We Won’t Succumb To Your Blackmail, NLC Tells El-Rufai

The Kaduna state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has said that the union will not be intimidated by the cheap blackmail employed by the government over the group’s peaceful protest against Governor Nasiru el-Rufai’s anticipated sacking of the 21,000 teachers in the state.

In a statement signed by the Kaduna NLC Chairman, Comrade Adamu Ango affirmed that the union has resolved to stand against any act of suppression from the government to its members.

The statement read: “We, therefore, affirm that the Labour Movement will never be intimidated and it will indeed continue to play its historical role of the conscience of society and protector of workers’ rights using all means available to it within the confines of the law,”

“The allusion to violence on the part of our members is a deliberate attempt by the Kaduna State Government to deploy its usual tactics of blackmail which is now known to all and sundry.

“The outdated strategy of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it will not work in the circumstance, as the Labour Movement cannot be cowed and will indeed deploy all lawful and legitimate arsenals as its disposal to resist the unholy attempt to impose the will of an individual against the consensus of an overwhelming majority of Kaduna State citizens (members of the Labour Movement).

“The Kaduna state government as usual, instead of addressing the core issues relative to the impasse between it and the labour movement has resorted to crude propaganda and diversionary tactics by trying to depict a rally organized and attended by the leadership of the entire labour movement in Nigeria as an agitation by 21,000 unqualified teachers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the rally held in Kaduna on 8th November, 2017 was peaceful and same was held in exercise of our members constitutional rights as guaranteed under section 35(1) and 40 of the 1999 constitution which is the grundnorm and all other laws drives their potency there from. Fortunately, in Kaduna State, similar rights have been exercised in support of the state government’s decision to take external loan without let or hindrance.”

Ango reprimanded governor El-rufai for not heeding to NLC advice, saying, “recent events in the educational sector have vindicated the labour movement whose advice to government to utilize the over N10billion expended in the school feeding programme in the development of infrastructures and teachers education/retraining was ignored.”

“The events at the Kaduna state House of Assembly after the rally by the Labour Movement cannot be attributed to the NLC, and same is a replica of the sad events at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, secretariat, Kaduna where supporters of the state government openly attacked law abiding citizens who were there to address a press conference and unfortunately nobody has been prosecuted or is being prosecuted for their participation in the dastardly act,” he lamented.

Ango was emphatic of the fact that the demonstration staged on the streets of kaduna by pupils in public schools was not orchestrated by the Labour Movement.

El-Rufai Vs Kaduna Teachers: “Why Should Our Children Sacrifice For Teachers”?

By Joachim Macebong

Governor El Rufai is a controversial political figure by any standard. He caused a ruckus on Twitter during the Southern Kaduna crisis by arresting the driving force of the movement, Audu Maikori.

This time around, it’s Kaduna primary school teachers that El Rufai is up against. After most of them failed the competency test organised by the Governor, they took to the streets to protest their impending sack.

3 Takeaways…….

Show of shame

Back in August 2013, the nation watched a verification exercise in Edo state where a teacher was unable to read out her age declaration affidavit in front of then Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole. Many people were already aware of the state of Nigeria’s education sector, but the fact that this exchange was captured on video made it all the more powerful, a moment engraved in history.

Unfortunately, that teacher is not the exception; she is the rule in Nigeria’s education sector. Conversations around the sector are dominated disproportionately by the ASUU strikes, but this is a mistake. The real damage to Nigeria’s future occurs at primary school level, where children are unable to get the basic literacy and numeracy skills on which all other educational attainment is built. The reason for that is obvious: poorly trained teachers.

At primary school level, the most important schooling factor is teacher quality. You can’t change the family background of a child, but you can make sure that if they get to school, they get the best teaching possible.

El Rufai’s courageous moves

Considering this, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s recent moves to improve teacher quality in Kaduna should be met with approval. A Primary 4 equivalent competence exam was conducted for teachers in Kaduna state, and two-thirds failed to get up to the 75% required to pass. Indeed, if you don’t know up to 75% of what a teacher of Primary 4 pupils should know, why are you a primary school teacher?

