Atiku Has No Kobo In Buhari’s 2015 Campaign – El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has challenged former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, to prove that he funded President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign in 2015.

Speaking on a Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service Programme, tagged “Democracy Today”, in Kaduna, El-Rufai said Atiku leaving the All Progressives Congress is not a surprise to the leaders of the party.

He said, “Agreed, in politics if you lose even only one person, it should worry you, but the utterances of the former Vice President that APC used his money who did he give the money to? For me, I know those that supported us with their money and property that we used during election, and I never heard the name of Atiku that he brought a dime. If Atiku said he brought money, who did he give it to? Let him come and say it and how much did he give and what was it used for?

“And, in fact, if Atiku brought money, I ought to know, because I was part of the leadership of the party and during campaign, along with former Governor Rotimi Amaechi. We were at the centre of the presidential campaign. Therefore, we are supposed to know. So, let him mention who he gave the money and how much?”

El-Rufai said: “We in the APC were aware from the outset that Atiku was going to leave the APC back to the PDP in December and we thank God that he left in November.

“Atiku had seen that we in the APC, especially the APC governors, had resolved to support President Muhammadu Buhari to run again in 2019. That is why he left APC since he was only looking for where to contest for president.

“Even in the 2015 APC primary election, Atiku didn’t come second; he was floored by Kwankwaso. So, even if President Buhari decides not to contest, Atiku knows that the APC ticket is not sure for him. Majority of the APC governors have endorsed President Buhari as our candidate for 2019.

“And God has continued to improve the health condition of the President. Each time I see him, I thank God and I still pray that God continues to give him sound health.

“So, by 2019, we are waiting to see Atiku contest; we are waiting to contest against him and see what happens. I cannot lose sleep because Atiku wants to contest because, by God’s grace, this is the reign of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Asked about a large number of APC members who are likely to follow Atiku to PDP, El-Rufai said: “Sure, we know that, we cannot rule out the possibility of some greedy people following him; those that are following material things. But, if people will consider how we can work for the progress of our country, everybody knows that you cannot compare Atiku with President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Bullet Caskets For Thieving Leaders, By Tunde Odesola

Let the dead bury the dead, so said the omniscient being that walked the face of the earth about 2,000 years ago. Here, Jesus Christ was teaching his disciples to focus on the things of the kingdom over earthly worries. But the way humanity frets over earthly possessions, power, burial ceremonies and other various vanities shows that scant regard is given to the teachings of Christ, the son of Mary.

For weird and, or altruistic reasons, man has continued to worry over the preservation and burial of the dead. Science, religion and tradition have had their fair shares in bothering to give a hoot about treating the dead right.

Plastination is a technique developed in 1977 by German anatomist, Gunther von Hagens. The groundbreaking technique is used to preserve dead bodies by replacing water and fats with certain plastics.

In the land of our nearest English-speaking neighbour on the West African coast, Ghana, burying the dead has been upgraded to a shocking level of creative absurdity. Ghana not only boasts of the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Volta, the Ga people living in the southern part of the Kwame Nkrumah country also bury their dead stylishly like no other people. The Ga in Ghana have a deep belief in the afterlife. For them, death is no finality, life continues hereafter. They believe the dead are much more powerful than the living and that the dead could influence the living. This is why families do everything they can to ensure that they curry the sympathy of the dead. This is why they build fantasy coffins for their dead. A fantasy coffin could be shaped in the symbol of the deceased’s profession, vocation, family totem or favorite object. It is thus a common sight to see a driver being buried in a coffin shaped like a car, or a footballer buried in a coffin shaped like a soccer ball or a boot.

Back home to Nigeria. Going by the primitive acquisition of wealth and hypertensive worry over material possessions by the political class, it won’t be out of place to know in what type of caskets Nigerians would love their political leaders buried when they die. I’m very sure that a cross-section of Nigerians would wish a vast majority of Nigerian politicians was buried in bullet, condom, spear, maggot and padlock-shaped coffins – to show the disdain in which they hold the political elite.

But there is a panacea for the odium against the political class. Everyone in the land knows the cure for the bitterness, poverty, want, scourge, suspicion and hate in the land, though no one is willing to force the pill down the throat of the 57-year-old toddler nation. And Nigeria will continue to grapple with darkness, thirstiness, hunger, diseases, ignorance and high mortality, all because she fails to take the potion called restructuring. The restructuring pill, depending on the manufacturing pharmaceutical company, also goes by the names – true federalism, devolution, resource control, regionalism, self-determinism, equity, etc. But it is one sure cure for our ailment.

