By Nasir Muhammad
A week after the swearing-in of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as the 17th Kano governor he converted a seven storey ICT Park (popularly known as Gidan Ado Bayero) into mega secondary school, this was done after heavy investments by interested foreign investors. The last administration of Shekarau has developed a comprehensive ICT policy for the state, the first of its kind in the entire Nigerian Federation, for the benefit of future generation of our beloved country.
This mega building was initially built by former civilian governor Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, towards the end Kwankwaso’s first tenure, he awarded the contract of painting this building at #790 million naira, the only rationale was to get kick-back out of the award, but with no obvious purpose of what to do with the building to bring about meaningful development.
To add salt to injury, a location opposite to former ICT park, which was earmarked as a five star hotel was also converted to another secondary school. For this act alone, Kwankwaso is even going against transformational agenda of his party and president Goodluck Jonathan who has even created new Trade and Investment ministry under Olusegun Aganga, investors have been scared away from Kano, as a result of this Kwankwaso has retrogressed Kano to another ten years backward. This is similar to policy he undertook at his first tenure in 1999-2003 of sacking non- indigene science teachers in educational sector that has continue haunting students’ performance in national examinations.
Take for example, Steve Jobs, one of the foremost technologists of the recent times has been a proud for his innovations in this information age. He was successful. All developed nations that Nigeria is aspiring to be amongst by 2020, have advanced in ICT. However, in Kano, the most populous state of the Nigerian federation and commercial hub of the North, is the contrary, courtesy of Engineer (sic) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. The Informatics Institute recently launched by Kwankwaso is nothing but hoax. A visionary leader will build upon a concrete Foundation of ICT laid by his predecessor.
Successful governments were founded on sound footing which is knowledge based, with proper planning, clear vision and focus, not on utopia and abracadabra. Such governments are accountable to the electorate, transparent, and with high degree of respect for the rule of law and constitutionalism, not brigandage.
Since coming to power and even during electioneering, Kwankwaso has been making noise on his pet project, the CRC. The program was suspended by the successive regime for it was ill conceived, poorly executed and so many instances of fraud and corruption were detected. In his inaugural speech at Sani Abacha Stadium Kofar Mata, he announced the return of CRC and gave marching order for its urgent implementation. On the other hand, with connivance of some secondary school head teachers, they introduce new regime of school fees for vulnerable girl students, and threatening parents to put off their wards for early marriage if they could not afford paying. Thus, discouraged the global appeal for girl child education. Whereas, in the previous regime, girl education is free, and even with some motivational incentives.
For six months, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso could not feed a single child as he promised at the inception of his second tenure, one among his many unfulfilled pledges. This is because all his activities are not knowledge based and indeed with no reference to statistical data to inform his policy making on the feasibility or otherwise of the policy goal accomplishment. To demonstrate the case in point, there was tremendous increase of pupils enrolment from 1.2million primary school pupils in 2003 to 1.9 in 2010, an addition of 0.6 million enrolment, this figure may even be higher in 2011. For government to feed this number at a conservative rate of #50 per head, it will spend almost #8billion per annum, this amount is unrealistic for only one unit in one subsector of social development in Kano if at all cognizance of the state’s income would be taken. Balarabe Maikaba of Mass Communication Department of Bayero University Kano, best explains this government as “the government which has no plan and focus.” He went on to shelve the idea (of feeding) and regard it as utter dismay to Kano people.
The relative peace gained during Shekarau regime is being threatened by the haughtiness of Kwankwaso and his co-horts. This has even force some entrepreneur minds from other parts of the country and even abroad to divert their investments.
Interestingly, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s bone of contention, to say the least is, the former governor is unwilling to leave the state as has been the case when he lost the 2003 elections, forgetting that in 1999 when Kwankwaso won, the then APP and its candidate congratulate him, as such what he did in congratulating Shekarau in 2003 is only reciprocating. To say Shekarau lacked goodwill to congratulate Kwankwaso in 2011 is absurd. During 2007 election Shekarau contested with anointed Kwankwaso candidate Ahmed Garba Bichi, neither Kwankwaso nor Bichi congratulated Shekarau, but headed to tribunal to seek redress, the same scenario played itself in 2011. The anointed candidate of Shekarau, Salihu Sagir Takai, contested along with Kwankwaso, both Takai and Shekarau did not congratulate Kwankwaso, instead headed to tribunal as well. Then why is he worried, while the antecedent is clear?
Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has found it uncomfortable to be governing Kano and his arch-rival Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau living in a close vicinity to the state house. This fear and discomfort was revealed first, when he gave an audience to Radio France International (Hausa section) twenty days after assuming the mantle of leadership in Kano. Kwankwaso complained bitterly that the former governor is pulling crowd every Friday to the detriment of peaceful atmosphere in Kano. He suggested that instead of the former governor should relocate elsewhere in the country, a suggestion that has no place in history and as well the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is not the first time in the political history of Kano a defeated governor (in the of case Shekarau, his anointed candidate Salihu Takai) remained in the state after elections. In 1979 Alhaji Aminu Wali of NPN lost to late Abubakar Rimi of PRP, Wali with all his supporters continue to live in Kano without any molestation. In 1983 Late Rimi of NPP lost to Sabo Bakin Zuwo of PRP, with his large followership and even his vulgar language Sabo tolerated him. Also in 1992 Magaji Abdullahi of SDP with backing of Kano people lost to political sagacity of Santsi to Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, Magaji does not moved an inch away from his Sharada home base. Similarly, Magaji Abdullahi of APP contested against Rabiu Kwankwaso in 1999 and lost, up till 2003 Magaji is around and within Kano. Then what is new here that can cause fear?
