Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that Kaduna state government would be increasing salaries of teachers in order to improve quality of education in the state.
El-Rufai stated that the increment would help restore integrity of teachers in the state. He added that teachers in rural areas would be paid higher than their counterparts in urban areas.
“Our state government has decided that urban teachers will be paid twenty seven and half percent higher than average civil servants, while rural teachers will be paid thirty two and half percent higher to attract the best.”
Lamenting the present state of education and teaching quality in the Northern part of the country, the governor said that he is poised to ensure that education in the region meets international standard.
He was, however, happy that Kaduna is taking the lead in ranking among states in the northern part of Nigeria in the area of education.
He said, “In education, Kaduna is number 1 in Northern Nigeria and number 12 in Nigeria. We are not satisfied as we are determined to be one of the top three in the whole of Nigeria.”
El-Rufai also disclosed that the state would be conducting competency tests for teachers in secondary school.
He maintained that this would help ensure that only the best hands are employed into the teaching sector of the state.
“We are determined to ensure that our teachers are of the best quality. We want to attract only the best and brightest people to teach. Back in the days in Northern Nigeria, only the best people were asked to be teachers as you need the best people to bring up the best children.”
“We are doing our best to restore the integrity of the teaching profession. We have finished tests for primary school teachers and we are going to administer competency tests for secondary school teachers”, he expressed.
The governor also said that the state would improve the quality of infrastructure, tools and equipment for the teachers to function.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has said that he’s not bothered about second term in office, stressing that posterity will judge him on his ongoing efforts to transform the state.
Speaking in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, El-Rufai also described the emergence and attainment of power of the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2015 as a ”miracle” .
He said the emergence of the APC and its clinching on to power in less than four years of its formation was a miracle and that the party would repeat the same feat in any election.
The governor spoke while delivering the maiden public lecture of the Al –Hikmah University Ilorin,titled,”Governing Justly:Perspectives From Near&Far With Lessons From Nigeria”
The governor said at 58, hes not looking for any job, saying that cancelling what he’s doing in Kaduna today will be politically costly for any administration that comes after his to do, because of their nature.
He added that he’s not bothered about agitation for a second term in office,hence he’s taking well grounded decisions that would stand the test of time.
El-Rufai also boasted that there was no threat to the success of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections in the state and beyond because according to him the party has no formidable opposition that could stop it.
The governor said, many people that voted for the APC in 2015 voted for the party ‘‘because they were tired of the PDP .Many people voted not really for APC but against PDP ‘’, he said.
The governor labelled those agitating within the party as ‘‘rascals, trouble makers and noise makers’’ who only wanted the party to continue in the PDP ways of sharing money.
‘‘The APC has no opposition, the opposition we have is no opposition because the opposition is within the APC, there are many unhappy people, we also have many rascals, trouble makers and noise makers.
‘‘They are simply disgruntled because they are used to the PDP ways of doing things, every month give me money, Paris club is here where is my money..They will remain in opposition until you have a way to alienate them’’, he said.
The governor blamed the elites for the challenges confronting Nigerians because of what he described as craze for ‘‘elites’ entitlements and selfish interest. The Nigerian elite is corrupt, selfish, self centred and largely divided, like I said there is need for consensus of the Nigerian elite’’, the governor said.
He said Nigerians should hold the elites responsible for the underdevelopment and lack of progress in many states of the federation and urged ‘‘citizens to put pressure’’ on state and local government to deliver on good governance rather than looking up to the centre for everything.
Governor Rufai also tasked the youths to be involved in the ongoing political process in order to ultimately take over political power from the current leadership if they are serious about it.
He said this became imperative because no election can be won on twitter, Facebook or any social media adding that the elders currently in power will not handover power to the youths for the sake of it,”they have to work for it”he stressed.
On the recent religious crises that broke out in the state ,the governor said 15 persons have lost their lives to the crisis while 45 were injured . He traced the genesis of the crises to the case of a Christian girl who was dating a Muslim guy and wanted to convert to Islam because he wanted to marry him, a development which he said sparked of the crisis.
