Re: Nasiru El-Rufai’s Lockdown And The Spoilers At The Door, By Salihu Tanko Yakasai

I was highly surprised when I came across a piece with the above caption that appeared in the online edition of the Vanguard newspaper of Wednesday 3rd June 2020 pseudonymously penned by Rotimi Fasan.

Apart from the blatant misrepresentation and misinformation contained therein, the article is pregnant with sheer blame-game, opprobrium and aspersions against Kano State, its government and its good people aimed solely at hoodwinking the unsuspecting reading public.

What is more painful is that in all intents and purposes, the 19-paragraph article is an exercise in futility aimed at politicizing a serious health issue, it also shows lack of in-depth factual knowledge of the realities on the ground.

The “writer’s” politicization of the already uncoordinated fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is a clear disservice to the nation.

While Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has been making efforts to contain the pandemic without making any public fuss and is averse to apportioning any blame to others, others have resorted to using the pandemic to cast Kano State and his person in poor light in order to score a cheap political goal as if their future political success hinges on this. To say the least, this is unjustifiable, indefensible and arrantly unjust!

Why the “writer” has singled out Kano State out of the other 34 states and the FCT as a spoiler has baffled every discerning and unbiased reader to the core. In short, this article is a public relations stunt that has clearly failed to hit the target and this rejoinder is not aimed at paying the “writer” in the same coin but to clear his misrepresentation and misinformation for the sake of the present and posterity.

Before I address some of the issues raised in the article, it is very apropos to highlight that the Covid-19 virus surfaced in Kaduna State on 28th March 2020 before the index case was recorded in Kano State on 11th April 2020, an interval of two weeks, and the state government did not blame any state or individual for the spread of the virus.

Just as the index case in Kaduna contracted the disease elsewhere, so also the index case of Kano, along with the majority of the cases in Kano. As Muslims, we consign our affairs to the Almighty Allah Who decrees whatever will happen to His servants.

The “writer” should have been dispassionate enough to have consulted his friends in Kano (if he has any) in order to get firsthand information on the numerous measures taken by the state government to curtail the spread of the virus even before the first index case was recorded in the state after the patient had visited Lagos State and Abuja.

In Kano State, the government had taken all necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state even before the index case was recorded which included the closure of all public schools, establishment of a Taskforce Committee on Covid-19 under the chairmanship of the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the Appeal Fund Committee (the first State to do so) headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano to assist the victims and provide relief to the poor, the closure of all public offices, closure of all schools, the banning of passenger buses coming to the state even before the federal government banned inter-state travels, the 1-week lock-down of the state which was subsequently extended many a time, the provision of isolation centres for the quarantine and treatment of the patients, the closure of markets and banning of religious congregations in mosques and churches, the setting up of several mobile courts to prosecute violators, among others.

Even before the federal government took additional strict measures including the banning of inter-state travels, Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje personally spearheaded the interception of some vehicles with passengers coming into the state including, from Kaduna State.

How did these vehicles pass through the state in broad daylight or did they emanated from the skies to land at the borders of Kano? Do they expect Gov. Ganduje to go to Kaduna or any neighbouring State to enforce the ban?

In fact, tens of vehicles laden with passengers were intercepted at Kano State borders and many were turned back or later fined by the many mobile courts established by the state government to prosecute the violators of the lockdown order. Is Ganduje expected to police all the borders of other neighbouring States as well? If as the ‘writer’ claims that Ganduje has failed to enforce the lockdown in Kano preventing people from going out or coming in, is Ganduje also expected to go to Kaduna and other neighbouring States to prevent people from going in or coming out of those States?

The “writer” should have done his homework well to have realized that the violation of the lockdown order is a nation-wide phenomenon in view of the nature of our society and interstate borders. I have seen many crowds of people in Lagos, Abuja and other states in violation of the lockdown, but they were not castigated by the “writer.” It seems what is good for the goose is not good for the gander! The football match in Kano state mentioned by the “writer” was a one-time thing, neither organized nor sanctioned by the state government but by some youth and security agents promptly arrested some people for the violation of the lockdown.

On the issue of almajirai, the “writer” was also off the mark by a wide margin. It should be recalled that the 19 northern state governors agreed to ban street begging especially by almajirai and to repatriate them to their respective states of origin.