Why is it difficult for the political class to restructure the country? The experience of the Editor, The PUNCH, Mr Martin Ayankola, at the Obafemi Awolowo University zoo about three decades ago offers an explanation. The young Ayankola had visited the zoo during his undergraduate days in the 1980s. The striking resemblance between gorillas and man held a fancy for the young undergraduate. So, off to the enclave of the hirsute creatures he went. There, he threw sweets into the steel cage. As the sweets zoomed high up through the air, the eyes of all the gorillas followed them even as they descended right down into the midst of a band of young gorillas having fun on the sunny afternoon. Poh! Poh!! Poh!!! The three ‘Trebors’ thudded on the grass. As if a mischievous gorilla among the band had released a sickening, noisome fart, all the young, able-bodied gorillas, who had been jumping and falling over themselves, suddenly broke up and slunk away, leaving the ‘Trebors’ conspicuous on the grass. Sshwah! Sshwah! Sshwah! Heavy footsteps rustled dry grass somewhere at the rear of the cage. Unabashedly, the living head of the autonomous primate community, a massive 230kg gorilla, sauntered forward, swaying like a content despot. Majestically, he ambled to the ‘Trebors’, picked them up, tried to unwrap one of them, but his stumpy fingers won’t allow such a desire. Brooking no patience, he put the ‘Trebors’ in the hollow of his left palm and snapped them. He opened his palm and still tried to unwrap some of the peppermints, but the wrap won’t reveal its content. Nonsense! One after the other, he tossed the wrapped ‘Trebors’ into his buccal cavity. Only God knows what the taste did to his sense of self-worth, he rose to his mighty feet, let out a frightening guttural cry and rained blows on his chest. Case closed. This is the way of the jungle. Might is right. Though the ‘Trebors’ could go round all the apes if shared equitably, fairness is an alien word in jungle lexicon.

Sadly, this is the way of our political class and the reason why restructuring sounds like a dirge. In the lair, the lion’s share is not the majority of the share, it is the whole share. After having his fill, the king lion leaves the carcass for the rest of the pride.

The other day, I asked my little daughter if she could recite the American pledge, and off she goes: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all.” Ummhh!? Can you recite the Nigerian national pledge, I asked curiously. “Yes, I can,” she replied eagerly. “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honour and glory, so help me God.”

If the words of a pledge were a measure to determine nationalism, the Nigerian national pledge dwarfs the American pledge. Unfortunately, however, the Nigerian pledge offers no promise of liberty, equity and justice, which are fundamental bricks of nationhood, and which the American pledge did not fail to address. May be this is the reason why Nigerian leaders have abysmally failed in restructuring the country and bluntly refused to fulfil their part of the social contract. I learnt at the election petitions tribunals that you don’t get what you don’t ask for.

The ‘point-and-kill’ Oshodi-garage mentality of winner-takes-all among our geopolitical regions over revenue allocation would cease if the nation frees its boundless energies in the regions by devolving power from the centre and sharing it equitably among the federating units. Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, identified some of the problem afflicting Nigeria when he delivered a speech on restructuring in September 2017 at Chatham House, London, lamenting the 53 per cent of national revenue being controlled by the Federal Government while the biggest but maltreated cash cow, Lagos State, and the 35 states of the federation and Abuja share a miserable 47 per cent.

Recalling that some of the most enduring institutions in Nigeria were built by regional governments, El-Rufai said it was impossible for a centralized police force to produce security for nearly 200m people just as he spoke against the exclusive control of over-crowded prisons and ‘unmanageable number of federal trunk roads and railways’.

The governor, who recalled an article he penned in 2012, “A Federation without Federalism,” said that the broad consensus among Nigerians was that ‘our federation had been dysfunctional, more unitary than federal, and not delivering public goods to the generality of our people’.

In a telephone chat with me during the week, Professor of Sociology, University of Lagos, Lai Olurode, said restructuring remained the way out of the country’s myriad challenges, adding that Nigeria’s population was a game-changing asset.

He said, “Every part of the country needs a fair deal. We must emphasize governance, not politics. We must reassure the North, no part should feel threatened. We need to void the administrative waste and greed at the centre, and this would ensure fairness, equity, competition and more effectiveness. Each region would develop and cater for the needs of its people. Abuja is too far away from the people.”

The bleeding scars of Nigeria’s unitary federalism can be seen in the guillotining Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the ratty Apapa Road, the trillions of naira spent to procure darkness, the illusory 2nd Niger Bridge and 3rd Mainland Bridge, intractable erosion scourge in the South-East; the sinful environmental pollution in the Niger Delta, spine-chilling Boko Haram evil in the North, and the general milieu of backwardness across the country.

The time to heal our land is now.

