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Body bag statement and Kaduna State Governor’s reaction to crisis

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Malam Nasir El-Rufai

Sir: All it takes to be called a statesman in Nigeria is to be appointed to office. If one wins an election thereafter they become gods and no-one can hold them responsible for anything they do.

The reason the polity suffers constantly from the activities of untamed knights on the road is because no-one political person is punished for infractions against the state in Nigeria and those who are, are either scapegoats or are held to settle personal or political accounts.

The position of the governor that his body bag statement was taken out of context or put better was misquoted was not first-rate. The syllogism of a governor must be first-rate.

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The governor is a brilliant man who rode to power by virtue of the Buhari breeze which deceived many people, including this present writer, the man came with too much potential and had hoped that the governor of Kaduna would have done better than he did when he was a federal minister but he didn’t. I am not taken aback.

The antecedent of the governor goes before him. It was in his world that he saw nothing wrong to blaspheme Jesus Christ in 2013.

Same man was given the chance to rule a troublesome state polarized along religious lines. I shook my head when he won the party primaries and when he became governor.

All as they say is history. He failed woefully, especially for watchers of political affairs in Nigeria.

This is a man who has further polarized Kaduna State by being fraternally one-sided.

He doesn’t see anything wrong with holding the people of Gonin Gora accountable and to put fleas in their ears but fail to mention other trouble spots like Tudun-Wada, Rigasa, Kawo, Ungwar Rimi, Riga Chukwu and other trouble spots in Kaduna North.

Can the governor of Kaduna threaten those people with demolition of their settlement the way he has done again and again to the people of Gonin Gora? The same governor who said Muslims are more in number compared to Christians in Kaduna.

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The same one who said he doesn’t need the 30 percent vote of the people of Southern Kaduna in the next election. Can anyone ever believe that? The vote of the people of Southern Kaduna doesn’t matter to a politician.

The same one who said government house Kaduna isn’t a Church and can choose a running mate who is a Muslim.

Can that man give up his position to a Christian to occupy? How we love to double speak in Nigeria.

He follows the touchy path of ethnic and religious divide, demagoguery, and a down in the dumps synonymous with the Nigerian: Majority- Minority logjam.

Almost of the same kind to what happened in Somalia where the love for clans ranks above country, a major act that has ruined that country beyond redemption today.

My disagreement with the leadership style of the governor notwithstanding I had hoped that he would have created jobs but he didn’t. I have never seen him in a town hall meeting addressing important issues or heard that he did, not only in Kaduna North but also in Kaduna South.

This same governor promised to repair the roads on Ungwar Gimbiya in Sabo but failed to do so.

How many roads in the South do you see in shape? Go to Ungwar Sunday and see for yourself. I need not mention other places for lack of space.

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The governor ‪shouldn’t give the bluster of an imperial leader.

His ascendancy to the throne was circumstantial, made possible by the Buhari breeze only and he should promote the humanism of community and of the collective man and not a rule without a Catholic menu that he is known for.

He should be friendly with journalists whether they support his government or not. It is in the public domain that he is unsociable to journalists who aren’t in his good books.

Richard Nixon thought he could do without journalists but that was his supreme oversight.

It is a shame that people we think can govern lack the capacity to govern. Governance goes further than being book-smart but to be self-smart and people smart.

Two past governors in Kaduna knew the importance of community and they are Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa (God rest his soul). The present governor should take a cue from them.‬

Simon Abah writes from Abuja


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