It may interest the “writer” to know that Kaduna State is the first to repatriate 30,000 almajirai to their states of origin and it did so without adherence to protocol, neither were they tested for Covid-19. For example, Kaduna State did not officially hand over any almajirai to Kano State government officials but dumped them at motor parks and out of the almajirai dumped in Kano State some later tested positive of the coronavirus.

However, Kano State government did not publicly blame Kaduna State government over this which shows the maturity, decorum and foresight of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Unlike Kaduna State, Kano State officially hands over all repatriated almajirai to the officials of their states of origin after making sure that they do not have any Covid-19 symptoms. In fact, the would-be repatriated almajiris are usually camped, fed and treated for any diagnosed ailment before they are repatriated to their states of origin. So the argument that Kano State government intentionally or knowingly repatriates almajirai infected with Covid-19 virus does not hold water a bit.

Why should Kano State play the role of a spoiler as alluded by the “writer” still beats my imagination for in what way will we profit from this.

Harming any fellow human being especially a neighbour is against the injunctions of all divine religions and His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje will be the last person to intentionally sanction the spread of a debilitating disease like Covid-19.

It is pathetic that despite all the measures taken by the federal and 36 state governments, the Covid-19 cases have increased to about 11,166 cases as at 4th June 2020 with Lagos State, Kano State and FCT Abuja having 5,440, 970 and 763 cases respectively while Kaduna State occupies 7th position with 297 cases.

If Kano State or any other state for that matter had been a spoiler as wrongly alleged by the “writer”, the Kaduna State figure might have been much higher. In this respect, His Excellency, Malam Nasir El Rufai deserves our commendation for his efforts to curtail the spread of the virus in Kaduna State.

Lifting of the ban by Kano State government on religious gatherings was not arbitrary but after due consultations with stakeholders and the state was not the first in the country to lift the ban. Even in countries like the US, Italy, Spain, Britain and Brazil, to mention but a few, where the highest number of cases and mortalities due to coronavirus are being recorded, the strict lockdown and banning of social gatherings, the authorities in these countries have to relax these restrictions.

So, to blame Kano state for not enforcing full restrictions on religious or social gatherings is not only mischievous but unfounded, because for the duration of the lockdown in the State, almost all the mosques and churches suspended holding religious gatherings.

What the country needs at this trying period is not passing the buck and politicization of serious issues like the current pandemic but concerted and coordinated efforts to save humanity from this serious health challenge.

If we did not blame the Italian citizen who was the first to bring the virus to our shores or Ogun State, does not blame its neighbourly sister, Lagos State, for the spread of the disease, then there is no basis to accuse anybody or government of being a spoiler for this is an unnecessary diversion which will not augur well for the country. This unwarranted and unnecessary blame-game needs to cease forthwith for the sake of humanity. Let me end this piece with a quote by George Washington Carver who says “Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.”

Salihu Tanko Yakasai is the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor of Kano State.

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Kaduna Traditional Rulers Pledges To Support El-Rufai’s Administration

Traditional rulers in Kaduna state have pledged to give all the necessary support to the state governor Malam Nasiru Elrufai to continue discharging his duty diligently while running the affairs of the state to achieve the desired objective.

The Emir of Zazzau, who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Shehu Idris stated this when he led traditional rulers to government house Kaduna to congratulate governor Elrufai for his reelection.

“On behalf of Kaduna state Council of chiefs, we expressed our gratitude to Almighty Allah for given you and your Deputy victory at the just concluded governorship election”

Alhaji Shehu Idris explained that, in the last four years, people of Kaduna state were aware with the developmental projects executed by Elrufai administration which according to him they gave him another mandate to serve.

The Emir also expressed satisfaction on how the election was conducted peacefully in most parts of the country, saying that it was a clear indication that Nigerians understand the process and knowledge of democracy without any violence.

Responding, Governor Elrufai commended the traditional rulers for their tremendous effort toward ensuring peaceful elections.

Malam Elrufai told the traditional rulers that all the policies implemented by his administration were executed with good intention with a view to engendering development in the state and  not to witch hunt any one.

He gave an assurance that; his administration would continue to work assiduously to better the lives of people of the state.

“We are ready to work and move the state forward,” he said.

Elrufai called on the people of the state not to allow religious sentiment to cause division among them and promised to carry everyone along towards the development and progress of Kaduna.