Mr Tunde Odesola was a former Political Editor of Punch Newspaper, now lives in US

Governor El-Rufai’s Politics And Teachers’ Revolt

By Erasmus Ikhide

“Your Excellency Sir, we are not sacking teachers in Kaduna. Rather, we are replacing unqualified people who are unfit to be called teachers to save the future of the next generation.” That was Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s response to his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose who chided him that the sacking of 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State could ignite climatic upsurge in crime wave and other ancillary social vices.

The teachers and the labour unions have been up in arms, protesting against the governor for daring to protest the rottenness in the educational system of the State and his attempt to arrest the drift from total collapse. It’s a case of two protesters: the first is insisting on force-feeding poor contents into students’ minds, while the latter is resisting that giving the best education to the students is the responsibility of trainable teachers. It’s like saying, ‘you can’t very well explain to your students how Newton accounted for planetary motion if you hadn’t boned up your Newtonian mechanics first.

The governor pius stand is hinged on the latest poor showing in the WASSCE performance. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report has it that in September 2016, 158,035 students from Kaduna State took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, between 2011 and 2015. Only 12.8 per cent obtained credit passes in five subjects or more, including in English Language and Mathematics. Also, the Kaduna State Educational Resource Centre reported that over the same four-year period, out of 135,957 results released, only 19,137 or 14 per cent passed with the required number of credits for admission to any tertiary institution.

The illiterate teachers should have known that Governor El-Rufai who has the penchant for troubleshooting wouldn’t take the poor output of Kaduna State pupils kindly. Early in 2016, the governor embarked on a suicide mission by instigating a legislation that stipulates prison terms for parents who refused to send their wards to schools. The injuries that resulted from it has not been fully healed to date. Several efforts were made by those who are profiting from the poverty of uneducated people.

As if that was not enough, he further went for the jugular by banning street begging, a tradition that is in sick and soak with Islamic foundation of giving to the less privilege, a trade that has made thousands powerful political power brokers billionaire in the state! The illiterate teachers’ fracas with the governor is long expected, given his style of unfriendliness or his usual inability to always convince his people on policy issues since becoming governor.

Governor El-Rufai’s problem is his selfsame believe that his people would always understand his policy and passion for altruistic leadership towards a liberated state through the development of the people’s mind and the ethical restructuring of their mindset. He has been governing in abstract, believing that a “state or nation can not be greater than her own teacher”! He probably want to do justice to humanity, in a clime that views and receives education with contempt.

Poor El-Rufai expected this gesture to be applauded for his decision to replaced these illiterate teachers in a state or country that wishes to be ‘greater than her own teacher’ without clinical educational standards for the development of the human’s mind. Governor El-Rufai is not the only governor to face this tribulation. Those who made such efforts at righting the wrongs in the educational sectors, including his predecessors at their various states were either intimidated out of the policy or voted out of office.

In 2012 the late Governor Patrick Yakowa shocked Nigerians when he said a verification exercise carried out in the state revealed that no fewer than 2,000 teachers secured their appointments with fake certificates. However, he failed to deal with the issue, forthwith. The backlash is the continued poor grades and by extension poor leader at every level of our national development.

In 2013, a report in the state’s ministry of education revealed that of a total of 1,599 teachers selected from across the state who were given primary four tests in Mathematics and Basic literacy; only one of them scored 75 percent, 251 scored between 50 to 75 percent and 1,300 scored below 25 percent. When the same examination was conducted for 1,800 primary school pupils, virtually all the pupils failed the exam! Surprisingly, no action was taken against the functional illiterate teachers by governor Mukhtar Yaro!

Prior to Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s re-election in 2011, he paid an unscheduled visit to a primary school in the state capital where he encountered an illiterate teacher who could not read her own name in an affidavit she deposed to. That prompted him to organized aptitude text for all the teachers across the state. Painfully, Oshiomhole could not implement the outcome of the aptitude text and his threat to weed off the illiterate teachers from the system turned out to be mere threat. He caved in because of his second term ambition.

He later gave vent to that frustration at a town hall meeting held in July 2013, disclosing that from the audit carried out in the state, “We found that of all our primary school teachers, only 1,287, representing 9% out of 14,484 teachers have proper records in our system. 91% have various forms of discrepancies in their records. About 1,379 teachers, representing 11.5% claim that they obtained their Primary School Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Certificates not more than two years ago, from the school in which they were employed as teachers.”

Oshiomhole was like his counterparts across the country. They lack the balls to step up to the rot in the educational system and ride it off the plague for political reasons. That is even when the figures of Nigerian out of school number has increased to 13.2 million, yet States and federal governments budgetary allocations to education are far below UNESCO benchmark.

