RE: WHAT IS SHEKARAU LEAVING BEHIND?
I had the opportunity to read one of the SMS views attributed to uncertain Haruna Alhassan and published on page 40 of the Weekly Trust edition dated December 11, 2010 under the above caption. The writer wants to know if Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Governor of Kano State is leaving any legacy behind after the end of his eight years administration in Kano. This is because, in the view of Haruna Alhassan, some people are also of the view that Shekarau has not recorded any achievement as legacy to bequeath to the people of Kano State (sic). First, I respect the view of Haruna Alhassan, whether he is real or imagined. Secondly, it should not be a surprise to any one that some one as Haruna has such negative and deviant view about Shekarau's eight years of meritorious services. It is the tradition in Nigerian politics to condemn outgoing leaders, no matter their level of achievements. This unprincipled practice is meant to pay way for unholy alliance with the incoming leaders for purpose of selfishness and greed. In the political parlance of Nigeria, it is not easy to glorify one's achievements. This is, perhaps, why in spite of the achievements recorded by the first civilian governor of Kano State, the late Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Rimi, he could not get second term to consolidate. This is why in spite of the achievements of the late General Murtala Muhammad within six months, he was still overthrown. This is why in spite of the acclaimed truth of Muhammadu Buhari; he has been running from pillar to post in search of leadership. Recently, the CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi exposed the fat salary and allowances of the national Assembly members, which are not in concomitant with their work. Yet, these are the kind of leaders who are desperately looking for automatic tickets so that they can go back to their business as usual. Funny enough, the Senate President who presides over the affairs of the national assembly was recently honoured as one of the winners of 2010 Transparency, Accountability and Good governance heroes' award" by FOUNDATION FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, whose organizers were looking for donation to carry out training on corruption crusade. Is this not worth laughing at? It is an indisputable well known fact that as creatures of God, people are created with features that make life comfortable for them. Still, there are people who do not listen to the words of God, to the extent of even trying to mount challenge. Most people are like fowls who after eaten, brush their mouths on the ground as if nothing has happened. Conversely, the present politics is a good season for unprincipled and kleptomania media reporters who report from the two sides of their mouth because of the quickly get rich syndrome. Unfortunately, media owners hardly get to know about the dubious activities of these unprincipled reporters who go about denting people's image in the name of exclusive story, after being paid by the opposition to do so. It is like the issue of Landlord and the shylock caretaker. All these are some of the reasons why we should not be so much disturbed by any wrong impression created by the opposition against the hard working and performing leader as Malam Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano state. When one talks about the legacy of Shekarau in Kano, one should be referring to some of the Sardaunan Kano's laudable achievements that are indelible and would stand the test of time. In order to put the record straight and properly educate Haruna Alhassan and his fellow travelers, it is pertinent to unfold Shekarau's legacies so that the type of Haruna Alhassan could be adequately enlightened on what Shekarau administration should be remembered for since he wants to know. It is imperative to begin by saying that Kano enjoyed relative peace and stability perhaps due to the introduction of the societal re-orientation programme otherwise popularly known as “Adaidaita Sahu”. This programme whether one likes it or not, has brought about some level of discipline, decency, honesty, cleanliness, moral uprightness, respect for leaders, respect for the rights of women, proper upbringing of children, fear of God and respect for the rule of law and order among the people. Closely related to this is the success of Shari'ah implementation by Shekarau administration. The inauguration of Shari’ah Commission, constitution of Islamic Advisory Council, commissioning of Zakkat Board, Hisbah Board and the recruitment of more than ten thousand hisbah guards are achievements that should serve as part of the legacies of Shekarau administration. Similarly, his government constructed and repaired many township roads. He purchased and distributed thousands of motorcycles, taxis and buses to ease transportation problem. Schools and mosques were repaired and given phase lift and in some cases constructed to create enabling environment for learning and worshipping. What about the abolishment of school fees in all state science colleges as well as gave free education for all girls and the physically challenged. Shekarau’s efforts in ensuring qualitative education led to the accreditation of all the 13 academic programmes of Kano state University of Technology (KSUT), Wudil by the National Universities Commission. His government donated permanent orientation camp to NYSC in the state. Water works undergone civil works and old water pipes were refurbished and additional 150,000 litres of water were added into the existing water consumption. We should note here that until the coming of Shekarau government, previous government since Audu Bako time has never added single litre of water into the old one. No matter how one hates Shekarau and his government, one cannot against the ten roundabouts and many roads that were rehabilitated and constructed by his government. For the first time in the history of Kano government and politics, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau found it expedient to include non-indigenes in his government by appointing three non-indigenes as his Special Advisers. This singular action by the Shekarau led government has really given hope to peaceful co-existence