Interestingly, Hon. Umar Haruna Doguwa is a popular name in Kano, but what really makes him popular is obviously from the negative side. The saying that those who live in glass house do not throw stones, comes very instructive to the likes of Umar Haruna Doguwa, former Commissioner of Higher Education and former chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
This is so, taking into cognisance the barrage of scandals and reputation problems that have characterized his activities, while holding those positions.
Recall that in 2012, less than a year he was appointed Commissioner of Higher Education by his godfather and benefactor, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, the then Executive Secretary, Nigeria University Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie indicted Kano state government for sending 500 students to sub-standard universities in Ukraine. That was the beginning of Kwankwaso’s foreign scholarship scam through which millions of dollars were siphoned from Kano state treasury into private pockets.
Many other frauds associated with the foreign scholarship scheme Umar coordinated are still fresh in the memory of the good people of Kano state.
As the chairman of our great party, the APC, Umar’s tenure remains the most unpopular, just as it was controversial than any other in the history of APC in the state. Having been singlehandedly recruited and imposed on the party by Kwankwaso, Umar, a man without his own mind, was used to manipulate and destroy the party, a situation that got APC in Kano enmeshed in dirty infighting and political backlash, which later consumed him as he was disgracefully sacked by the party’s National Leadership when it became very obvious that his continued stay as APC chairman will destroy the reputation and fortunes of our great party.
When I observed the emptiness in Umar’s article entitled “Kano COVID-19: Ganduje’s N15bn request and the question of reputation management,” published in a local online news platform, I had decided to overlook it and concentrate on important issues such as the ongoing fight against COVID-19 which is not peculiar to Kano, but a global problem.
On a second thought, I decided to reply, knowing fully well where he is coming from. Before Kano recorded the index case of COVID-19, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje-led administration had put in place a blue print on how to tackle the pandemic, which was designed as Preventive, Curative and Palliative measures.
Those who have followed our activities in COVID-19 management, without bias, will attest to the fact that we are religiously following the blue print which by the grace of God, has continued to yield positive results.
Even before the outbreak of the virus in Kano, the state government engaged in aggressive sensitization programmes, enlightening our people on the dangers of the deadly virus and how to observe the protocols.
Our border entry points were shutdown, human and vehicular movement in and outside Kano were put under firm control. There were accolades by discernable Nigerians on how Kano managed the infiltration of COVID-19 into the state, despite being a commercial hub that serves not only Nigeria, but sub-Saharan Africa.
Before the pandemic eventually found its way into our dear state, we had a number of facilities on ground, including Isolation Centres and enough manpower to contain it. There were also early calls to good spirited individuals and corporate organizations to make donations in cash and kind since government alone, all over the world can not fight the novel Corona Virus.
Governor Ganduje who has from the onset, ensured transparency and prudence in management of affairs that involves public fund constituted a Fund-Raisng Committee, devoid of political and religious affiliations. While the Vice Chancellor of Bayero University (BUK) serves as the chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, accomplished business mogul, serves as the co-chairman.
The Committee since its inauguration has continued to give update of donations made in both cash and kind through the mass media. By the grace of God patriotic Nigerians, good spirited individuals and corporate organizations have continued to respond to the appeals of the Committee and whatever donations made have been put into good use.
On the other hand, the Kano COVID-19 Task Force led by His Excellency, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the Deputy Governor of our dear state, has been up and doing, working in collaboration with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to ensure that the dreaded pandemic is roundly defeated in Kano. There are many other sub-committees, including professionals and medical personnel who volunteered to put in their time and human resources so as to stop COVID-19 from killing our people.
These are the real heroes of our great state—-those who push politics and personal interest aside and form a common front to defeat the novel Corona Virus, not weak minds like Umar who would rather let himself to be used by a desperate political cabal to destroy the fortunes of Kano and the good people of Kano state.
It is on record that Governor Ganduje has never interferred in the activities of any of the Committees or Task Force on COVID-19 in the state. What he does is to receive briefs and as well, participate in the Press Briefings which is expected of him as the Governor and Chief Executive Officer of state.
The unfounded rumour and allegation that Dr. Amina Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is being used to control the activities of the Kano COVID-19 Task Force is not only laughable, but unfortunate. The fact that she is selflessly contributing her own quota as a Medical Doctor and prominent daughter of the state in fighting the novel pandemic can only be misconstrued by fickle minds like Umar.
Indeed, if one must say the truth, Kano as a mega city, considering the population size and the enormous challenge it is facing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic deserves more than N15 billion from Federal Government. The fund is not coming into Governor Ganduje’s personal purse. It is for the good of the entire people of Kano state, including Umar Doguwa, his family, his godfathers, party members, friends and well wishers. COVID-19 does not belong to any political party. The virus is no respecter of politicians. It is, indeed, too bad and unfortunate that we play politics with it.
So, I implore Umar Doguwa and his co-travellers to have a rethink and view this deadly COVID-19 pandemic as a common enemy. Let us come together and defeat it.
Kabiru, a politician and staunch member of APC wrote in from Fagge Quarters, Kano