Such scandalous figures are not unusual. In 2013, the Commissioner of Education for Kaduna State suggested that 1,300 of 1,599 teachers across the state scored below 25% in basic math and literacy, with only one – yes, one – scoring 75%. As this state of affairs is unlikely to have significantly changed in the following four years, it is safe to say that the present administration still battles with these failings.

Opinions on El-Rufai are sharply divided especially on social media, but even his harshest critics may find it hard to fault his education reforms. He is attempting a change that has frustrated other state governors in other states. Accepted wisdom suggests that Kayode Fayemi’s failed re-election bid could be traced to a clash over competency tests for teachers. The teachers felt the tests were the prelude to a mass sacking, and dug their heels in. As elections approached, Fayemi backed down; but it was too late by that time, and the teachers voted for Fayose instead.

In contrast, Adams Oshiomhole, previously mentioned, discovered a similar level of rot. Having initially sacked many teachers, he reinstated some of them as elections approached, ensuring a successful handover to his chosen successor.

Will history repeat itself?

Teacher unions are typically very powerful because they can organise against you at the polls. Unions, in general, protect their members, and the ones in Nigeria are no different, even if it means protecting the worst of the bunch. So El-Rufai’s move is particularly brave considering he is up for re-election in only 18 months.

Expectedly, the National Labour Congress Kaduna Chapter has come out against the move, calling the government’s side of the story ‘propaganda’, and suggesting that the teachers found wanting were trained by the government. In fact, protests have been staged across Kaduna.

But this claim does not hold up to scrutiny.

As mentioned above, in Ekiti, the teachers didn’t even take the competency test, to begin with, and turned on Kayode Fayemi as a result. Unions display resistance to any sort of change, and the result, in this case, is to hold millions of children back from their potential. They know that many within their ranks are not up to the necessary standard, but place those substandard teachers above the wider interests of society.

El-Rufai is the latest governor to come up against this tendency, and if he succeeds, his fellow governors may find the courage to do what is required. In spite of this, the NUT in Kaduna has promised a total strike if the teachers are sacked.

Speaking proudly, the NUT chairman in the state, Audu Amba, said, “They are our members and we have a duty to protect our own.” But why should our children foot the bill for their protection?

Source: StearsNG

El-Rufai Warns Shi’ites In Kaduna

The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, said the government would not hesitate “to arrest and prosecute anyone that marches in the state in the name of the outlawed IMN.”

 

He warned the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ites, against any form of procession in the state. The governor said any procession by the group would amount to violating the law of the state because the IMN had since been outlawed in the state.

 

El-Rufai, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the state was concerned about the report of the violent clash between the Shi’ites members and  security agencies in neighbouring Kano State.

 

He, however, assured residents that the state had put security forces on red alert against any threat to peace in the state. Aruwan added, “The Kaduna State Government has warned members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria to steer clear of the borders of the state. Security agencies have been alerted to arrest and prosecute anyone found demonstrating or carrying out a procession within the state in the name of an outlawed group.

 

“The government will not shirk its duty to enforce the law and uphold order. Security agencies have been directed to mount surveillance in all parts of the state, especially in border communities. Procession from any state into Kaduna by members of an unlawful society is not allowed.

“Residents of the state are advised to alert security agencies to any procession by members of IMN in any part of the state, especially from Kaduna communities close to the borders of neighbouring states.”

 

Fashola Inaugurates Mobile Transformer In Kaduna, Kastina

Two mobile power transformers in Kaduna and Katsina states has been commissioned by Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola,

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, explained that the installation and commissioning of the 40MVA Mobile

The transformer in Zaria, Kaduna Substation, and 60MVA Power Transformer in Funtua, Katsina Substation, was part of the effort by the present government to ameliorate the challenges encountered in generation and distribution of power across the country.

