KWANKWASO'S DISTRACTIONS: THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER
I had earlier read the piece written by one Kabiru Tsakuwa titled,"Kwankwaso: Enough of Distractions" where the author succinctly advised Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State to face his governance by doing what will make Kano and her people to move forward. Tsakuwa's admonishment came at the backdrop of Kwankwaso's wild goose chasing and hell of noise making about his predecessor's administration as if the governor has no concrete agenda to pursue for the benefit of the people he claimed to have elected him.
Rather than telling his boss to heed to Tsakuwa's advice in good faith and to do what is required of a responsible leader, one Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu who claims to be the Director of Press and Public Relations to the Deputy Governor of Kano State put up a bold face rejoinder published in the New Nigerian Newspaper of July 25, 2011 against the counseling of his boss. In his futile efforts to defend Kwankwaso's distractions of socio-economic progress of the state, Bala Salihu contradicted his positions in so many ways.
First, Kabiru Tsakuwa has been writing to express his opinion and he has been contributing his views on both local and national issues of the time. It is therefore very awkward of Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu to refer to Tsakuwa as "unintelligent", simply because he told the truth about the hanky-panky governance of governor Kwankwaso. The Director of Press and Public Relations should be informed that it is not enough to put up rejoinder in defence of one's boss unless one is having analytical mind as one may end up ridiculing one's boss as in the case of the devastating blow Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu rejoinder has done to his benefactor.
Two, of what benefit to the common man the nocturnal visits by governor Kwankwaso to the ministries and parastatals except for a show of bravado and busy body, if one may ask? It is two months now the governor took over the helm of affairs in the state. What spectacular thing has he done so far to assure the people of Kano state of his good mission and which his predecessor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has not done? The street lights, which governor Kwankwaso boys vandalized was constructed by Shekarau administration.
Three, the visits made by governor Kwankwaso to his ministries and parastatals so far clearly indicated that the governor had no knowledge of what he wanted to do or change for the good people of Kano state before considering to come back for the second time. This is chiefly why it is difficult for him to know what to do except to embark on witch hunting, vengeance and setting back the developmental projects of his predecessor that have moved the state into the limelight of recognition. It therefore, beats one's imagination that a governor who had once governed the state for a period of four years is still taking his time to study the problem of the state. This again, clearly shows that in actual sense, the governor's predecessor has done so much for the state to the extent that governor Kwankwaso does not know what to do again. If this is the case, what is then the rationale behind the governor seeking to govern the state again? Perhaps, these are the basic issues that Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu and his fellow travelers should begin to think about and which also gave the impression that it is not yet Uhuru for the people of Kano state under governor Kwankwaso.
Four, through out the eight years leadership of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, the editions of the state print media were always posted and read regularly on its website but just two months into the four year life span of Kwankwaso administration, things went haywire as it is no longer possible to access and read the Triumph Newspapers on its website, due mainly to gross negligence of the present government. Is this not a classical case of moving from frying pan to fire? There are so many of this case and yet the governor's aide as Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu of the Deputy Governor's office does not possess the liver to advise his boss to move the state forward.
Five, who told Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu that "it is only technocrats that can translate vision into reality"? The appointments of Doctor this and Professor that is never a criteria or evidence of having vision because if the man who appointed them has no vision, how will the appointees translate visionless into reality rarely beats one's imagination. Where is the vision in a leader who destroys societal progress out of selfishness and vendetta?
Six, Bala Salihu and his ilk should also be adequately informed that traffic and street lights were perfectly working before the coming of the present government. It was the Kwankwasiyya's boys that vandalized them and therefore, it does not impress any one to hear that the same man whose men caused havoc to the lights set up committee to look into it. In the case of Shekarau administration, it did not need to destroy for repair because such actions are retrogressive to the society and must be condemned by every right thinking person.
Seven, regarding Bala Salihu reference to the alarming report of the Department for the International Development (DFID), which governor Kwankwaso referred to, they should be told that such disastrous record was as a result of the woeful negligence of the many past governments before Shekarau administration including the Kwankwaso government of 1999 to 2003. We hope that Kwankwaso has not forgotten easily that he had also gone through the same leadership and had the propensity to reduce the socio-economic and political menace of the state, which he left unattended to. But in contradistinction to this, Shekarau administration did a lot in these areas to reverse the ugly trends. It is in realization of this that the Kwankwaso government should not pretend to be holier than thou by acting to be a kettle, calling pot black.