With the poor population of more than 90% in the country, it will be fair to say that Nigeria has not been able to provide effective education to almost 75% of the children roaming the streets. This is an extremely depressing figure knowing that education is the bedrock of nation building or great nations. The time is now to awake ourselves and start to work towards improving our education system.

Part of our drawback as a nation unfortunately, is the fact that Nigeria has been plagued with poor leadership over time, whose education or lack of it cannot develop or move the country forward. They are probably too blinded to know that education plays critical role in deciding both political and economic growth of any nation. They are too bereaved of common sense to be aware that once citizens are educated, they brings fame, wealth and prosperity to the country which help to galvanized the development of any country.

They have no idea that educated populace are less aggressive, as such, the society remains in peace, stable in the long run. Education serves as a unifying tool because educated minds work in similar ways, united by the unique sense of reasoning and almost the same sense of right and wrong.

The illiterates teachers have to be flushed out of the system to pave the way for trainable new set of teachers who will impact actual and true knowledge on Kaduna State students. If Governor El-Rufai pulls through, the up coming generation would forever be grateful to him for his statesmanship. He would be remembered as the governor who sacrificed his political ambition for the future generation. The retention of the illiterate teachers in the educational system in Kaduna State, as it is the case with other states of the federation can only bring damnation to Nigeria now and in the future.

Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos.

Email: [email protected]

Follow me twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

El-Rufai Vs NUT: The Battle For Educational Reforms

By Segun Ojo

From the beginning of civilisation until now education has been the major propellant behind man’s voyage in all spheres of life. We all can testify to the spectacular jump in human knowledge and its applications particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Though, our mediocre education has taken us this far, if we can call where we are far. But how much farther can it take us in an ever competitive world. It is sickening to see that we are bent on making education totally irrelevant to our quest to be counted among the biggest economies of the world.

Looking at the trending educational crisis in Kaduna state between Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the Nigeria Union of Teachers, relating to the competency test organized by the state government for 33,000 primary school teachers out of which 21,780 teachers woefully failed the primary four pupils examination organized for them. One begin to wondering ,even asking a rhetorical question that who really is a teacher and who could a pupil be when teachers who were supposed to be a role model for the pupils in primary school, to give basic and qualitative education they deserve, could act so disrespectful to the profession that gave birth to them. …who really is a teacher?

The teacher stands at the most important point in the educational process and must be well versed in the act of teaching. This means that a person called teacher must have acquired the skills required to perform his/her role. A teacher should be someone who had undergone a long period of socialized training and is regarded as a moral instructor, moral educator and a moral model for his/her students. Teaching as a profession has to do with impacting skills, knowledge, information, and attitude among others to the learner. The quality of teachers found in our primary schools goes a long way in determining the quality of pupils from this level of education.

Therefore, teaching cannot be done by just anybody because it involves a body of knowledge being impacted to a less experienced or immature person through conscious and deliberate approach, that teaching as a process requires some knowledgeable personalities, who offer the necessary knowledge and skills to another person. No education can rise above the quality of its teachers.

Developing a functional pool of trained intelligence that will drive the building of a virile nation is a daunting and time consuming exercise which unfortunately never ends. And no country can depend on the human capital of other countries to provide solutions to its development challenges. The critical importance of a locally available highly trained workforce in nation building is undeniable.

And as being posited that a unionist is always believe to be someone who sees reasons to every situation and believes in truth and plight of members in a reasonable manner. Therefore, there is need for the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kaduna state chapter to see reasons why the 21,780 teachers who failed the primary four pupils examination have not done well to motivate a true spirit of unionism to fight for them but to rather leave the system for the competent and fresh brain to come in, because the hands that build do not destroy and teachers are known as small god who preach knowledge in any society. A house built on faulty foundation cannot stand.

Many things may go wrong between the state government and the teachers but the fact  still remains that education reform is a necessity that all need to embrace, as government, teachers, unionists, stakeholders, parents and other members of the society, qualitative and basic education is as important as the daily meal to any human.

Disappointing, when the NUT Chairman, Kaduna state chapter, Audu Amba was claimed to have said those failed teachers are his members and they have duty to protect them, the question that may come to mind is that, is Kaduna NUT happy with how their members failed an exam that was meant for primary four pupils in the state, or do they enjoy the song of failure people are singing for their members?

NUT should look beyond protecting members’ course but rather think of the children whose lives will be affected in the system. Unionists and teachers are also parents to some children; they should imagine what their notion will be if their wards are being thought by some set of teachers who could not only speak good English but also failed a primary four pupil examination in a larger number. Lord Lugard said if a tree is cut in the forest imagine what your reaction will be if such an act is done to you. A blind does not lead a blind.

