Blogger Gets Death Threats Over Article He Wrote on Kaduna State Governor, Ramalan Yero
One of Omojuwa.com’s and AfricanLiberty.org’s most consistent writers Abubakar Musa is the next person to get death threats over his opinion on how government should run. He had written an article on the Kaduna State Government and how they could do better. The article is re-published here . While this number 07055816320 called him to issue the threats, 08107875202 sent threat messages. See the attached pictures. A report has since been made to the police but it helps to have this publicly documented here. Read the writer’s story below – Japheth Omojuwa @omojuwa
It is rather unfortunate that certain elements, at State and Federal levels, are bent on taking anyone that dares to ask questions or demand explanations regarding certain misadventures happening within their ranks. What we witnessed during the military era is fast resurfacing even as we claim to be practicing democracy. They’ve decided, in their usual manifestation, to attack the messenger rather than tackle the message.
Within the faithful days of August 23rd to 25th, I wrote an article that was widely published and circulated by various platforms on the executive governor of Kaduna State, Ramalan Mukhtar Yero and his leadership style. While the article contained lots that the government should have cared to address, they’ve decided to throw spit at me. On Thursday, I received a call at about 10:30pm by a certain unknown number threatening to get me eliminated if I do not resist attacking their governor. Though the caller spoke in Hausa language, but I perceived a sense of deep literacy within his utters. Yesterday, Friday 11th October, 2013 at about 5:10pm, I got two text messages, one in English and the other in Hausa, threatening me as well (see pictures). Both messages confirmed what I was told by the caller the previous night.
Initially, I was tempted not to report to any security agency because of the lacklustre level of our security agents in handling investigative cases. But after consultations with various individuals, we decided to report to the nearest security outfit. Well, the threat was done, by whoever it was, to have me and my likes take our battle guns of challenging mediocre government down. But I will wish to inform them that the battle has just began.
Government was never and will never be a personal affair. We must ask questions, we must demand for answers and criticising, though constructively, we must not fail to do. My life belongs to no one but Almighty God, their threats and tactics of sabotaging progressive efforts will never work. I remain loyal and committed to seeing a responsible government that will have the interests of everyone at heart. – Abubakar Musa (@blinkingam)
Below is the article.
The Kaduna State Governor Is A Classic Example of How Not To Govern
Contrary to varied intuitive understanding of ‘godfatherism politics’ as a discourse of division, some argue that it’s also a discourse of integration, serving to bring the allies closer to each other. The fundamental logic of such politics, considered a Schmittian game of telling friends from enemies, makes betrayal an unpardonable crime and the traitor the worst kind of enemy.
Yet at the same time, betrayal, in politics of godfatherism, acknowledges an intimacy that existed prior to the act of betrayal: an intimacy that must be denounced and, even, at times, held in disgust. During the era of late governor Patrick Yakowa, while he and many of his followers worried about being betrayed by his staunch allies and he was at the risk of exiting the bowl of power, then deputy governor, Yero never understood betrayal as a political risk. Eight months after being sworn as the governor of Kaduna State, by circumstances of death and destiny, governor Yero now has a new definition for betrayal as ‘political risk’, at least through his actions.
It’s glaringly obvious that our dear governor is confusing reality with imagination. The events that unfolded over the last eight months led me to reflect on how an imaginary crisis can be productive, for it means imagining an alternative history that bears on political reality. The events — both political and otherwise –depressing-esque meshing of political suspense and sub-plots, also revealed the sort of risky connections between fantasy and politics that could put real lives at risk. While Yero’s era as deputy governor can be regarded as political fantasy, eight months into his tenure as governor, he’s yet to come to terms with the political reality bestowed on him.
It’s this confusion, with no end in sight, that triggered my much laid down sense of demand and accountability. In this era of political correctness, no doubt, many will argue that it’s too early to judge a governor whose tenure can still be regarded as a ‘baby’ one. Our mediocre value construct of offering a time frame as an excuse for failure always beats my imagination. Real men handle institutions of power from the hour authority falls on them.
For those familiar with Kaduna State, in a context of charity, it should be a municipal too easily to govern with real men at the helm of affairs. For a state that’s well structured post independence, one would’ve imagined by now, the expansion levels of Kaduna should be at par with that of Lagos State. However, from 1999 to date, juxtaposed with the resources generated regularly and the accrued Federal Government allocations, one is right to say nothing has been achieved in moving the state forward — infrastructurally and economically. The only aspect well established is that of corruption — birthing godfatherism and sycophancy.