“We should be united, tolerate one another and be at peace with one another,” he said

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El-Rufai: Atiku Could Only Win Kaduna In His Dreams

Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai on Friday said the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s claim that he won the presidential election in Kaduna State, could only happen in his dreams.

He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa to show that he was alive against the rumour of his involvement in car accident.

Reacting to the PDP’s claims of winning election in his state, he said: “Well, I heard about that. Initially, I thought it was a joke and when I checked I saw clearly that he said he won Kaduna. It must be in his dreams.

“Let me say this without any fear of contradiction, since President Buhari started contesting for the presidency since 2003, he has never lost Kaduna.

“So, PDP has never won elections in Kaduna from 2003, even with a sitting governor in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

“It has never happened. I don’t know what will happen that Atiku will win Kaduna in this election this time.

“He lost Kaduna, he lost very badly, even though about 100,000 votes he claimed to have got were added because elections conducted without card reader in some parts of the state, that’s how he even got up to the 400,000 that he got.

“He has lost Kaduna, he will always lose Kaduna. He will lose Kaduna 10 more times because he has never won Kaduna in any presidential elections.”

When reminded the results were said to have come from the INEC server, he said: “Well, I don’t know about INEC server, it must be Atiku’s server.

“I don’t know about INEC server, we don’t know how they had access to it. They will tell us during the tribunal proceedings what is this server and how they got access to it and how they got their numbers.

“You do not go to court in an election petition by quoting INEC server or any other server. Anyone can create a server, I can go and buy it, it is a piece of equipment and call it INEC server.

“But that does not mean that it amounts to anything, we are guided by the electoral act and the evidence act and other enabling legislation and he has to proof his case.

“But anyone can make claims, we live in the age of fake news and fake claims. Anyone can make claims but you have to proof it,” he said

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FG Expresses Satisfaction Over Concession Of 30mw Gurara Hydropower Plant

The federal government has expressed satisfaction with the concessioning of the 30 megawatts (MW) Gurara hydropower plant located in Kaduna State.

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this when he received the Full Business Case compliance (FBC) certificate from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), in Abuja.

Adamu said that as soon the project concessioning gets the nod of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), it would be made public.

According to the minister: “With the experience that has been garnered from the concessioning of the Gurara hydropower plant, we are now set to accelerate the pace of engagement with the private partners for other available facilities.

“This issue of developing our hydropower is one of the key components of the broad map we developed in 2015. At that time, we realised that the potential of hydro power had not been exploited,” he said.

In his remarks, the ICRC Director General, Chidi Izuwah, noted that the Full Business Certificate compliance indicated that the ministry had completed all technical and financial transactions for the hydropower component of the dam to be concessioned.

Izuwah asserted that ICRC chose the North South Power Company as preferred bidder and Mainstream Energy Solutions as the reserved bidder, adding that it was in line with international best practices.

“The private sector has chosen capacity. Look at what the private sector has done in Shiroro and Jebba hydropower plants. When Shiriro was concessioned, it was doing barely 200 megawatts, today, it is doing 600 megawatts. The private sector has demonstrated capability in being able to unleash these facilities for the benefit of Nigerians. We need power; the concessionaire himself has shown commitment to see that this project commenced pledging to bring his own funds,” he said.

ThisDay

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House Urges Security Agents To End Kaduna Killings

The House of Representatives has called on the Security Agents to urgently bring to an end the spate of Killings and attacks in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State.

This resolution followed a motion on incessant Attacks and killings by armed bandits in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State.

In the motion by the Minority Whip of the House, Mr.Yakubu Garde, the House mandated its Committees on Security matters to carry out a thorough investigation on these crises with a view to unravelling the fundamental issues responsible for the unrest and proffer solutions for lasting peace in the area.

The House urged the National Emergency Management Agency to urgently move to the Communities with relief materials in order to alleviate the sufferings of the displaced families.

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Resign Now, El-Rufai Tells CJN Onnoghen

The Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen to step down from office.

El-Rufai, who made his views known on a Channels Television Programme, “Sunrise”, said:  ”All the arguments being made that the allegations against the CJN should first go to the National Judicial Council (NJC) are wrong.