The Kaduna State government has justified its demolition of a building belonging to a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The building located at 11b Sambo Road used by a faction of APC was demolished by the state government Monday morning.
The party since 2015 has been enmeshed in crisis in the state which has seen it broken into three factions.
They are: The ‘Restoration APC,’ led by Tijjani Ramallan and Suleiman Hunkuyi, a senator; the ‘APC Akida,’ led by Shehu Sani, also a senator, and the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Hakeem Ahmed; and the ‘APC Government House,’ led by the governor and his deputy.
News of the demolition first filtered in through tweets by the senator representing Kaduna North, Mr. Hunkuyi.
Mr. Hunkuyi, a leader of one of ‘Restoration APC,’ alleged that the demolition was masterminded by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
“In the early hours of today, the @GovKaduna Mallam @elrufai personally drove a bulldozer accompanied by armored tanks to destroy my house at 11B Sambo Road. This is a new low and fighting dirty with such low level of pettiness is indeed unprecedented in Kaduna State,” the account tweeted sharing short videos of the demolition.
But the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KAPSUDA) in a statement signed by its Director-General, Ibrahim Husseini, said the demolition was part of operations the agency was undertaking across Kaduna metropolis in compliance with its mandate.
“In partnership with sister agencies, KASUPDA is clearing illegal structures, tackling street hawking and restoring order across Kaduna.
“This morning, a building on 11B Sambo Close was removed for flagrant violations of land use and non-payment of ground rent since 2010. This illegal violation of use had begun to distress neighbours who were being forced to endure an influx of thugs and blockage of the road,” the statement read.
The agency said it duly served the occupants of the building a notice of revocation which they did not yield to.
“The Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) issued a revocation notice of statutory right of occupancy No. KD. 16712, that covers 11b Sambo Close in the Ungwan Rimi area. The appropriate notice of revocation was delivered at 28 Inuwa Wada Road, the registered address of the company that held the title to the property. The notice was also delivered to the building in question, and sent by post to the registered address of the previous title holder.”
KASUPDA said the land will be turned into a public park.
“The land has now been allocated to KASUPDA for the purpose of developing and maintaining a public park that will provide a green area and a serene place for recreation in that residential neighbourhood.”
The demolition is coming almost a year after a building belonging to the North West Vice Chairman of APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, was demolished by the state government.
Mr. Abdulkadir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the governor had sometimes back threatened to take such action against him.
“I am not surprised by his action, it is a political vendetta. But I will not make further comment because the case is already in court,” he said reacting to the demolition.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said the demolition was masterminded by Mr. El-Rufai.
Speaking on the floor of the senate, he said that the governor was acting on the goodwill of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I stand to formally and officially report that this morning as early as 4:30am, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir-El-rufai, led a team of soldiers and policemen to Sambo road 11 where he personally supervised a demolition of our new APC office which happened to be the property belonging to Distinguished Sen. Suleiman Hukunyi.
“This comes a year after the same governor demolished the past residence of Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, the National Vice Chairman North-west of the APC. This is a series of arbitrariness of tyranny perpetuated by the governor against dissenting opposition voices in the state.
“It is of concern that the Governor of the state is in the habit of name dropping the name of Mr. President. There are reports and claims that the Governor has been saying and has been acting with the authority and on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That his action has the official stamp and go ahead of the president to eradicate and dislodge and at the same time being an end to opposing and dissenting voices within the party.
“My constituency office was attacked by violent thugs more than 11 times and it has also even been very clear that armed military police men have been consistently used by the governor to intimidate and harass people who don’t agree with him.
“It is of concern that after 20 years of military that a man with such a rapid ambition and arrogance of power can appropriate for himself and power to act outside of the law. How can a democratically-elected governor demolish a house without notice? Simply for the fact that we have set up office different form the one he has personalized himself as a so-called party man.”
He called on President Buhari to caution Mr. El-Rufai.
“It is of concern to us that these actions by the governor have been done in the name of Mr. President who he believed that he is his son that he so much loves. Governor Nasir El-Rufai is an affliction to the people of Kaduna State and a curse to us.
