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

El-Rufai : A Governor And His Tissue Of Lies

An attempt by Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai to rubbish the contribution of the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the Southwest to the success of the party in the 2015 presidential election has drawn the ire of many Nigerians. They condemned the statement, which he made in a memo to the President, describing it as reckless. Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN reports:

MONTHS after it became a public document, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s secret memo to President Muhammadu Buhari continues to generate controversies. He is said to be trying to belittle the significant role played by the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in President Buhari’s victory in the 2015 presidential election.

El-Rufai had in a controversial memo addressed to Buhari created the impression that Tinubu and his group from the Southwest have blown their contribution to the APC victory out of proportion. He stated in the memo: “The Lagos group, more or less led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is the most organised and proactive. This group made a key contribution in our electoral success, but like all groupings, it naturally exaggerates its role in order to increase its influence in the coming administration. The group will use the media to promote its own “GMB Boys” or suggest Northerners of their choice that they think would do their bidding.”

To lend credence to his assumption, El-Rufai alleged that “some already are boasting that they will choose the next petroleum minister and the executive leadership of the NNPC. They will seek direct control or great influence over key economic portfolios, including agencies involved in revenue generation (NNPC, FIRS, Customs, etc.) law enforcement (Attorney General, EFCC etc.) and financial services regulation (CBN, SEC, PenCom etc). This group will seek an alliance with some GMB family members to help strengthen their pre-eminent position in these areas”.

Nigerians are unanimous in condemning El-Rufai’s attempt to rubbish the contribution of Tinubu in formation of APC and its victory in 2015; and for trying to sow the seed of discord between the North and the Southwest that came together for the first time to rescue Nigeria from misrule and inept leadership.

Elder statesman and Afenifere leader Senator Ayo Fasanmi could not understand what El- Rufai wanted to achieve with his memo. He said it is absolutely impossible to write the history of APC, its formation and registration without mentioning the significant role played by Tinubu. He cautioned the Kaduna State governor against making ridiculous statements and urged him to face the business of good governance to restore peace in his state.

Fasanmi said: “Without the combined efforts of Tinubu and other progressive leaders, the story of APC could have been different.  The position we find the country in which President Buhari is fighting corruption with vigour would not have existed.

“It does not matter where the president comes from. What should be our concern, I mean the progressives in this country, is how to move the country forward, which I believe is the concern of President Buhari and the leadership of the APC. I wonder why the likes of El-Rufai should be making statements that could cause division, not only within the APC, but the country as a whole.

“Nigeria must come together to rescue the country; support the administration of President Buhari in his tireless efforts to restore normalcy to the polity and reposition the country.”

A lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Monday Ubani, said El- Rufai was not sincere with his  claim over the contribution of Tinubu to APC victory in 2015. He said: “El-Rufai has a very bad mindset for making such a statement. I respect him as an intelligent person, but he is very treacherous and not a sincere person; he sees himself as the Alpha and Omega. There was no way Buhari could have won, if he had gone it alone; it was Tinubu and the Southwest that made it possible for him to win”.

Ubani said Tinubu played a great role in the amalgamation of legacy parties and the emergence of the APC. “He made sure Buhari emerged as presidential candidate and won the election. Asiwaju sacrificed his personal ambition for Buhari to emerge as President after two unsuccessful attempts.

“It is true Buhari has credibility, but if he didn’t market it well, he can’t win. Tinubu and the people of the Southwest did that for him. He became popular in the South for the first time. El-Rufai’s memo cannot undermine the significant contributions made by Tinubu and Southwest.

“Let me say for record purpose that President Buhari has never forgotten the contribution of Asiwaju; he said it privately and openly that, without the support of Asiwaju and Southwest, he couldn’t have won the presidential election.”

Afenifere scribe Chief Seinde Arogbofa was disappointed with the El-Rufai’s comment. Tinubu, he said, unilaterally led the Southwest to Buhari’s camp and wondered why the governor would undermine his role.

Arogbofa said: “It was not too long ago that many people frowned at the treatment being meted out to Tinubu in the APC because we thought whatever may be his shortcoming, he didn’t deserve such treatment from a party he laboured to bring to power.

‘’Tinubu was a force in APC.  Although, different political groups came together to form the APC like Action Congress of Nigeria, led by Tinubu, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Buhari’s CPC. But, the most crucial factor was that of Tinubu in making Buhari president.But for Tinubu, the success story would have been otherwise.”