Speaking in Funtua, Katsina State, he said his ministry had empowered TCN to procure and install 60MVA power transformers in order to replace faulty ones in the system, adding that the ongoing upgrade and reinforcement of the generating stations would increase the capacity of substations to distribute energy throughout the country.

Kaduna Teachers Fail Primary Four Exam

About 21,780 out of 33,000 teachers failed the primary four test administered to test their competence by the Kaduna State government.

The state is therefore shopping for 25,000 new teachers as one of the plans to restore dignity and quality to education.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State unveiled the planned recruitment when he received a World Bank’s delegation in Kaduna on Monday.

“We tested our 33,000 primary school teachers, we gave them primary four examination and required they must get at least 75 per cent but I am sad to announce that 66 per cent of them failed to get the requirements.

“The hiring of teachers in the past was politicized and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state,” the governor said.

He stressed that teachers would be redeployed across the state to balance the issue of teacher-pupil ratio.

“We have a challenge with the teacher-pupil ratio in the urban schools; there is concentration of teachers that are not needed.

‘’In some local government areas, it’s a teacher pupil ratio of 1-9 while in some places it’s 1-100,” he said.

The governor said that in a bid to improve the education sector, the school Directors decided to enrol their children in public schools starting from this academic session.

Speaking earlier, the World Bank representative, Dr Kunle Adekola, expressed appreciation to the state for investing in education and for the priority given to the girl child.

“This state has demonstrated and supported us to achieve our goals,” he said.

Adekola said the Bank would invest N30 million in Rigasa Primary School, which has a population of about 22,000 pupils, as part of its support for the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Education Intervention Fund by the World Bank and other collaborative development partners, is rendering support to about 13 Northern states and a state from each of the other four geopolitical zones of the country.

NAN

Why We Postponed Kaduna LG Elections – Electoral Commission

Chairman, Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, SIECOM, Dr. Saratu Dikko, said the postponement of the Chairman and Councillors local government elections was done to amend some portions of the electoral law to allow e-voting.

She stated this at a meeting with political parties and civil societies at the commission’s head office on Monday in Kaduna.

Dikko said, “It is impossible for local government election to hold in Kaduna State this year, but hopefully by next year.”

She explained that the need to conduct a free, fair and credible election necessitated the introduction of the e-voting, which if achieved, would be a model to emulate in the country.

“For now we would do the sensitization at wards and local government areas with materials that will teach the electorate how e-voting works. We apologize to Kaduna people for the postponement.

“It was not intentional but they should rest assured that their votes will count under the e-voting system,” she said.

Dikko-Audu explained that before announcing the date for the election, they had anticipated the amendment of the law would have been done and assented to by Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

“SIECOM is independent of interference, but we operate within the laws of the land. The existing law doesn’t allow us to use e-voting, unless there is an amendment of existing law and assented to,” she added.

On when the elections would hold, she explained that it solely lies on the state House of Assembly.

Representatives of political parties who spoke separately, queried the commission’s decision to postpone the elections, wondering why it hastily announced the date for the elections.

Ex-Kaduna Governor Muhammed Dies In London Hospital

Mouktar Muhammed, one time governor of Kaduna state and retired senior military officer is dead.

The retired air vice marshal, died Sunday, October 1.

His death was announced through a Facebook post by his younger brother, Faruk Dalhatu.

According to him, my brother died in a London hospital.

The former governor was said to have died of cancer.

He was the first governor of Kaduna state after its creation in 1977 by the military administration of Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mouktar Muhammed earlier served as the minister of Housing, Urban Development and Environment from 1976 to 1977, following the coup that brought Murtala Mohammed to power.

He was the head of one of the military tribunals that tried and sentenced second republic politicians suspected of corruption under the military administration of Muhammadu Buhari, from 1983 to 1985 to decades in prison.

He spearheaded activities of The Buhari Organisation (TBO) from 2002.

Last year, he was named as chairman of the governing council of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

He held the title of Wazirin Dutse until his death and was deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF.

He was also chairman of Kano-based Freedom Radio.