Every state of the nation need to go back to the drawing board of education reform because we cannot continue politicizing the process of educational sector and want a better result. Making a reference to some states of the nation who take the lead in the education reform particularly at primary school level, Osun is one of those states who is in forefront for education reform per excellence.

Considering the quality of primary school teachers in Osun state one will have to commend the efforts of the government and the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his kind hearted in making qualitative basic education a necessity for children in the state. Construction of ultra model schools with modern facilities for the pupil across the state in order to ensure a conducive learning environment.

What a comparison! There is a need for Kaduna NUT and umbrella body of workers – NLC to give a full support to Governor El-Rufai in his fresh campaign to revive the primary school education from unqualified teachers who could not pass the basic assessment of their pupil. If the teachers and the NUT failed to see any good in what the Governor is doing then they should realize that a blind does not lead a blind.

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

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.

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

What Is Restructuring And Does Nigeria Need It? – The Essence Of The Restructuring Debate In Nigeria, By Nasir El-Rufai

Introduction: When I concluded plans to visit London this week, it was for the purpose of making a presentation on primary health care at Chatham House. But about a week ago, I received a request to also speak here about the restructuring debate in Nigeria. I accepted with reservations because I chair the APC’s Committee on True Federalism.

When I concluded plans to visit London this week, it was for the purpose of making a presentation on primary health care at Chatham House. But about a week ago, I received a request to also speak here about the restructuring debate in Nigeria. I accepted with reservations because I chair the APC’s Committee on True Federalism.

While I appreciate that the invitation to speak on the matter reflects the international attention the Nigerian debate on restructuring is attracting, I am keenly aware that whatever I say here is liable to be misunderstood or misinterpreted by interested parties back home as the position of the committee. So, a useful caveat early on.

I will try to scope the debate around restructuring, place it in the context of the history of Nigeria, highlight what the key issues appear to be, and conclude with how the All Progressives Congress Committee on True Federalism is proceeding with its assignment. Where I consider that outlining my personal views could contribute to the discourse, I will not hesitate to do so, and make clear that such opinions are mine alone.

Nigeria – A Federation without Federalism:
Over five years ago in April 2012, I wrote a widely published article titled “A Federation without Federalism”. The article reflected the broad consensus amongst Nigerians, then and now, that our federation has been dysfunctional, more unitary than federal, and not delivering public goods to the generality of our people.

Despite possessing significant natural resource endowments, being Africa’s leading economy and most populous nation, Nigerians are neither happy nor content with the current political structure, the 1999 Constitution, and virtually all the institutions of governance at the federal, state and local levels. While this may be largely attributable to our political culture and weird leadership selection process rather than institutions and the constitution, many see the latter as the cause and effect of our national discontent.

This state of national dissatisfaction for a variety of reasons and motives has led to strident calls from virtually all segments of Nigerian society for political, constitutional, and fiscal reform using various words and phrases – restructuring, true federalism, devolution, resource control, regionalism, self-determination, and so on. How do we separate the signal from the noise?

How much of the debate is propelled by a desire for national progress and how much is mere politics, opportunism and search for sectional entitlement? Is the debate mostly driven by our fractious politics and competing interests, or are there real grievances whose resolution will create a critical juncture and opportunity for national rebirth. I will attempt to explore these questions and end with some thoughts on how the APC Committee I am privileged to be chairing, and I am hoping to address them.

In Search of Nationhood:
Everyone knows that Nigeria was founded by British fiat in 1914, bringing together the diverse peoples and cultures of a vast land under one polity. As the winds of change unleashed by the outcome of the Second World War and the independence of India spurred agitations for self-government, Nigerians debated, under British tutelage, the political structure of a future, free Nigeria. Those who wanted federalism won the argument, at the cost of being derided as “Pakistanists”  by a vocal minority that wanted a unitary Nigeria.

The 1950s saw the emergence of three regions, Northern, Eastern and Western, with elected Nigerian leaders with limited powers of self-rule. In the pre-independence debates, the leaders of the Western and Northern regions were especially insistent on a loose federation with strong regions. This ultimately prevailed at independence in1960 and was reaffirmed by the Republican Constitution of 1963. Historical records indicate that the peoples of the smaller ethnic groups in the North, West, and East, largely accepted and supported the federalist consensus, and they expected its logic to extend to the creation of new regions for them, or special arrangements to accommodate their interests.