Lagos State APC Chairman Otunba Oladele Ajomale said Tinubu was the brain behind the formation of APC, adding nobody can take the leadership of the party from him. He said the ACN which, Tinubu led to the negotiation table for the formation of APC, was a senior partner. “We went there with six governors, the highest produced by the parties that merged to form APC,” he stressed.

Ajomale recalled that Asiwaju started crusade for the power shift, saying that he should not be rubbished. “Whatever you do you must reap the fruits of your labour,” he said.

He lamented some leaders were trying to put things right, few are trying to create problems within the party to truncate APC’s plan for the country.

El-Rufai’s political rival, Senator Shehu Sani, also had harsh words to the governor.

Sani, who represents Kaduna Central in the Senate, said it was unfortunate that El-Rufai who, smiles with Tinubu during the day light, stings him at night. He described the governor’s act as sad, unfortunate, perfidious and the height of ingratitude.

He added: “We must accept the stark truth that without Tinubu and the principled position of the Southwest, dislodging Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling PDP  could have still remain a pipe dream, a hollow hope or a political mirage.El-Rufai defecates on a broom that is supposed to clean the littered floor of the nation.

“President Buhari is the heart of APC and Asiwaju is the lungs. Tinubu’s contribution to the success of the party is unequalled. El Rufai smiles with Tinubu broad day light and stings him at night. He hugs Tinubu with a chest of hooks and shakes him with toxic palms.

“El-Rufai should publicly apologise to Tinubu and the Southwest. To insult a man publicly and apologise to him privately is to eat your cake and have it. Those heavily drinking from the liquor of power should know that they will later or lately have to drive back home.”


Source: The Nations

El-Rufai Arrest Kaduna Journalist

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-rufai has ordered the arrest and subsequently sent a Kaduna-based journalist, Mr Jacob Onjewu Dickson to Prison Custody, on the allegation of writing a story the state Government described as inciting.

Jacob Onjewu was invited by the State Police command over a story an online news medium www.autthenticnewsdaily broke that the governor was pelted and booed in  Angwan Gado a suburb of Malali axis in Kaduna North local government area of the state where a communal clash was said to have broken out earlier in the week.

The online medium was believed to be managed by Mr Dickson, but the said story was written by one  PHILIBUS DAUDA. Following the report on www.authenticnewsdaily, other conventional media reported the story.

However, Mr Dickson was on Thursday invited by the state Police Command to write a statement and thereafter was detained in the police custody where he passed the night in a police cell at the police headquarters.

Mr Dickson was on Friday shipped to Court, in Kaduna Magistrate  Court 1  where a secret trial was conducted in the judge office and Mr Jacob was asked to be remanded in prison custody without the option of bail.

It would be recalled that www.authenticnewsdaily reported that, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai was said to be stoned by angry youths in Ungwan Gado Community, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis, earlier this week.

It was gathered that the governor was there to broker peace between that community and a neighbouring community, resulting from the gruesome murder of a teenager, a day before his visit.

The incident occurred at about 9 pm, in spite of a strong presence of security operatives, deployed to the area to douse the rising tension.

An eyewitness informed that the governor on arriving the area was pelted, with chants of ‘ba mu so’ when translated from Hausa, means ‘we don’t want you’ chorused by the angry youths.

It was gathered that trouble in the communities all located within Malali axis in Kaduna, broke out when youths suspected to be under the influence of drugs stabbed a teenager to death at a public gathering they all attended.

It is still unclear if the youth that was murdered was a Muslim or Christian, but as it stands, the crisis is beginning to take a religious colouration.

Efforts to reach el-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan and the Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State, Zubairu Abubakar to respond to the development proved abortive as calls put to them were not picked. Text message sent to him on the development was also not responded to as at the time of filing this report.

As at the time of this report, tension is still high in the affected communities, with fears that reprisals may take place in other parts of Kaduna.

It was observed that Hausa traders who usually thronged the Yam Market located in Sabon Tasha, a 100 percent Christian community were completely absent from there on Tuesday night as rumours of the crisis spread throughout Kaduna City.

Kaduna APC Splinter Group Berates El-Rufai on Memo to Buhari

Kaduna senator, Shehu Sani, has urged the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to punish Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for allegedly leaking to reporters a memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Sani, who is the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, called for punitive measures in a statement he released in Abuja on Saturday.

In the September 2016 memo published this week, Mr. El-Rufai told President Buhari that he was losing the vision and the momentum with which APC started the change campaign.

The governor told the president how bad the nation was faring under his watch, and how the president’s policies, actions and in-actions have contributed to the nation’s woes, and what could be done to steer Nigeria back to greatness.