“We will use this opportunity to call on Mr. President to caution his beloved son who has unleashed a reign of terror and has behaved in the most despicable and irresponsible way.”
The secretariat of the APC faction that suspended Governor Nasir El-Rufai two days ago has been demolished. It is alleged that some soldiers were on ground to supervise the demolition of the secretariat situated along number 11 B Sambo in the state capital this morning Tuesday February 20th.
The Secretariat belongs to the faction loyal to the suspended senators representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani and that of Kaduna North zone, Suleiman Hunkuyi. It was opened last week as a parallel State APC office due to the inability of the group to reconcile with the State party organ. The one storey duplex is owned by Senator Hunkuyi before it was converted to a State Party Secretariat last week.
The All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State, loyal to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, on Monday overturned the six-month suspension order slammed on him by a faction of the party.
Two factions of the party — the ‘Akida APC’ and the ‘Restoration APC’ — had, after a stakeholders’ meeting on Sunday, announced the suspension of the governor for six months over what they described as “anti-party activities.”
Those who attended that meeting include an aspirant during the party’s governorship primaries in 2015, Isa Ashiru; Chief of Staff to Senate President, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; owner of Kaduna-based Liberty FM radio, Dr. Tijjani Ramalan; Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani; and his counterpart from the Northern Senatorial District, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, among others.
Shortly after the stakeholders’ meeting, the party chieftains drove to the parallel office of the party on 11B Road in Kaduna, where the factional Acting Chairman of the party, Danladi Wada, announced the governor’s suspension.
However, on Monday, the Acting Secretary of the party in the state (recognised by the state government), Yahaya Baba-Pate, while addressing journalists at a press conference, said the faction that suspended the governor has no such power.
Baba-Pate said their faction was duly recognised by the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, and that the suspension of the governor would not hold.
According to the chieftain, it is only a legitimate organ of the party that can suspend any member of the party or the governor.
He consequently declared the governor’s suspension “null and void and of no effect.”
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the National Working Committee will state its position on the suspension of Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai in due course.
APC national publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, said this in a chat with newsmen on Monday morning.
He explained that response to the development cannot be rushed as the national secretariat was yet to really know what happened.
“I have no details of the matter yet. You know it (suspension) occurred during the weekend”, Abdullahi said.
“Also, I was out of town. Before I can comment, I will need to study what actually happened. So, I can’t give the official reaction now”.
Asked if he would issue the party’s position in form of a statement, the spokesman replied: “It depends, what we find out will determine how we’ll react”.
APC party faction led by the Senator representing Kaduna North Central, Suleiman Hunkuyi, had accused El-Rufai of “anti- party activities and anti-human activities.
The Senator said if El-Rufai did not respond to the query within 48 hours, “the state working committee will sit down and deliberate.”
But in a statement on Sunday, the faction said the governor refused to honour the invitation to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.
It resolved to suspend him for six months with immediate effect.
The statement said, “Sequel to the 48 hours ultimatum issued to the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir Ahmad Elrufa’i by the Kaduna state working committee of the APC to give explanations and defence on the allegations labelled against him, the SWC under chairmanship of S.I.
“Danladi Wada on Saturday 17th February 2018 convened, resolved and do consider and ratified the findings and recommendations of the Disciplinary and Fact Finding Committee put before it in accordance with Article 21 (B) (iii) of the APC Constitution, to the effect that having the governor failed to respond accordingly, he stands suspended for a period of 6 months from the APC with immediate effect.”
The National Youths Caucus of All Progressive Congress (APC), Northwest Zone, on Friday in Kaduna canvassed for total ban on the operations of private schools in the country.
The caucus which held a rally in support of ongoing reforms in the education sector in Kaduna State said the measure was necessary to save public schools from total collapse.
Malam Isiyaku Sarkin Pawa, Secretary of the caucus, said Nigeria must take steps to salvage the education sector from its present poor state in order to build a prosperous and stable nation.