A deal between the parties controlling the Northern and Eastern regions produced the governing coalition at independence in 1960. In 1963, the Mid-West was carved out of the Western region as the fourth region. Each of these regions had a written constitution, emblem and an official representation in London. They had significant powers and were authorized to raise the revenues needed to fund themselves and contribute to the central government.

The political giants that led the old regions competed to do their best for their respective peoples: the Western region launched the first public television service in Africa, a few years after adopting a free education policy that consolidated its head start in Western education by extending universal access to the masses. Each of the three original regions founded its own university, built industrial estates, and developed hospitality businesses; and they tried to build the physical infrastructure needed for a modern economy.

Some of the most enduring institutions in Nigeria were built by these regional governments, hence the understandable nostalgia in some quarters for the currently-dysfunctional federal structure of Nigeria to revert to the regions of old.

However, after the “Five Majors” struck in 1966, and assassinated virtually all the elected political leaders of the Northern and Western Regions, a unitarist tendency gained influence in General Aguiyi Ironsi’s government, and a unification decree was enacted in May 1966, unifying the public service across the country, too much opposition, especially from the Northern Region. Although a counter-coup in July 1966 sounded the death knell for the unification decree, the remnants of unitarism remained, enabled without doubt by the centralized structure of the military which inexorably further distorted our post-independence federalism. The counter-coup was followed by widespread violence in the North, the creation of 12 states out of the four defunct regions, threats of secession and a civil war.

To raise the resources for prosecuting the civil war which started in 1967, the taxation powers of the former regions were changed in favor of the federal government, further strengthening the center at the expense of the twelve states. The military sat tight for 13 years in their first coming. They ensured that the Federal Republic of Nigeria, headed by a Supreme Commander, and ruled by the Federal Military Government, became a strangely named, mainly unitary state.

The four years of civilian democratic rule between 1979 and 1983 saw some resurgence and reassertion of the federal spirit. Lagos State, for instance, established a state university, a radio station, and a television service. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the governor, even signed contracts to build a metro system in Lagos even though railways are, till today, on the Exclusive Legislative List in our Constitution, making it a purely federal function.

The second coming of the military lasted until 1999. In those sixteen years, the unitarist takeover was completed. A new generation of citizens grew up knowing only the command-and-control system of the soldiers. A psychological distortion made political deformation even worse. More powers had been concentrated at the center, the federal bureaucracy had ballooned and there were now many states (from 12 to 36) whose evident limitations proved insufficient to discourage the demand for yet more states.

As states became many, smaller and less fiscally-independent, a powerful center, manifested in a federal government that assumed ever more powers and responsibilities, took the biggest chunk of national revenues (now about 53%) but did very little well. This is a brief summary of our national journey to dysfunction!

Our national psyche has since then been focused on the distribution of easy oil rents from the central government to the states. Thus, after 57 years of independence, it is not unusual to see official government forms that ask for one’s state of origin, ethnicity, and, religion, rather than the state of residence, and what taxes one paid last year. These unitarist and distributive impulses did not accelerate the evolution of national unity and productive endeavor. Rather it created a rentier economic structure and preserved the colonial stratagem of divide and rule using ethnic, religious and geographic identities.

By the late military era, coinciding with the democratic wave unleashed by the end of the Cold War, political groups and civic organizations, mainly in the south, were agitating for a sovereign national conference to negotiate the terms on which the component parts of Nigeria will stay together. The military ruler of the time, President Ibrahim Babangida resisted the call, but his successor, General Abacha, convened a national conference that neither restored federalism nor produced real democracy until he died in 1998.

Democratic rule was restored in May 1999, following the election of former General Olusegun Obasanjo as president. In 1976, General Obasanjo became the second military officer hailing from the south to become Head of State. In 1999, he became the first from the south to take office as an executive president. The calls for a sovereign national conference became slightly muted in the period leading to the 2003 elections, but came alive again in 2005, as Obasanjo’s tenure was coming to an end.

There have been two national conferences in the Fourth Republic, convened by sitting presidents, but both were trailed by suspicions that they were arranged to advance some kind of personal or sectional political agenda. The conferences instituted by Presidents Obasanjo (2005) and Goodluck Jonathan (2014) did not lead to the restoration of federalism or advance democratic consolidation.

Where We Are as APC Administration:
As observed earlier, in recent months, there has been a resurgence of the clamor for restructuring. Some of the advocates have not bothered to define what restructuring means to them: is it devolution of powers, resource-control, regionalism, or even self-determination, or all of these? Restructuring is the new buzz word, and some of its advocates demonize anyone not using the same registers as them, while many a politician espies in its opportunities for media attention, renewed relevance, or career enhancement. Perhaps I have only described the variety of motivations that tend to surround great questions!