Boy Who Lost Eyes To Ritualist Gets Airtel Training Support

Airtel Nigeria has provided special equipment tool for the training of five years old Sàdiq Usman whose two eyes were plucked by suspected ritualists in Zaria last year.

Little Sadiq who was at the commissioning of the Yahaya Hamza primary School in Zaria, which was refurbished by telecommunications giant, Airtel is being trained by staff of Airtel under Staff Volunteer Scheme.

He has been enrolled at the Ango Abdullahi International School where Airtel provided special equipment for his training.

However, Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai who was guest of honour at the event was moved to tears seeing the condition of the little boy.

Governor El Rufai who was moved by the sight of the little Sadiq brought out a handkerchief to wipe his tears as he held the little boy on his laps.

El-Rufai And Governance In Kaduna

By Muhammad Lawal Shehu Molash

I have been inundated with calls from most parts of the country, in connection with my present stand on El-Rufai’s government. On a personal note, I have been El-Rufai’s fan for almost two decades, to the extent that I read his “Accidental Public Servant” more than 50 times.

But in developed democracies, vibrant oppositions are welcomed to put the people in power under check. Eight months ago, I was an unrepentant supporter of El-Rufai. But not anymore. My position is hinged on the fact that certain things are wrong with the way governance has been reduced to. How come the official houses of the state House of Assembly members were sold cheaply and secretly without the Open Bidding System, as it was done in the case of the civil servants?

How come a government that was massively voted for to ensure that the rule of law prevails, will allow Sole Administrators as local government chairmen, when the constitution declared them Illegal? Is

it constitutionally right to refuse to conduct the local government elections on the vague excuse of waiting for some super machines from China? It seems the governor does not even trust the card reader that ushered him into the government. Why collect taxes on behalf of the local councils?

Why do you have to abolish the indigene-ship in Kaduna State and embark upon a “White Elephant ” venture called “Residency Card? Is Kaduna State more cosmopolitan than Lagos and Kano? The civil servants have had to contend with endless verification for about 18 times!

Perhaps, someone, somewhere is benefiting from this verification that has left over 20,000 workers without salaries for several months. In addition, no person that retired after 2015 has collected his gratuity. Another angle that I premised my opposition to Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, is the much hyped educational “Revolution” in Kaduna State, where the manpower aspect, arguably the most important, in any genuine “revolution ” has been neglected. It is a fact that a good teacher can impact knowledge to his students, even under tree shades.

But El-Rufai ignored all that and concentrated on painting classrooms that have 34,000 “deficits” of teachers. Meanwhile the teachers are daily being demoralized, debased, demotivated and rendered dysfunctional to carry out their functions.

The use of consultants in almost every sector in Kaduna State is one area I am not comfortable with. In any case, they mostly help in making a state governor to misapply public funds.

Furthermore, our party, the APC, is facing extinction owing to its non-conformity with the internal democracy mechanism, set in place by our revered leader, President Buhari. Pointer to this fact, emerged from the Kangaroo delegates elections and the recent charade, called endorsement. We should also be mindful of the fact that it is only in Kaduna State in whole of the North West that we have a former vice president, PDP national chairman and the only PDP Senator from the zone. The so-called achievements in employment is laced with fallacies.

Some VIOs, who are trained in vehicle administration, accident inspection etc, were dissolved to pave way to a revenue inspired agency, Kastelia.

Kaduna State has about 1500 health centres. But of the much celebrated 255 health centres, only six are completed after 2 years! The N10 billion spent on school feeding within eight months, should have been channelled into providing decent healthcare centres or complete the 300 bed specialist hospital started by Namadi Sambo. Kaduna State, with about 5 million people, has less than 200 Medical Doctors and the governor is celebrating the repainting of some PHCs that even fall below the minimum requirements of a standard primary health care centre.

Most of these centres do not even have common Malaria testing equipment.

In any democratic clime, human capital development is one of the major indicators of the success or failure of governance. But in a situation where a government is marketing poverty to its electorate and declaring them unfit to participate in rendering even the most elementary service like waste collection, is most unfortunate. A certain Yoruba lady has to be “imported” for that purpose.