Up to this present moment, Kwankwaso did not initiate any programme capable of salvaging society from moral decay, and it has been established that no meaningful progress will be made in transforming Nigeria without attitudinal changes. In many states societal re-orientation was institutionalized as part of their ethical revolution. The only visible thing he did was creating an unpopular private army known as Askarawan Kwankwasiyya – as carried in Vanguard newspaper report, – disbanding and curtailing activities of religious guides from hospitals, reformatory centers, markets and other institutions.
The A daidaita Sahu program was folded along with so many of its initiatives and pilot projects. The project has received accolades from organizations and personalities of international repute like UNDP and the Federal Government, through its former information minister Professor Dora Akunyili during the campaign of ‘rebranding Nigeria’. But the fact that Kwankwaso’s speech writer and Commissioner of Information, a student of propaganda, is not there to disseminate information but falsehood, he has been consistently challenging this outfit as a drain pipe of state resources of previous regime. Whereas, the whole of A daidaita Sahu’s release, is a little over #500m, about 1.5% of #497,251,637,301.32 total receipts of state government in eight years. His source of allegation is without any hesitation highly welcome to the public domain.
In terms of developmental and infrastructural projects of Kwankwaso, apart from demolitions of structures in Kano and far away FCT, he has nothing to show. Within 150 days he demolished peoples structures using bulldozers at Kofar Na’isa, Geida, Hajj Camp, Kwanar Dawaki small scale industrial area, farm centre, Zaria and Hospital roads. This was his culture even during his last administration. In one document authored by Muhammad Gwarzo they claimed to have electrify 300 rural towns in four years which cannot be proved as there was no project monitoring and documentation agency to ascertain at that time, as obtained now, against 30 town of previous regime of Shekarau. This is a concocted pathological lie of the unprecedented quantity, for the reason that Kwankwaso has accepted the handing over notes from Shekarau which is available online at www.shekaraufornigeria.org . Therein, 588 were mentioned as no of rural communities that benefitted with electrification projects.
Kwankwaso sacked over 4000 casual sanitary workers, after inheriting four refuse compacting vehicles, 240 skid buckets, 20 skid bucket lifters and over 50 waste disposal tippers. As a result of sacking these low earn allowance cleaners, and drastic slash of overheads, hip of refuse have taken over the busiest road networks in Kano. At his 2003 handing over speech he refers all his achievements in the environmental sector in the following words “expanded refuse disposal programme and construction of drainage in the metropolitan” Notwithstanding, for four years people of Mandawari, Kofar Na’isa, Dorayi and Rimin Kebe, were in perpetual flooding every rainy season, it was Shekarau’s rescue operation that saved the above areas.
Also, over the span of 150 days of Kwankwaso, he was unable to set machineries in motion for effective distribution and maintenance of water supply system, this inability has rendered Kano to be a center for water hawkers, coming even from neighboring countries, despite this situation, Shekarau’s has constructed two giant water treatment plants at Tamburawa and Watari, with 225million liters capacity per day at the cost of less than 13 billion naira, all in an effort to address water problem which now is in ineffective in satisfying the need of Kano people.
In the build up to 2011 elections, while Kwankwaso was campaigning for votes, he has promised rural farmers quick supply of fertilizer Dan KASCO at a highly subsidized rate. When he formed government early this year, he only supplied 10,000 metric tons of fertilizer at #1,900 exorbitant rate and unaffordable to local farmers, an increase of 90% due to the removal of the subsidy by the Shekarau administration. The unfortunate thing is, the fertilizer was given to Kwankwasiyya people at 484 ward levels across the state. Practicing farmers were sidelined. In Kano Municipal local government, leaders of Kwankwasiyya such as Alhaji Nasidi Boka and Alhaji Hasan Na Abba were sacked, for allegedly cornering the fertilizer at the detriment of other Kwankwasiyya faithfuls. The last administration of Shekarau in its eight year was able to procure 300,007.65 metric tons of fertilizer at one thousand naira only per bag. This feet has never been achieved since the creation of Kano, 40 years ago, and it resulted in rising food production and security and stabilizing the prices of commodities, thus things fall apart in the state with the new system of Wuju-wuju.
Sharia programme of the last administration was implemented with the full backing of Kano people. Kwankwaso is claiming that he is the pioneer in the introduction of SHARIA in Kano, but he was forced to do so, when he refused to ensure proper and solid implementation of Sharia, he was booted out from the government House in 2003. Contrary to the impression created by Kwankwaso and his cronies, SHARIA doesn’t negatively affect the political development of Kano state. Shari’a in particular and religion in general has been part and parcel of the way of life of Kano people for centuries and cannot be divorced from politics. Shekarau has achieved a lot in institutionalizing Sharia in Kano. This has immensely brought unprecedented peaceful co-existence in the cosmopolitan Kano and reduction of immorality and prudent management of state resources.
In a similar vein, just recently Speaker of the House of Representative and his deputy were at Onicha-uku town of Aniocha local government in Delta state to formerly declare open Micheal’s Catholic Church built by Hon. Godwin Ndudi Elumelu who is representing Aniocha/Oshimili fedral constituency. This is what Elumelu told the crowd, “the state of the art church for you are seeing here today is a promise I made to God that if he puts me through the challenges of electioneering, I will build a befitting house of worship for his name to be praised.” This is a clear indication of how people of both beliefs attached importance to their religion.
We should not expect any meaningful development of Kwankwaso second coming. He is known widely in promoting political brigandage. He is avowed leader who made it a hobby to go against laid down procedure and rule of law. For four years, he never publishes his budget which is most important aspect of governance talk less of its implementation. He is out to destroy all previous achievements by earlier regimes.
Nasir Muhammad writes from
Rijiya Hudu in Kano, and he can be reached
Thru: nasarunbel @yahoo.com