“I presented a paper at the Bisi Akande Colloquium on restructuring. I believe that we should look at our federation. Constitutional restructuring is one thing, restructuring our minds to be objective about what is right is another.

“I am extremely sad about this Chief Justice matter; if I am the Chief Justice, and write and say, ‘yes I have these bank accounts but I did not declare them’, I will not even allow the CCB to file charges, I will resign there and then to protect the institution.

“The admission that I did not declare my assets, that infraction alone, is enough for him to step down and protect the institution. All these court orders and lawyers are not helping the judiciary or the legal practice and are not helping Nigeria.”

The governor said it was not obligatory for the President to know about the prosecution of any Nigerian, including the CJN.

He said: “Why should the President know about the prosecution of anyone? Let us please stop personalising institutions. Won’t you be worried if the President is worried about prosecution? Institutions should be allowed to function.

“I am the governor of Kaduna State. The constitution requires that I declare my assets before being sworn in. Also, the constitution states this specifically, in plain language. This is not law; we don’t need law to tell us this.

“I don’t have to know if the Attorney-General of Kaduna State goes and murder or rape someone, and the police arrest him; I don’t need to know. They should charge him to court. Institutions should be allowed to work, and we should stand up to protect the integrity of institutions.

“Saying that the President doesn’t know, I think it is a compliment to the president; it shows that he does not interfere with institutions and doesn’t get involved in it.

“What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong; I think we should stand up for that, we should seize being ethnic and religious, otherwise this country will not go anywhere.

”The man has admitted that ‘I did not declare my asset, I forgot’. If the matter was simply that the Code of Conduct Bureau has made an allegation and filed charges in the tribunal, I will presume innocence, but I have seen a written statement by the Chief Justice saying that ‘…yes I have these accounts, yes I did not declare them, but I forgot’. Forgetting is not a defence in law.

“The constitution is very clear; if the matter has to do with Code of Conduct of public officers, the only court, the only tribunal vested with the power to consider the violations of that code is the Code of Conduct Tribunal. It can try anyone, including the President.

“The NJC is supposed to take petitions on the professional misconduct of Judges; if a Judge kills or steals, it is not NJC, it is the regular court. You cannot say the NJC is a self-appointed court, a special court that will first have to clear judges before they go to regular court.

”It is saying that Judges have immunity that the constitution has not contemplated. It is only the President and the governors that have immunity in the constitution.

“For me, that is not even the issue, the issue is this, the Code of Conduct for public office requires you to declare your assets – all of us, have you declared your assets? Yes! Have you declared all your assets? No, I have not! The Chief Justice has admitted it; his defence is ‘I have forgotten’, that is not a defence in law.”

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Kaduna APC Leaders Assure Buhari Of Over 90% Votes

Yusuf Bala, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, says the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District will give President Muhammadu Buhari over 90 per cent of their votes in the forthcoming presidential election.

Bala disclosed this after a delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) had a closed door meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the delegation felicitated with the Federal Government and acknowledged the work it had done for the nation in the last three and a half years.

“Particularly as it affects the poor people who are 80 per cent voter-based and to assure the vice president that because of the much work that has been done; the next election is as good as delivered.

“We are here to say that by over 90 per cent, we will deliver the president and vice president in the next election as well as the governor and his deputy among others including myself the senatorial candidate for the zone.’’

The deputy governor said that Osinbajo had warmed himself into the hearts of many Nigerians through various grassroots programmes he championed.

The Southern Kaduna APC Senatorial candidate added that part of the reason for the visit was also to invite the vice president to the zone.

“We have also come to request kindly to be part of these efforts; he has endeared himself to Nigerians through so many programmes that have led him through the poor people of this country; the creeks; the roads; the markets; the farmers and so on.

“So I want him to come to the zone to flag off our door to door campaign and hopefully carry out one of these programmes within the zone,’’ he said.

A notable member of the delegation was Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the running mate to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna in the forthcoming governorship election.

Others were members of the state assembly and party leaders and candidates for various elective positions. (NAN)

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El-rufai Increases Allowances Of Traditional Rulers

Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai has directed the Ministry for Local Government and chieftaincy affairs to increase allowances of traditional rulers in the state.

The Governor stated this at a meeting with a cross section of Religious, Traditional, Community and Youth leaders in Sanga local government area of the state.