I have previously expressed my personal view, regretting the opportunism of certain leaders who espouse restructuring now for purposes of political and media attention, noting that they did nothing to advance such goals when they were in power. And I pointed out that the Federal Government needs to devolve more powers to the states, and the states to the local governments. On live national television, I asserted that this is already happening under the APC national government by convention and pragmatic devolution, without any legislation, national conference or constitutional amendment.

For instance, my colleagues and I in the Kaduna State Executive Council requested that the Federal Government should re-designate two major roads in Kaduna, our state capital, as state roads. The Federal Executive Council granted our wishes, restoring the two roads to our control and saving us the inconvenience of seeking permission from a federal bureaucrat before we can install street lights on a major road in our state capital. I also cited the fact that the Federal Government no longer just issues mining titles in Abuja; rather it now works with state governments that control the titles to land, unlike in our recent non-collaborative past. In Kaduna State, we are trying to devolve control of forests, management of fire services and other ‘state-level’ functions to our 23 local governments, in addition to many others.

As I argued at a recent event, I do not believe that a single, centralized police force can deliver on the necessity to visibly project state power and enforce the law in this vast country of ours with nearly 200 million people. Neither is the exclusive control of over-crowded prisons and an unmanageable number of federal trunk roads and railways!

Amidst these renewed demands for restructuring, our national parliament – the Senate and House of Representatives – had voted against key restructuring provisions in the proposed constitutional amendment bills. The APC has a majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, and the public expected the party to provide leadership on the issue of true federalism, which is one of our manifesto commitments.

APC Committee on True Federalism:
In response to these developments and due to the need to clearly articulate our roadmap for political and constitutional reform, the APC set up a Committee on True Federalism to help to give structure to the debate, remove the bile and bitterness coloring the matter and transform the discourse into a nation-building event.

Our party is particularly keen to hear the voices of young people that account for over 80 percent of our population, not just the eloquent assertions of the old politicians like me who are above the age of 50.

The APC Committee on True Federalism, which I chair, has the following
Terms of Reference:
1. Examine the Party constitution, manifesto and other publications to ascertain the true intent and definition of the national structure promised by the Party during the Presidential campaign.
2. Review all various ideas being promoted in the current public debate on national restructuring
3. Take a studied look at the report of the various national conferences and in particular that of 2014, its recommendations to identify areas of concurrence with the Party’s promise in (1) above.
4. Liaise with APC caucus in the National Assembly to deliberate and recommend a legislative strategy for addressing the demand for political restructuring and how to use the report of National Conference in the best interest of the country.
5. Arising from (1-4) above, propose an appropriate mechanism for implementing the Party position within the confines of current constitutional arrangement without prejudice to the continued unity and shared prosperity of the nation.
6. Make any other recommendation which in the opinion of the committee advances the unity national integration and collective well-being of the country.

The Committee began by focusing its preliminary research and preparatory work in the following four broad areas:
• Balance in the federation – Devolution of powers to sub-nationals;
• Review of revenue allocation formula;
• Citizenship matters including federal character, and
• Review of key recommendations of the 2005 and 2014 national conferences.

The preponderance of opinion is that the federal government needs to shed weight and return powers and resources to the states where most government functions can be more efficiently undertaken. For the states to take on these powers, they need to access a greater share of the nation’s resources. And we need to sort out the notion of citizenship so that every Nigerian can enjoy the protection of the Constitution wherever they choose to reside. In many communities, people still use the notion of ‘indigene-ship’ to consign compatriots
to a position of ‘settler’ and, by implication, perpetual exclusion from enjoying the full political, social and economic opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.

Key Issues for Debate:
After a careful review of history, literature, and reports on the four broad areas identified above, the APC Committee on True Federalism has reduced the subject matter to the following twelve contentious issues that have consistently featured in virtually all previous debates on the issues around restructuring by whatever name or phrase:
1) Creation or merger of states and the framework and guidelines for achieving that;
2) Derivation principle, bordering on what percentage of federal collectible revenues from mining should be given back to the sub-nationals from which the commodities are extracted;
3) Devolution of powers: what items on the exclusive legislative list should be transferred to the recurrent list, especially state and community police, prisons, etc.;
4) Federating Units: Should Nigeria be based on regions or zones or retain the 36-state structure?
5) Fiscal federalism and revenue allocation;
6) Form of government – (parliamentary or presidential?);
7) Independent candidacy;
8) Land tenure system;
9) Local government autonomy;
10) Power sharing and rotation of political offices;
11) Resource control; and
12) Type of legislature – part-time or full-time, unicameral or bicameral?