Eight, it is on record that Shekarau administration purchased heavy duty trucks for refuse disposal in the state. In this regard, the state environmental sanitation department usually evacuates refuse on weekly basis in addition to the daily clearing of debris from all angles. On May 29, 2011 after governor Kwankwaso took over the leadership of the state, it did not occur to him that he was elected for service but spent much time celebrating the stolen mandate. The evacuation of the refuse dumps in the areas affected by the violent storm was stopped for two weeks and this inaction of the government now at the helm of affairs caused blockages, which subsequently visited havoc to houses and the people that inhabit them after the rain storm. So, it is ironic and laughable to hear from Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu, alias Director of Press and Public Relations to the Deputy Governor of Kano State that the same government whose inaction caused problem to the people realized its responsibility and "oversaw the evacuation of the heaps of refuse that blocked the water tunnels and also ensured the sanitation of the debris of the fallen buildings." The question is this, why was the usual evacuation abandoned for two weeks before realizing what to do after the avoidable damage had taken place? Has this government forgotten that the refuse disposal trucks it is now using to do its work were purchased by its predecessor? Let truth be told because it is capable of helping both the guilty and the innocent please.
Nine, it is true of Kabiru Tsakuwa's assertion on governor Kwankwaso that the governor makes promises that "can hardly be fulfilled."Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu may wish to be reminded that one of the popular promises yet to be fulfilled is the promise made to some women during the governorship campaign that they would be assisted with some capital for their economic empowerment as soon as Kwankwaso led PDP won the 2011 governorship election. One equally understands that forms were distributed to the women to fill in respect of the promise. Kwankwaso is in his two months of governance, having been declared 'winner' of the 2011 governorship election. But one does not know if this promise has been fulfilled or not. Bala Salihu Dawakin Kudu should throw light on this political promise by his benefactor.
Ten, Dawakin Kudu may also wish to note that no amount of work done by a leader, there is always the need for people to agitate for more work because as they say, Oliver Twist always asks for more. This is why in spite of the development taking place in super power countries, the people out there will still expect their leaders to do more work for them. The people expect governor Kwankwaso to desist from witch hunting and concentrate on what he thinks will bring about development of the state so that whoever comes after he leaves will also continue from wherever he stops, just as we expect him to continue where Malam Ibrahim Shekarau stopped, having in mind that development and governance are continuous process and not static.
Eleven, at this juncture, it is plausible to briefly take the readers down the memory lane on the various deliberate attempts by this government to portray its predecessor in bad light for no just cause other than mischief. The first shot of blackmail came from governor Kwankwaso's so called "transition committee" which alleged that Shekarau administration used N4billion on hotel accommodation through out the eight years administration in office. Apart from the fact that this figure was deliberately and horrendously jacked up to score cheap political goal, it was discovered that much of the actual cost of the hotel bill was utilized for Kwankwaso's PDP Federal Government guests who were in Kano on official visits. When this blackmail could not achieve the desired goal, the same transition committee set up by Kwankwaso came out with another subterfuge, alleging that about N3M was 'missing' in workers' pension account. The former Executive Director of the State Pension Board, Professor Bello Salim, a respected former Registrar of JAMB respected with fact and figure showing that no kobo was missing from the Pension account. This was another shocker for governor Kwankwaso.
Twelve, then it came to the turn of the popular Kofar Naisa plots of land allocated to people for development of the state, following the due process of the law. It should be recalled here too that the land in question was formerly owed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation. The Aviation Ministry later stopped the land usage. The Kano state government under governor Kwankwaso's first coming applied to Aviation Ministry, Abuja to take over the land but it was rejected. When Malam Shekarau became governor of the state, he re-applied to the Aviation Ministry for Kano to take over the ownership of the land at Kofar Naisa. Shekarau pursued it to its logical conclusion. He eventually got the permission for the state to formerly take over Kofar Naisa land; meaning that what Kwankwaso could not achieve, Shekarau simply achieved it. Shekarau has the constitutional right as the governor of the state to allocate the land for people to develop and this he rightly did, just as Kwankwaso also allocated many hectares of land in his first coming. Some of those who got the allocation commenced erection of structures for development. As soon as Kwankwaso 'won' the 2011 governorship election and sworn in as the governor of the state two months ago, he claimed that the Kofar Naisa land, which Shekarau got from the Federal Government whereas, Kwankwaso could not get it in his first coming, is not meant for residential area and therefore he revoked the land out of sheer jealousy, animosity and to pinch his predecessor who successfully completed his uninterrupted two terms in office as required by the constitution.
