state which they bleed dry.

Apart from the controversial sacking of traditional rulers which has been the last straw threatening to break the back of Nasir’s camel, his needless and expensive globe-trotting tendency is exerting unnecessary expenses to the public purse which could conveniently be used to uplift the status of the miserable people of Kaduna State. Now, with the yellow card given him by the Kaduna Restoration Group everybody is saying that serves him right.

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