We have since published calls for memoranda, created various social media platforms to tap into the opinions of the younger generation, and commenced public hearings in 12 locations across Nigeria. The final public hearing will take place in the nation’s capital Abuja, targeting National Assembly members and the general public living within the federal capital territory.

The Secretary of our Committee, Senator Bunmi Adetunmbi articulated our position very clearly recently:

“The APC recognizes that the work of nation-building is an ongoing process in which every stakeholder has a role to play, by making his own contribution. In this case, the APC as a national political party is an institution and a stakeholder that has a role to play in making its own contribution. This exercise is our own way of making that contribution.”

“The APC leadership felt that it is not necessary to think alone among ourselves but to also ask members of the public what they think. That is why everything this Committee is doing is not about its own opinion, but harvesting the opinion of the ordinary people in order to form an opinion. After all, no political party exists just by itself, but by the mandate of people.”

“In this regard, we have put up an announcement calling on members of the public to submit memoranda and meet us at designated venues of the public hearings without any discrimination. So, it is an open invitation to all Nigerians to attend and make their views and voices to count.”

With this multi-pronged approach, we are confident we will feel the pulse of ordinary Nigerians and submit a credible report that will guide the leaders of our party, and governments. With this open-minded approach to the question of restructuring, I have no doubt that we will credibly fulfill our terms of reference.

Some Concluding Thoughts:
As I have argued since 2012, there is no doubt that the Nigerian federation is unbalanced and in dire need of structural rebalancing. This I think we all agree as Nigerians, but the devil is in the details. While some advocates of wholesale abandonment of the existing political structure are probably unrealistic in their expectations, I believe most Nigerians appreciate and cherish our unity in diversity but seek the enthronement of a fairer, meritocratic system that puts social justice above everything else. It is not very hard to achieve this.

Under the current constitutional order, such a system can be achieved peacefully either (i) gradually as shown by the Buhari administration’s devolution of responsibilities and increasing
involvement of sub-nationals in national economic policymaking or (ii) more rapidly through constitutional and legislative actions of the National and State Assemblies well before the 2019 general elections. Both options are already being pursued albeit in a haphazard manner, hence the need for our Committee.

Our expectation as a governing party (and government in office) is that the voice of Nigerians – particularly young people – ought to set the agenda for what is desirable in creating a country where there are equal opportunities for all, and where peace and justice reign. The insistent din of the vocal political minority should not drown the new voices of the majority, many of whom are young and apolitical.

Our Committee hopes our approach will enable our party to attain the goal of getting to the very heart and soul of the restructuring debate through the lens of the ordinary Nigerian. There is an opportunity for Nigerians to advance, discuss and refine ideas for adjusting the Exclusive List, Minerals and Mining Rights, the local government system, choice of National VAT versus Sub-National Sales Taxes, Population Census and re-Demarcation of Federal and State Constituencies based on the 2006 Census – all matters that are long overdue for deep reflection and reform.

This nation-building exercise could also encourage consensus for introducing State Constitutions, State Police, Appeal and Supreme Courts, creation or merger of states, reviewed tax powers, and reinforcing state government control over land by vesting mineral rights in the states, subject to federal royalties, export duties, and taxes.

We intend to submit our Committee’s report to the Party by the end of
October 2017 by God’s Grace.

I thank you for the opportunity. Thanks for listening and God bless.

Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, OFR
Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria

El-Rufai Calls Shiites Leader El-Zakzaky Is An Animal

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky is an animal.

The governor said that his problem with the El-Zakzaky’s movement was their refusal to acknowledge the state government, the federal government, and even Nigeria’s constitution.

He said, “Shi’ites are citizens of Nigeria and they are entitled to practice their religion, there is no problem with that. Those protesting for the release of El-Zakzaky are not necessarily Shias, they are members of El-Zakzaky’s movement.

“In Kaduna, there are two other Shi’ite organizations that don’t protest, they don’t block highways, they recognize the President of Nigeria and me as the governor of the state and we don’t have a problem with them.

“The one that we have problems with is the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, headed by El-Zakzaky, they don’t recognise the President of Nigeria as sovereign, they don’t recognize me as governor. Their allegiance is to another country and their objective is to turn Nigeria into an Islamic republic.

“They are against the state, never recognized the Nigerian constitution.

“I know El-Zakzaky personally, we were both students at the Amadu Bello University in Zaria, we were both active in the Muslim Students Society so I know the animal I’m dealing with. Many of those making comments on this issue don’t know the history, I was in ABU when El-Zakzaky was dismissed, I know him.”

On outlawing the group, El-Rufai said, “Outlawing them is the only solution we see and anybody with a different view should tell us.”

Source: Naija News