Thirteen, Kwankwaso extended the same political vendetta to the land allocated to people at the Western Bypass, vast s of land earmarked by Shekarau administration for world international market through BOT. Not satisfied by his geocentricism, the present Kwankwaso government went ahead to turn the Ado Bayero House in Nassarawa area also earned marked for ICT Park by Shekarau administration into the so called "Mega School" whereas there are so many existing schools that require continuous attention of the government. Again, the present government also instigated the claim that the only house built for Shekarau as prescribed by the law worth N3Billion when the actual fact indicates that the house did not cost more than N600Million. Ironically, governor Kwankwaso who is also a beneficiary of the law had requested the sum of N1.3Billion cash to build his own house as reported in an edition of the Daily Trust, which was rejected by Shekarau government as outrageous.
Fourteen, in the Daily Trust of 28th July 2011, it was reported on page 14 that a politically motivated "Kano based group, Grassroots Ant-corruption Awareness Network Initiative" led by a self serving "Alhaji Muhyi Magaji has written the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate the amount of money spent on the construction of the house of the immediate past governor of the state." This is jealously being sponsored by the present unenviable government of Kwankwaso to distract people's attention from purposeful leadership. Still on July 27, 2011, in the Daily Trust of July 27, 2011,page 27, Governor Kwankwaso was reported saying that he has reclaimed "a 27-hectar land in Abuja originally belonged to Kano State Government before some unscrupulous individuals illegally took possession of the land through the active connivance of the past government officials."
However, the correct information made available by the Daily Trust of July 29, 2011 on page 2 shows that as usual, governor Kwankwaso was being economical with truth because "it was not that the 27- hectar of land belonging to Kano state government at Lokogoma District in Abuja was illegally allocated to individuals through the "active connivance of the past government official." The former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau challenged governor Kwankwaso to name the beneficiaries of the illegal land allocation as he so claimed because such claims should be thoroughly substantiated before making them public. Shekarau said, he was fully aware of the Abuja land and that not a single plot was given out as allocation because his administration only intended to construct an estate to contribute to the development of Federal Capital Territory. Shekarau succinctly explained the truth of the matter through his aide, Malam Sule Ya'u Sule that the said "land was given out as allocation because his administration only intended to construct an estate to contribute to the development of the Federal Capital Territory. The land was initially allocated to the State government through the state housing corporation and it was later revoked when Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero was FCT Minister. On 23 November, 2010, Shekarau wrote the current Minister, Senator Bala Muhammad on the need to return it to the state government. Relevant document with the Federal Capital administration was made and approval obtained to develop the site. In the letter, Shekarau drew the attention of the Federal Capital administration on some companies and firms in the vicinity carrying out construction works. When the state housing corporation mobilized to site to continue with works, information surfaced that allocation to the state government has been revoked and the plot reallocated to a private firm." This is contrary to the insinuation of Kwankwaso, who claimed that there was "an active connivance with past government officials to allocate the land to private individuals."
Fifteen, in an article published in the New Nigerian Newspaper of July 29,2011,page 10, titled: "On the Kwankwaso Shekarau altercation" by one Maijidda Adamu Gezawa, it was revealed how Shekarau displayed his magnanimity to Kwankwaso when he took over from him on May 29, 2003. "From Kano, Kwankwaso went straight to Abuja, and can you guess to where? To the Kano Governor's Lodge. He had pleaded with Shekarau to allow him stay in the Lodge, and he stayed there, while lobbying to be a Minister. In Shekarau's trade-mark magnanimity, Kwankwaso was accorded all the privileges and even rights due to a serving governor. Whenever he went to Abuja on official duties, Shekarau could only stay in hotels. Kwankwaso stayed for about two months and left on his own volition, after being made a Minister. In contrast, when Shekarau left Kano Government House last May, at the end of two terms in office, he left through the main gate (Kwankwaso in May 2003 left through the back door and went straight to Abuja), at the front. Shekarau was hailed by people who also wished him well." Perhaps, Kwankwaso has forgotten all these because God tested him to return back to Government House to see if the good Shekarau did to him would be reciprocated. But here we are watching governor Kwankwaso telling all forms of bogus lies against his predecessor that was so kind to him to give him shelter at the detriment of his comfort.
Finally, it is time for governor Kwankwaso to realize that as Martin Luther King stated, "Envy and jealousy are lack of self confidence, a feeling of insecurity and a haunting sense of inferiority, are all rooted in fear." This is the truth of Kwankwaso's distractions to good governance in Kano State.
Written by Bashir Umar, Naibawa, Kano, Email: [email protected]