Home ENGLISH VIEWPOINT: Yellow Card For El-Rufa’i (2) BY Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed

VIEWPOINT: Yellow Card For El-Rufa’i (2) BY Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed


The role assigned to a state governor requires hard work and continuous physical effort. It is extremely demanding, very difficult to fulfill, endure or overcome. It is also laborious, requiring a lot of time, attention, energy or resourcefulness. The function of any incumbent governor, therefore, is to serve a particular purpose or to operate normally without devising anything or coming across a situation which will drastically limits his freedom of action.

In that case it is unimaginable how a sitting governor could deliberately evoke a condition that would prevent him from doing what is necessary to achieve what was being expected, desired or promised. Surprisingly, that was what Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’I is doing presently:  persistently absenting himself from the area of his primary assignment without valid and tangible reason. He has become more or less a governor in diaspora at the expense of the time and commitment of governance. It was rumored that he has gone back to school abroad, a situation that is inconsistent from what is standard, normal or expected.

It is certain how a governor faced with the arduous task of transforming a dislocated and malfunctioning economy and also faced with myriads of security challenges has no business going abroad for lessons. It is on record that one Governor who was  Nasiru’s predecessor in Kaduna Government House, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd) had to relinquish his enviable position of Military Governor  when he sought to further his education abroad, late 1988. Why couldn’t Governor Nasir do the same?

Besides, the government of el-Rufa’I has always been mired in unnecessary controversies which come in regular succession. The citizens of Kaduna State and the nation in general were anxious and uneasy by the disturbing news of sacking close to 5000 traditional title holders on the flimsy excuse that the government could not remunerate them adequately. Clearly, that move was manifestly anti-people. Unlike the local government administrations during the previous PDP administration which had paid the traditional rulers   consistently and sufficiently, those under Governor el-Rufa’I where starved of necessary funds to pay them for more than twenty-four months before they were eventually shown the exit.  How callous and indifferent?

Governor el-Rufa’I is no novice when it comes to executing construction works. He is an A-rated professional who had initiated gigantic projects in the Federal Capital to the admiration of all, but ironically  hewoefully failed to complete less ambitious projects he initiated in Kaduna State despite huge expenditures incurred. The short township roads,  poorly constructed and badly looked after, have been washed away by the early rains, while the sustained downpour has also caused the widening of sinister and dangerous potholes on most of the major roads in many cities of the state and also within the Kaduna metropolis.

The unsavory tale about construction works in many locations in the state was that of ominous culverts and drainages embarked upon since December last year  but stopped just a month after. These have not only been a nuisance and constant source of trouble and annoyance to road users and dangerous to adjacent buildings, they also constitute health hazard and bothersome eyesore. The streets of Kaduna Township are  perpetually in bad condition. The lights on them are not properly maintained or regularly serviced, while the few installed by el-Rufa’i’s government, touted to be of most advanced level of technology, have after all been discovered to be inferior, hence they were nicknamed ‘Tokumbo’ lamps due to their substandard and inferior quality. Needless to say, that has really  countered the contention of Governor el-Rufa’I when he was campaigning  that he would transform  Kaduna  into Dubai within the briefest period of time.

The  belief of the people of Kaduna, including the Kaduna Restoration Group, a rainbow coalition like-minded political assemblage, that Kaduna State Government has divested itself from the people was attested by the barrage of litigations, court orders and injunctions being obtained against it on daily basis by the disgruntled people of the state. The over 2000 houses built by colonial masters have been earmarked for sale–  an action that has been viewed as not only arbitrary but illegal. No doubt that action amounts to dispossessing the people of their properties only to sell them to others. It simply amount to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

However, it is not surprising that the el-Rufa’I administration has the penchant for selling public assets to the elites and possibly to highly-placed government officials thereby treating the poor masses unfairly. The people of Kaduna State are at a loss, uncertain of what to say or do about why the government is regaling the people with amusing stories about its phantom prowess and achievements which do not bemuse them but turn them into doubting Thomases.

It is against that backdrop the Kaduna Restoration Group was cautioning Governor el-Rufa’I to restore his already derailed administration back on track so as to save the ruling party in the state, the APC from disintegrating.A word is enough for a wise!