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How Gov Uba Sani Reverses e-Rufai’s Eight-Years Of Anti-People’s Governance

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How Gov Uba Sani Reverses e-Rufai’s Eight-Years Of Anti-People’s Governance

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By Israel Bulus, Kaduna

The eight years administration of the former Governor of Kaduna State, Mal. Nasir el-Rufai was fraught with anti-people policies and how Senator Uba Sani changed the trajectory of governance in the State, thus bringing succor to citizens, ISRAEL BULUS writes.

Today, 29th May 2024 is exactly one year since Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State took the oath of office to serve the good people. Though his emergence led to legal fireworks, some people of the state felt nothing could come out of the new governor since he was part and parcel of the immediate past administration of Mallam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai whose administration is still remembered with fear. Thus, his election opened a new opportunity to discontinue el-Rufai’s reign anti-people policies unleashed on the people. The decision of the masses to yearn for change during the electioneering period speaks volumes about how Sani’s predecessor ran his government which was fraught with anti-people policies, with killers and other criminals unleashing a reign of terror on various parts of the state.

el-Rufai’s Period of Ignominy

The people saw the 18th March 2023 Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections as an opportunity to do away with anything that had to do with the el-Rufai’s administration. It was a chance for the people to participate and vote for leaders who would heal wounds of disillusionment and despair for distraught communities of the State. Commentators have earlier described el-Rufai’s eight-year reign as hell on earth for most citizens and residents who experienced unprecedented hardship under his administration that was trailed by fierce agony that threw many into the pit of poverty and homelessness. It is on record that citizens were subjected to el-Rufai’s full executive raw power as innocent and defenseless citizens were turned into soft targets for terrorists who turned their villages and towns into killing fields.

Despite the killings in the southern part of Kaduna State, el-Rufai never deemed it fit to visit and console the people over the brutal killings of their loved ones. An average person from Southern Kaduna would describe el-Rufai as someone who was antagonistic toward people from the southern part. Over the years, communities in Birnin-Gwari on several occasions raised the alarm over the imposition of levies by terror groups before being allowed to harvest their farm produce, but the former government did nothing to stop the practice. In some instances, they were forced to pay levies for protection as security personnel looked the other way without confronting those who had sworn to wipe out indigenous people from their ancestral lands.

Governor el-Rufai-led administration can be compared with that of an Egyptian Pharaoh whose words were law as he equally displayed a lack of empathy in the manner he treated citizens with disdain. The legacy of el-Rufai’s life is that of an elected leader who had so much, but missed so many opportunities and never used the knowledge he had for his people. He turned out to be a governor who was out to ruin the state and deny the promises made. In 2014, some communities in Southern Kaduna experienced the worst ruthless attacks by terrorists under the administration of Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, there was a loss of confidence in that government, hence the overwhelming vote for el-Rufai in southern Kaduna. Not only in the South, other parts of the state had felt that el-Rufai’s emergence as governor would bring hope and heal wounds, but the hope turned out forlorn. In the same region, he got a House of Representatives member and four State House of Assembly members, the first time since 1999, he turned against them.

Since 1999, el-Rufai has remained the only opposition candidate that polled almost 45 percent votes from the southern zone. His tenure was characterized by untold hardship, poverty, and decimation of communities by bandits, and sometimes demolition of houses and shops on account of the government’s inhumane policies.

Journalists, opposition voices and human rights activists became endangered species as they were treated with disdain by the governor. No fewer than 23,000 teachers, nearly 5,000 district heads, and village heads were sacked. The level of insecurity spiked to the ceiling as public sector workers who were forced to retire were subjected to non-payment of their gratuities and other benefits. The sacking of district heads and the inability to cover the vacuum worsened the security situation in the state. In a state that requires constant monitoring of communities, sacking these monarchs left the state bereft of security supervisors at the grassroots.

Under el-Rufai’s watch, over 200 students of Bethel Baptist Science School, Green Field University students, two Nurses in Idon General Hospital, Students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Mando, and Train Passengers were kidnapped, while some were gruesomely murdered. In the southern part, some communities became caves of bloodshed and tears, following persistent mass murder of farmers in bloody attacks that the government described as ethnic clashes. It is on record that the immediate past government was able to bring any attacker to justice over the incessant bloody attacks unleashed by criminal groups in the state.

One of the deadliest of such unprovoked attacks was the one that occurred on September 26 in the Madamai community, and 18th December 2022, in the Kaura Local Government Area of the state where a total of 90 people were killed, and no fewer than 200 houses burnt. Unfortunately, the el-Rufai administration remained handicapped in the face of the mass killing of defenseless villagers.