Alhaji Elrufai said the interaction with the stakeholders was  to engender lasting peace in the state

He urged people to embrace one another and to live in peace especially during the forthcoming election.

The governor vowed to dissolve any community Development Association, engaged on the activities that would divide or cause hate among the people of the state.

He explained that the increase in allowances of traditional rulers was aimed at encouraging them to justify the responsibility reposed on them in ensuring peace and security.

The governor maintained that, no meaningful development could be achieve without peace.

The traditional rulers in the area appealed to the governor to introduce a programme of mopping up arms from individuals.

They also called on parents to ensure that they inculcate good morals in their children as a solution to the current misconduct in the society.

The Royal fathers reaffirmed their commitment to continue working with the state government to ensure peace.

Representative of Various groups spoke during the meeting on how to achieve lasting peace in the council and the entire state.

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Ex President Obasanjo Urges FG To Address Insecurity

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says insensitivity and insecurity must be addressed to make Nigeria a peaceful nation for all.

He stated this on Saturday at the eightieth birthday celebration of former Vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi held in Zaria, Kaduna state.

He noted that insensitivity was the cause of the nation’s civil war and expressed displeasure that currently Nigeria is being thrown into both insensitivity and insecurity.

He urged all Nigerians irrespective of age to work together to make Nigeria a peaceful nation where development and progress thrives.

Obasanjo also expressed dissatisfaction with the level of violence, kidnapping and the resurfacing of Boko Haram in some part of the country, appealing to the Federal government to intensify effort to curb the menace.

Earlier, the celebrant, prof. Ango Abdullahi thank God for sparing his life to witness this movement and thanked Nigerians for their prayers and encouragement.

 

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Kaduna Gov El-Rufai Signs 2019 Budget Of N157bn Into Law

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday, signed the 2019 budget of N157.44 billion into law.

The document tagged: “Budget of Continuity” is made up of N94.47bn in capital expenditure and N62.97bn in recurrent expenditure.

According to the governor, his administration will focus more on human capital and infrastructural development.

He said, “We are delighted that a new tradition has now been established to pass and sign our state budget in the preceding year.

“This is the outcome of the collaborative partnership between the Kaduna State House of Assembly and the Executive Branch. Each of the budgets prepared by this government has become law by 1st January of the budget year.”

According to the governor, the state government would recruit over 3000 health professionals to strengthen the primary health care sector in 2019.

“Following the passage of the law establishing the Contributory Health Management Authority, the contributory health insurance scheme will take off in Kaduna State early in 2019,” he added.

On security, he said that the state and local governments would cooperate to expand the presence of security agencies in the state with more offices and facilities for the police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to be provided across the state.

On his part, the Deputy Speaker of the state assembly, Nuhu Shadalafiya, assured the governor of the legislature’s commitment to work with him in propelling the state to the next level of growth and development.

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El-rufai Calls For Legislation To Contain Fake News

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to enact legislation that would grant jurisdiction to state judiciaries to handle cases of fake news and hate speeches.

El-rufai, while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in his office noted that the current law in the country only grant the Federal High Courts jurisdiction to handle cases of fake news.

The governor who said he had a personal share of fake news; saying his Wikipedia was altered to change his nationality and was also alleged to have been clone and from Bamako, Mali.

He also cited the negative impact fake news have had on the state in recent times, assuring that the state will spear no effort in bringing to book all those invloved in spreading hate speech in the state, including an Abuja based Pastor and the Lagos based journalist.

The governor stressed that conveyors of fake news should not be allowed to go free as they should be made to bear the consequences of their actions.

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2019: No Amount Of Fake News Will Save PDP From Imminent Defeat – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that no amount of fake news will save the opposition parties from total defeat come 16th February and 2nd March 2019 general elections.

Mr. Mohammed stated this on Thursday in Kaduna when he paid the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai a courtesy visit.

The minister is in Kaduna for the 47th meeting of the National Council on Information, with the theme “Tackling fake news and hate speech to enhance peace and National unity”.

According to the Information Minister, fake news has become the most difficult challenge confronting the country today as it is the most potent weapon in the hands of the opposition party in the run off to the 2019 general elections.

The Minister also warned that the country will begin to witness more of it, especially now that the election is at hand because the opposition have nothing to debase the ruling party with giving the numerous achievement of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration within the short time.

 

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