In the 30-page memo, first published, to Mr. Buhari touched several areas, ranging from the ailing economy, to the dynamics of the nation’s politics, lack of coercion within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the poor relationship between the president and the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, and other party leaders, including the APC governors.

Mr. Sani said it was ironic that while Gov. El-Rufai could not stand constructive criticism, he had the audacity to criticize the president.

“The governor always recommends that our party should punish me for criticizing him,” the lawmaker said.

“Now that he has fired a cruise missile at the President through a deliberately leaked memo, he should also be treated the same way.


“He accused me of being disloyal and disrespectful to the President and the party for speaking my mind.

“Now he has done his own cunningly by criticizing the President and the party, disguised it as a memo and leaked it out to the press.

“If our able party chair would give me five strokes of the cane for speaking out, the governor (El Rufai) should be given thrice that for ‘leaking out’.

“It’s often said that look at the message and not the messenger, but there are times when you can only decipher the message by looking at the messenger,” he said.

According to Mr. Sani, while Gov. El-Rufai is entitled to his opinion and perception, the contradiction and irony is that he carried out an action he always stood against when criticized.

He described the governor as disloyal and disrespectful, saying: “the difference is that while mine is blunt, his is dubious.

“Secondly, for all the issues he raised against the President, his own is worst in his space of governance both in the existence of cabal or politics of exclusion, incompetence or public perception.

“The difference is that the President is tolerant of criticisms and alternative views.’’

He said the leakage of the memo to journalists was an evidence that “logically he is leaking memo to rouse popular sympathy and create the image of “a competent alternative” to “Baba”.

Mr. Sani advised President Buhari to be cautious, saying: “he who keeps a scorpion in his pocket must always watch his groin and he who inherits a cobra should know that it’s not a pet.”

El-Rufai Orders FRSC Off Kaduna Streets

The Federal road safety commission has been barred by the Kaduna state government from erecting a check point in kaduna and other urban centers of the state.


Nasiru El’Rufia the special assistant to the governor on media and publicity and Mr Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday said in a statement that decisions has been taken concerning the complain of the general public in a meeting held by the state security council,about the road marshals.

He said, “The council acted following complaints that FRSC officials were acting in ways reminiscent of the VIO that was dissolved by the state government following widespread unease at their acts of disrespect for the public and penchant for extortion.”

The government stressed that the FRSC personnel have been barred “from indiscriminately stopping vehicles for inspection in Kaduna town, a situation which has been responsible for avoidable traffic congestion and accidents.”

The government further directed the FRSC officials to, henceforth, concentrate their activities “in ensuring safe travel on highways such as the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.”

It also barred petrol tankers from loading firewood, tomatoes and other goods on top of their vehicles throughout the state, because of the danger the practice pose to lives and property.

It said, “The Security Council, therefore, mandated security agencies to ensure compliance with these directives, and relevant agencies were also directed to impound defaulting tankers.”

The meeting of the security council was chaired by the governor, and had in attendance his Deputy, Mr Barnabas Bala, and heads of military and paramilitary agencies in the state.




Afenifere Condemns Buhari’s Silence on Southern Kaduna Violence

Afenifere, a leading socio-cultural group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to show respect for human life and condemn the violence and killings in southern Kaduna believed to be orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen.

This is following a report by the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna, which disclosed that a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across four local governments in the state. The report also revealed that 57 people were injured, farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were destroyed, and 1,422 houses and 16 churches burnt.

In a statement by its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the group urged the president to set up an inquiry into the killings to identify the remote and immediate causes, identify the perpetrators and also compel Governor Nasir El-Rufai to disclose all the killers he has interfaced with and compensated so that they can be brought to trial. The group also demanded that the victims be compensated.

Afenifere also asked Mr. President to instruct security agencies accused of taking sides in the conflicts to perform their duties fairly.

The statement read in parts: “It grieves us that the Federal Government has been quiet on these killings, relying on the governor of the state who has openly confessed that he looked out for the killers to compensate them because they are of the same ethnic stock with him.

“A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor, by that claim, can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.”

Afenifere condemned a statement credited by the spokesman of the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that Buhari had been quiet on the killings because he could not speak on every issue.

“How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be ‘every issue’? Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser proportion occurred?

“When Mr. President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather, did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa language?

“The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows, pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.

Also, the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Timothy Yahaya yesterday urged Buhari to declare a national day of
mourning over the killing of innocent citizens.