The carnage of el-Rufai’s eight years was cruel, just as the flood of bloodshed continued unabated, leading to tens of thousands fleeing to Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in search of refuge and succor. His last appearance on a circulated video where he asserted that Christians in the State have been degraded and proscription of the Atyap National Development Association as a terrorist organization affirms his hatred of the people of Southern Kaduna. The refusal of the Senate to confirm his ministerial nomination by the Senate was attributed to security reports on his role over the insecurity that festered under his administration.

Sani’s Sustained Agenda.

However, the leadership style of Governor Uba Sani is a variation from that of his predecessor, as he has shown a practical demonstration of fairness and justice in his leadership style. Senator Sani took over power and found the state sucked in an unfathomable debt and a moribund economy that depended solely and wholly on the monthly Federal Allocation, with over 100 abandoned projects, and worsening insecurity occasioned by the triple effects of insurgency and kidnappings. Governor Sani is now always in the news for the right reasons and his relationship with the three Zones of the State is cordial, respecting the elders, traditional Institutions, and religious tolerance.

This is working for him based on trust-building mechanisms he employed through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, geared towards the enhancement of the overall interest of the State. To show that he’s a pragmatic leader with empathy, the Governor ordered the downward review of tuition fees for Kaduna Government’s tertiary students. However, Governor Sani said the downward review of the school fee was in fulfillment of his electioneering campaign and response to public outcry on the current fees being charged by the institutions.

According to Senator Sani, “The welfare of the people is our topmost priority. Our administration shall continue to take all measures necessary to ensure access to free and qualitative education for every child in Kaduna state from primary to secondary school”.

Turning the Curve Development

On ascension to power, the governor promised that his administration would focus on rural transformation to boost the economic livelihood of the locals. fulfill his pledge, on 23rd December 2024, he flagged off the construction of rural roads, drainages, and culverts across the eight local government areas in the Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone.
The governor has further endeared himself to the people through the initiation of many projects that have directly impacted the electorate. His visit to Kuriga village, hours after the abduction of over 100 Primary and School Children was another milestone for his administration with a sharp contrast to that of el-Rufai’s style of governance.

He also initiated an empowerment program to the tune of N11.4 billion for the people of Kaduna State, to help augment their livelihood, while small-scale business owners were also assisted with loans to boost their businesses. Some people have lamented the lopsidedness in his appointment, with others calling for a review for proper inclusion as he marked the first anniversary of his administration.

The Governor also equipped 290 Primary Healthcare Centres with equipment and consumables, paid pensioners and others N3.1billion, Revitalisation and modernization of Panteka into an ultramodern market, Replacement Transformers in urban and rural centers, built and equipped the Township stadium, Constructed, and commissioned secondary schools under the ‘A Kori Talauci’ program and embarked on the construction of roads in the rural areas to improve access to previously unreached areas.

He also flagged off the construction of a 5.2-km road from Dan-makwarwa to Hunkuyi in Kudan LGA, the Reconstruction of a 13-km road from Wambai-Anchau-Kunkumi in Ikara LGA, the Reconstruction of a 5.2-km road from Kwanar Narbi-Jura-Maresu in Lere LGA, Reconstruction of a 9-km road from Zuntu-Falanki-Karreh-Lahadin Maigamo in Kubau LGA, Construction of an 11-km road at Gnami – Lasanta – Kuchikau – Iddah village in Kagarko LGA, Construction of a 9-km road from Gwantu to Gani Madaki in Sanga LGA, Construction of an 8-km road at T.C Dem – Kumkum Daji – Zakwa Garaje Road in Kaura LGA amongst many other road projects.

Fighting Banditry

Security Operatives in Kaduna have taken

Governor Uba Sani dolling out 150 operational vehicles and 500 motorcycles to aid Security Operatives shows his readiness to combat terrorism and banditry across the State, and it has shown that the safety and security of the Kaduna State citizens remains paramount in his administration

He recognizes the challenges confronting security personnel, especially in terms of mobility and swiftly accessing remote areas. This giant move will in no doubt Improved security operatives to respond faster and more efficiently to distress calls.

His visit to Lead City, UK with Sen. Katung’s wife Inauguration

His recent visit to join the Kaduna-South South Senator for the inauguration of his wife as the 130th Lord Mayor of Leeds City in the UK was another action that shows Governor Uba Sani as a leader for all, irrespective of political party, region, and ethnicity. His leadership style of governance towards the people of the southern part of the state has become an indictment of the eight-year administration of el-Rufai that was characterized by anti-people policies.

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