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Challenges Before Gov El-Rufai

Posted: Jun 11, 2015 at 1:14 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gabriel John  –   Kaduna


May 29 inauguration of the Kaduna Governor elect, Mallam  Nasir El-Rufai, has confirmed to the people of  the state that, by the special Grace of God, power had totally changed hands and it will not be business as usual.  Since then, many people in the state have devoted more time listening to radio and television and other media especially as regards the development of the state as promised by the governor during his campaign.

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai,

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai,

Since his inauguration, there is an uneasy calm in Kaduna and its environs as people continued to show love and appreciation irrespective of religious difference.  The joy in the minds of the people since his inauguration and assumption of leadership in the state seems to be increasing by the day even though no meaningful project has started in the state. This is because the people believe in his personality and what he stands for. The reactions of the people since his emergence as the governor of the state, according to pundits, shows that what could be termed the people’s messiah has come and very soon, the people will start to reap the dividends of democracy.

However, there is much work ahead of the former FCT Minister turned governor of Kaduna State.  Investigations revealed that the governor would be faced with a plethora of challenges, especially as the resources on the ground may not be able to carry through the required development soon.

The immediate challenges he will  face is how to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to meet the needs of the people, how to complete the abandoned projects across the 23 local governments of the state, the choice of his cabinet, resuscitation of closed industries in the state to provide jobs for the people, how to curb corruption in the state public services, handle the incessant communal clashes, and armed robbery among others.

He said during the inauguration that since the challenge of his administration is the challenge of all, he appealed to the people of the state for their support, as it’s only through their cooperation that the responsibility bestowed upon him would be met.

Already, he had promised that he and his deputy, Mr. Banabas B. Bantex, would forfeit 50 percent of their salaries pending when the financial situation of the state improves.

His words: “In recognition of the difficult challenges we face, our deputy governor and I have agreed that the sacrifices that change requires must begin with us. We have decided to take a pay-cut and donate 50 percent of our salaries and allowances until our fiscal situation improves. We submit ourselves to the principle that all are equal before the law.”

El-Rufai who had not studied the handover note before his inauguration had decried the level of indebtedness the out-gone Governor, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, had put the state.

According to him, “As we celebrate on this day that God has made, let us remember, with sober reflection, exactly what challenges confront us. For too long, our state has been a place where the is no hope, where the future has been stolen from our children, where our leaders have commandeered our resources largely for their own personal enjoyment, and where grinding poverty has become a fact of daily life for nearly all our people. Kaduna State is a difficult situation. As soon as we have all the facts in coming weeks, we shall lay bare to you just how deep a hole we have dug ourselves in the past several years.”

He added: “But this much we already know. Our finances are in a shambles. Kaduna is the second most indebted state in our country. Our state is staggering under the weight of billions of naira debt and other liabilities. As we all know, merely walking the streets or seeing our neighbours everyday, the condition of our state is abysmal. Our schools and hospitals, our roads and bridges, our villages, towns and cities, all are marks of backwardness. Too many of our children are hungry and in rags and in the street. Our society is divided along religious and ethnic lines. Worst still, our state cannot stand on its feet. We have become a state of beggars, a condition of dependency that is an affront to our dignity and humanity.”

Interestingly, “to hit the ground running,” as promised during his campaign, Governor El-Rufai had recently appointed four aides including the Secretary to the State Government, Malam Balarabe Lawal. He charged them to be dedicated to duty.

According to him, “We are here for serious business that requires dedication, commitment and sacrifice to achieve positive results.  They expect us to work hard and achieve results and so we must work. There is no room for excuses; we have no time to waste neither do we have time to play. We have a duty to work hard for the development, unity and progress of the state.”

Political analysts believe that the four aides recently sworn in were carefully selected and people of integrity who can stand the test of time. They are drawn from different fields of endeavour and are ready to perform creditably.

However, like the saying that “the taste of the pudding is in the eating,” with the plan on ground to appoint more credible office holders to move the state to the next level, it is hoped that the people will soon begin to read genuine dividends of democracy.