“In the past, everyone attend public schools irrespective of their parents’ status in the society, but because of the establishment of private schools, all public schools have been neglected.’’
He added that public schools which used to be for all classes of people have now become only for the poor, thus encouraging segregation in access to educational opportunities between children of the rich and poor.
“Public schools performance is not too good, that is why we are supporting the governor’s reforms in the education sector,” the secretary added.
Jafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who received the group on behalf of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, explained that the reform was not politically motivated but for the benefit of the future generation.
“The state government has done a lot towards improving the education sector, there is no going back on the disengagement of unqualified teachers, instead we will improve on the quality of teachers and education in general,” he said.
He assured that the government would continue to do the right thing in spite of the challenges being faced.
Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUJ) in Kaduna State on Monday commenced an indefinite strike to protest against the sacking of over 21,000 teachers by the state government.
The union directed all teachers in the state to remain at home until the state government reverses its decision after the sacked primary school teachers scored below 75 per cent in a competency test conducted for them in June 2017.
The directive was contained in a notice served to NUT members across the state and signed by the union Chairman and Assistant Secretary-General, Audu Amba and Adamu Ango respectively.
The NUT explained that the decision to commence the industrial action followed the expiration of the two weeks’ notice it gave to the state government to rescind the decision.
They also criticised the government’s decision to proceed with the sack despite a suit at the National Industrial Court on the matter.
However, the state government is not taking the matter with kid gloves as it warned public school teachers not to obey the directive by the union.
In a statement signed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesperson, Mr Samuel Aruwan, the government warned that any teacher who is absent from work would be treated with the consequences that pertain to absconding from duty under the Public Service Rules.
The statement read: “There can be no doubt that state will take firm and decisive disciplinary action against personnel who absent themselves from duty, including dismissal from service.
“This is an illegal action, and will not achieve its aim of derailing the education reforms being implemented by the government. The Kaduna State Government wishes to inform the public that it has instructed its education administrators to open registers in all its schools, starting from Monday, January 8, 2018.”
The government insisted that there is no going back in its decision, stressing that there is no amount of blackmail that will make it retain unqualified teachers in service.
They added that they won’t mortgage the future of two million primary school pupils because failed teachers “are shamelessly mobilising sentiment”.
The Kaduna branch of National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered Kaduna State Government to stop the planned sack of 21,000 primary school teachers who failed competency test.
Over 21,000 out of 30,000 teachers who sat for the competency test organised by the state government were alleged to have failed and government moved to sack them resulted into protest from Nigerian Union of Teachers.
The teachers had in October dragged the government before the industrial court, asking the court to stop state government from sacking any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.
Samuel Atum, the lawyer who represented the teachers, had on October 30 filed a motion of “interlocutory injunction”, asking the court to restrain the government from dismissing or disengaging any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.
Justice Lawal Mani on Thursday at the hearing granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned the case to February 6th, 2018.
Speaking with newsmen after the court session, the plaintiff’s counsel lauded the court for granting their order against the plans of the state government.
“This is democracy and the premise of democracy is the rule of law, so we expect nothing more than absolute submission by the state government to comply with the order of the court.
“I have confidence that the government will comply or obey this order.” he said
Meanwhile, hundreds of Teachers present at the court were seen jubilating and congratulating themselves over the court injunction.
The Kaduna State commissioner of education, Andrew Nok, is dead. He was 55.
Details of his death is still sketchy but a source at Kaduna government house said the commissioner’s death was sudden.
Mr. Nok, a professor of Biochemistry, has won many national and international awards.
In 2010, he won Nigeria’s highest academic honour, the Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM, in the science category.
His work on the discovery of the gene responsible for sleeping sickness won the NLNG Science Prize in 2009.
He was the 2013 winner of the Alexander von Humboldt prize for science.
The 1983 Biochemistry graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was born at Nok village in Jaba local government of Kaduna state on January 11, 1962.
He taught at his alma mater until his appointment as commissioner in July, 2015.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai and other senior members of the State Executive Council are at the deceased’s residence to commiserate with his family.