among the different tribes in the state. It further portrays Malam Shekarau as a detribalized man who sees every body as one (the kind of Umma community during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). His government also magnanimously settled the entitlements of PDP councilors, which the previous administration of PDP refused to pay. The entire workers and captain of industries located at the 5KM Challawa Industrial Estate Kano, will not forget in hurry the rehabilitation of the death trap 5KM road, which the previous administration failed to do with the same appeal made to it. In seven and half years, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau recorded "280,000, 350,000 and 53,000 new enrolments in his Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions respectively, established 364 new Primary Schools, added new 200 classroom blocks and rehabilitated over 300 more; built additional 247 secondary schools, upgraded 85 JSS Schools to SSS and constructed new 826 classrooms for them; rehabilitated 190 laboratories, furnished 207, equipped 202; hired 15,000, 6000 and 1200 qualified new teachers for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions; and has invested over N1.4billion in scholarships for Kano students studying locally and overseas. What about his road network that looks like mini London, his entrenchment of peace in the state, his societal reorientation, his improvement of the basic health care, his human and structural development drive" and so many other laudable achievements that past governors of the state has not recorded. What about the success of Private Public Partnership (PPP) championed by the Shekarau administration that led to investment drive in the state. Here, we should begin to remember the ongoing Kano International Market, known as Kanawa market, the Fish market project and the Independent power plant (IPP). The first Kano State economic Summit is still very green in the mind of the stakeholders. The successful conduct of this summit attracted economic gurus that brain stormed an economic road map for the state. We must not also forget the initiation of the Corporate Social Responsibility in the state by the administration. These initiatives yielded some dividends for the state as some corporate bodies and wealthy individuals were able to intervene as could be seen in the renovation, fencing and furnishing of Unguwa Uku Primary School in addition to the renovation of the Government Junior Secondary School in the place by Intercontinental Bank Plc. In this regard, the Oceanic Bank Plc also donated 33 No. 4.5KVA Generators to 33 girls' boarding secondary schools as well as 500 pieces of 3-seate furniture to Government Girls College, Dala. This is not all; the Zenith Bank Plc equally donated 50 pieces of flat screen IBM computers to the Government Girls Secondary School, Sheka 1 in addition to the provision of qualitative furniture in the air- conditioned computer room and renovation of two furnished classrooms. Sky Technical Construction Company Limited also participated in the Public Private Partnership by carrying out renovation and furnishing of 6 blocks of 2 classrooms at the Government Girls Secondary School, Sheka. The construction firm also renovated two hostels, constructed four new others, a matron's residence, toilets, laundry, students' rest shades and a borehole at Government Girls' College, Dala. This company under the Chairman of Alhaji Kabiru Sani Kwagila also undertook the provision of beds, mattresses and a generating set to the school. Unity Bank Plc and Abdul Jalil Hajaig Construction Company were not left behind in the Corporate Social Responsibility initiated by the Shekarau administration. The former renovated Government Girls College, Giginyu Primary and Government Girls Senior secondary School, Kano while latter provided drainages as well as constructed access road to Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Giginyu. Of equal note, the Nigerian Bottling Company Challawa Industrial Estate, Kano rehabilitated 5No blocks of 10 classrooms and provided one hundred 3 seater students' desks at GGSS, Panshekara. Likewise, the Fidelity Bank Plc constructed two blocks of four classrooms at Rumfa College, Kano, which the People's governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau commissioned. All these have never happened in the history of government administration in the state. There are so many ways in which the present state government has carried out improvement in the socio-economic and political advancement of the state that have been highlighted and are still being talked about. This however, does not mean that the state government led by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has no shortcoming since no man but God is infallible. The big issue is that whatever the little areas the government is lacking or yet to look into, it deserves encouragement for it to do more. If a man gives you five naira deeply from his heart, such man deserves thank you so that next time he can get courage to give ten naira. But if one ignores such benevolent assistance only to cast aspersions on the giver, one might not be able to receive such help again. In any case, Shekarau is not a man that is deterred by negative talks. He has done a lot to be remembered for and he is always out to do his best. Essentially, no one can deny others from making out their opinions about whomever they dislike but such opinions, in my view, must be constructive, devoid of imaginary negative perception and should wear human face. The absence of these simple characteristics in any expressed view perhaps, could make one a ‘terrorist, sadist and noble savage. It is a piety that we still have someone that does not travel outside his domain at this jet age to see how Shekarau has carried out revolution in development of the state. It is left for any one to accept all these or not but the fact must not be thrown to the dogs for whatever reason. This is why Haruna Alhassan and his fellow travellers' perception about Shekarau's legacy cannot be right and one is pretty sure that with these enormous achievements of Shekarau and his administration, posterity will surely judge them right. Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: [email protected]