It will be a sheer act of hypocrisy not to acknowledge the efforts of former governor Ahmed Makarfi in providing infrastructural development to rural areas during his era, even though little can be said of the metropolis. When Namadi came on board, being an architect himself, one would’ve expected him to compliment the efforts of his predecessor. Regrettably, the parallels were too obvious for even a blind folk to feel and differentiate. For the better part of his three years as governor, there was hardly any substantial project of note, no matter how charitable one intend to be to him. The only thing that characterized his short, yet destructive spell was the propagation of an unrealistic millennium city project. A project that remains as elusive as it’s illusive.
The coming of Patrick Yakowa, as expected, signalled some levels of hope. Though ours is a clime where commencement of projects hardly defines its success rate, but at least, there were some visible projects no matter how miniature, to point to. For the less than two years he was in charge, Yakowa’s era wasn’t without its lapses. However, the positives far outweighed the deficits until destiny played its hand. Then came Ramalan Yero, whom many had thought, going by the circumstance of his emergence, would continue with the projects started by his predecessor, at least infrastructurally. Unfortunately, ever since his inauguration, governor Yero had succeeded in ensuring the state attained a historical feat of been the only state with four governors — three of whom are governing by proxy.
Some of the monumental achievements of his first eight months included nominating his father to chair a board of a federal neuro-psychiatric hospital in the state. For a system that will appoint Salisu Buhari (Former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives), who forged certificates to win an electoral position, to chair a governing council of a federal university, appointing a governor’s father to chair any board is no less a mediocre act. The 560 million naira subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme (SURE P) funds that disappeared without any sort of explanation marked another turning point in defining the kind of government we had on board. This was a sum meant, though without any rationale backing it, for complimenting developmental projects.
While the state is yet to recover from such abuses of human power exhibited by the governor, another naked cynicism was displayed. Withdrawing state funds (estimated to be around 28bn naira) meant for developmental projects in the name of paying the vice President a certain debt the state is owing him is the highest form of political rascality and leadership vulgarity. One shouldn’t be surprised because we are in a country where anything is possibile. Impossibility, positively or otherwise, is never greeted with less paucity by must Nigerians.
From its inception, Yero’s administration was one that never showed any clear sense of focus nor logical direction, but corrosive servile form of flattery. It has been very slow and inept from the word go. Worse still, even more slower and disconnected from the masses as it matures daily. There has not been notable will and intention in justifying the trust placed upon it by the ever reluctant and status quo massaged state citizens.
The era of Yero, in the last eight months, had succeeded in serving only the interests of godfathers and elites within and outside the state. Most notable is the vice President who, aided by non functional responsibility except attending cocktail parties and commissioning of ghost projects, is always curiously interested in how a cent is managed in the state account.
Supported by his lack of political experience and weak disposition as a leader, the governor always succumbs to whatever the demands of the vice President are, even if they mean milking the state empty.
Recent happenings within the state shows that the governor’s dad must endorse whatever proxy projects to be issued for one to be sure of his guaranteed share of the jamboree. How low these people have made governance and power intoxicate them is beyond one’s ability to conceive. While states like Kano are putting eternal efforts to advance the state in all areas, Kaduna, which many northern States previously looked up to, is fast dwindling economically and infrastructurally. It’s an abuse of State prowess to state here that as large a city as Kaduna is, there are only two major dual road linkages.
The third , which billions had been sunk into, is the Eastern bypass which is yet to be fully operational. Even the minor dual roads not linking to other states are less available. For a city that is long due for expansion and which the government, over the years, had maintained a reluctant stand to attend to, the pseudo Lagos traffic that’s becoming a permanent imperil in the city should be anything but surprising. The few individuals that had showed the desire to expand the city hardly got any government backing.
For example, there were new government layouts at Barakallahu and Rigachikun areas of the State issued to individuals by Makarfi’s administration, but when Namadi came on board, together with the Nigerian Airforce authority, he contrived to claim the lands. Till date, individuals’ properties worth billions are at their custody, denying the city a chance to be de-congested and expanded for good. The story isn’t any different today, as there are many instances of cases where the state government would’ve impacted meaningfully, but have failed to do so on grounds of visionless stand and satisfying the elitist class. It’s also the same in Zaria and other suburbs of the state, if not even worse.
The furore that rocked the state assembly over the last few weeks, leading to the speaker’s impeachment attempt, is evidence of the crack within the top setup. Yes, the tenure may be young, but the scandals already rocking it are typical manifestations of bleak days ahead.
However one may look at it, it’s high time governor Yero got himself out of the stranglehold of Namadi’s tantrums. Leadership and governance are not a family affair. He must free himself from the intoxication his political godfather suffered from while in charge of the state. If all that’s happening within the state, as others are claiming, though not justifiable, are because his government is too young to get its acts together, I wonder how long it will take him to start executing meaningful projects.
There’s no better time for the governor to carve his name in gold than now. But he must first realize the task ahead of him and make himself a free civic entity. A word they say, is enough for the wise.
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