Nigeria: Group Decries Government Policies, Says It Is Inconsiderate

By Longtong Ibrahim

Kaduna (Nigeria) – A coalition of Southern Kaduna groups have decried some of the policy formulations and implementations  carried out by the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-rufai describing them as policies that show ‘shocking injustice, clear favoritism, arrant arrogance, inconsideration and blatant violation of extant laws’.

Chairman of the coalition, James Kanyip, stated this during a press conference on Tuesday in Kaduna, North-west Nigeria.

The coalition which is made up of a 13 civil society groups and Non Governmental Organizations said, “The inconsistency in policy formulation and implementation in the state is becoming laughable,” citing school feeding and land reclamations amongst other policies of the present administration as policies that go against the desires of the citizens.

They said, on inception to power, the governor abolished the settler/indigene dichotomy making it possible for anyone who resides in Kaduna to gain equal access to everything a native of the state may be entitled to; stating that, not only did he make the pronouncement but was evidenced in his appointment of non-indigenes into prominent and key political positions.

“For instance, we have today an alleged wanted man who has been brought into his government as a Special Adviser and is even regarded as the de facto Governor; Hadiza Bala Usman as Chief of Staff; Muyiwa Adekeye as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Peter Ayim as Special Assistant on Entrepreneur; Hafiz Bayero as Special Assistant on Job Creation; Hajiya Rabi Abdulsalam as Commisioner for Women Affairs; Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza as Interim Chairman of Chikun Local Government Council, among others.”

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They termed the policy as strange which has gone against Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, indicating the citizenship status of every Nigerian. “Those who are not of Kaduna State origin, though resident in the State, are citizens but not indigenes of Kaduna States because they cannot claim dual indigeneship. This is without prejudice to their fundamental and other rights as humans and citizens of Nigeria”.

According to them, in the composition of his new Commissioners, El-Rufai also violated section 14 (4) of the Nigerian Constitution which stipulates that government at all levels in it affairs should recognize and carry everyone along to give them a sense of belonging.

According to them; “Apart from the Deputy Governor who is from Southern Kaduna, all the other key positions of governance have been taken by the North, including the Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly.”

The group also alleged that the governor rejected the report of the Committee set up by the previous administration to upgrade the Kafanchan campus of the Kaduna State University to a full-fledged university (Kaduna State University of Science and Technology); instead, he lobbied for a Federal University of Science and Technology to be sited at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

On the Kaduna state Logo law; they said at the governor’s request, the State House of Assembly has passed a bill on it without proper consultation, public hearing, or input from the people of the State, stressing that, it does not reflect the yearnings and aspiration of the people.

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On security, the coalition said, El-Rufai promised to make issues of security his priority in his campaign speeches but wondered why the attackers and murderers in the southern part have not been found and prosecuted.

“He has spent millions of Naira to form collaborations with northern neighboring states as soon as he came to power.  A task force of the military, Police, Directorate of State Security Services and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps was formed, well kitted and funded. They have now chased out all the bandits and rustlers in Birnin Gwari and environs.”

“Daily killings are going in these villages and the Sanga Road artery has become a hot bed for violent robbery far worse than what was obtained in Birnin Gwari. The Governor would rather play blind to these happenings, because he probably feels he has no responsibility to protect those who did not vote for him. We just want to have it on record that he has abandoned Southern Kaduna people.”

On siting of grazing reserve in that area of the state; they declared that they would not accept any move to convert any portion of their land into a grazing reserve.

They however noted that, the Southern Kaduna people are law abiding indigenes of the State who are very desirous of development, peace, unity; they would support the Governor in every way they can if he shows evidence that he means well for every section of the State.

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