Based on campaign promises, he’s performing below expectations, which is why I am disappointed with the quality of roads being churned out in the name of “infrastructural developments.” The roads cannot withstand two rainy seasons. In two years, not a single primary school teacher was employed.

Hundreds have either been sacked or frustrated into retirement. No provision of materials: Chalk, Registers, Broom, Cutlass and he is “committed to revamping education.”

In Kaduna, the running of a close circuit leadership which negates the tenets of democracy seems to be the order of the day. Of the six top appointments, the minister from Kaduna State is El-Rufai’s cousin, ambassador is his cousin, SSG is his close friend, Chief of staff is his close friend. Political Adviser is his very close friend. And they all come from Zaria, in addition to two commissioners, head of service and several Special Assistants, (SAs) and heads of parastatals. If anyone thinks that the above detailed explanation does not “ring a bell” then I rest my case.

– Molash is a member of the Kaduna Restoration Group and wrote in from Kaduna

Security Agents Averts Voilence In Kaduna

Security agents in Kaduna on Monday averted what would have led to a bloody clash in the Kabala West area of the city following the alleged killing of a suspected house burglar last Sunday.

Angry mob was said to have lynched to death the suspected burglar and his corpse was found by his friends and relatives on Monday morning.

The incident which was said to have happened along Kaje Street, Kabala West, according to eyewitness account, led to fracas on Monday morning between two groups suspected to be for and against the alleged thief that was lynched to death by angry mob.

The development caused panic among residents as the news of the clash spread around the city with many whose shops are located in Kabala West area closing the shops for their safety.
Motorists plying the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe bypass had to follow alternative routes as the two warring groups were seen throwing sharp objects at each other and passersby.

Another version of the report was that fighting broke out as a result of an argument between two friends over football match betting.
The argument was said to have led to exchange of blows at a local viewing centre in the area, causing fear and tension among the residents of the area.

Unconfirmed sources said several people were said to have sustained injuries during the fracas, forcing some residents to abandoned their homes for other locations for safety.
Residents of Kaduna had witnessed several bloody ethno-religious clashes in the past and any slight skirmishes always cause fear and apprehension among residents.

The state government however responded swiftly to the clashes by deploying the police and soldiers to the area to avoid any break down of law and order.
Governor Nasir el-Fufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said the situation in the area had been brought under control as security operatives had been deployed to there.

The state police command has however declared a manhunt for the perpetrators.
Spokesman of the command, Aliyu Usman, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) said the situation was under control and “we are working towards arresting the offenders.”
Meanwhile, some residents of the area said they cannot go back to their homes as the police and soldiers have blocked the way leading to the community.

One of the residents who pleaded anonymity said: “Some of us cannot go back home since we managed to escape from the area in the morning because soldiers and police have blocked the roads leading to our houses.

“Those residents that left for work in the morning have to call back home to their families to remain indoors while those that have left the house are asked to look for a safer place within the city centre and stay.

“It is unfortunate that people are linking the fracas to religion, but I want to tell you that it has nothing to do with religion at all, a thief was lychned to death and his so called friends decided to take law into their hands.
“We are however happy that security people intervened immediately, and the situation is returning to normalcy as I speak to you.”

3 Killed As Religious Crisis Breakout At Kabala Junction, Kaduna

Trouble reportedly started when three Muslims were murdered and the reprisal attack was foiled by security agencies in Kabala, Kaduna state.

According to an eyewitness: “It started the day before yesterday, (Saturday May 6) when some Gwari people murdered 3 Muslims inside Kabala and one mosque was demolished yesterday.

“So today some Muslim youth from Tudun Wada gathered to enter Kabala and take revenge but they were quickly intercepted by the security operatives stationed at Kabala junction,” he said.

All shops in Kabala road and Kabala junction are closed. Kabala is known to be a busy road with a lot of businesses going on day and night.

Source: Naija News