Kano: Empty leadership, huge liability

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By Umar Haruna Doguwa

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that siren till she
transformed us into beasts “~ Patrick Henry

I was the pioneer elected All Progressives Congress (APC) party Chairman Kano State. As Chairman, I organised, coordinated and spearheaded the processes and campaigns that brought Governor Ganduje to power in 2015. It means I am well positioned to know all that has transpired before, during and after his emergence as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and as Governor.

My reasons for writing this piece today, therefore are: First, I am duty bound to review and reflect on the promises and pledges we made to the good people of Kano State against the backdrop of darkness, occasioned by misgovernance enveloping Kano today.

Secondly, I write this as a True Musilm knowing fully well how all religions implore its followers to fulfill promises and pledges made by individuals or parties. Thirdly, my reason is to echo the silent screaming of the hapless majority bearing the brunt of an inept leadership that in any case, they did not vote for.

At his inauguration for a first term of office as Governor, Ganduje uttered the folllwing words: “I pledge to continue with the good works we started since the first tenure of our administration (1999-2003/2011-2015).There is no gain saying that the APC as a party and we as contestants in particular, gained tremendously from this colossal giant (Kwankwaso) whose monumental strides virtually obliterated the relevance of other parties in the State. I on behalf of all elected office holders therefore, assure you that we will continue to be good ambassadors of the Kwankwasiyya
movement in the service of our dear State and the country at large”(Gov. Ganduje’s inaugural
speech 2015, page 1 paragraphs 2). This was the first reassurance that Governor Ganduje gave to the good people of Kano State.

This inaugural speech was the seal on all promises and pledges made by myself as chairman of the party (APC) and leader of the campaign tour on his behalf and Governor Ganduje (Then Deputy Governor and our party’s candidate) to Kano State electorates during our tour of the 44 Local Governments Area councils which was delivered a few minutes after he was administered to an OATH of office by the then Acting Chief Judge of the State with the Holy Quran.

This was watched and witnessed by thousands of good people of Kano, including myself standing next to him on the podium. Born on 25th December, 1949 (Officially, on Christmas day), Governor Ganduje must have known the gravity of making promises, pledges and his subsequent physical swearing with Holy Quran and its consequences before making it.

I am particularly craving the indulgence of Kano citizens and Nigerians in general to read and re-read that inaugural speech of Gov. Ganduje in 2015 to see for themselves the many mouth watering promises and pledges it contains, especially on the continuation of the “Excellent works started under the able leadership of the indefatigable leader Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso during his first and second Tenure” as conspicuously stated by Gov. Ganduje in his inaugural speech 2015 page 2 paragraph 2. The Promises of which he (Gov. Ganduje) has the power and resources to execute (if he’s willing to) as the Chief Executive Officer of Kano State.

While reading and re-reading through the inaugural speech, one aspect that continuously
caught my attention is Education, obviously Education, because an ignorant man is doomed
for poverty and the level of educational achievements made in the State by the Indefatigable Leader Engr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who bequeathed enduring and effective structures, from basic to tertiary levels, built solidly to stand the test of time.

The primary schools with well structured schools
feeding system that was envied by many States including the Federal Government, the two set
of free uniforms to each primary schools pupil, the massive purchase of instructional materials, the thousands of additional new blocks built and equipped (an upstair building that can be seen throughout the State known popularly as Kwankwassiya blocks), the regular training and re-training of teachers, the prompt payment of salaries on the 25th of every month, the recruitment of additional staff, the renovations of existing classroom blocks and offices through Community Re-orientation Committees (CRC), the re-introduction of boarding primary schools and the teacher: student ratio of 1:54 (source~Kano state school census data MOE 2014/2015) and many more.

The secondary schools also enjoyed that excellent strides from Kwankwaso’s purposeful administration were he built and equipped 100 new laboratories to WAEC and NECO standard, built four (4) mega secondary schools, apart from the many junior and senior secondary schools built across the state.

Additionally, he built houses for teachers in day secondary schools in most of the rural areas, provided large number of long luxurious buses that constantly convey girls to and from schools, specifically to encourage girl-child education which was applauded by world recognized NGOs. Also there was prompt payments of full salary every 25th day of the month, Car Loan for teachers, a teacher:student ratio of 1:31 in JSS and 1: 32 in SS( source ~ Kano state school census data MOE 2014/2015) to mention just a few.

The tertiary education experienced a revolution, the conceptualisation and actualization of two
state: owned universities;The Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil and the Northwest University Kano,the establishment and maintenance of more than twenty additional
new higher institutions; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Tudun
Wada, College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Kunchi, Informatics Institute, Kura, Reformatory
Institute, Kiru, Fisheries Institute, Bagauda, Horticulture Institute, Bagauda, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Madobi, to mention but a few. He also Sponsored Kano State indigens to various private universities at home and abroad based purely on merit for undergraduate and postgraduate studies respectively, which eventually placed Kano State among the States with highest number of Masters and PhD holders now. He Improved infrastructure in all the existing tertiary institutions ; Audu Bako College of Agriculture , Dambatta, Aminu Kano College of Legal and Islamic Studies Kano, Kano State Polytechnic, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education Kumbotso, College of Arts and Remedial Studies, Kano.

The midas touch are verifiable. There was prompt payment of Registration Fees for Kano State indigens who got admission into The
Nigerian Law Schools nationwide, least I forget, there was Total Free Education at all levels in the State.

The Above picture and many more are what His Excellency Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
inherited on the 29th of May 2015 as Governor of Kano State in Education sector alone and which he eloquently described in summary on page 2 of the inaugural speech as “excellent achievements”. These Achievements are what Governor Ganduje promised, pledged and sworn with the Holy Quran to continue with, listened to by the mammoth audience physically present and on radio. He also was watched on YouTube, Television, Twitter etc worldwide by millions of people interested in the development of Kano State. As the saying goes, promises and pledges are meant to be kept, because broken promises are like broken mirrors. They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at broken images of themselves. They (Promises and pledges made during the campaign) must therefore be looked
into in comparison with the sad story that obtains now.

“I pleadge to continue with the good works”. Curiosity, I picked up my Oxford English Dictionary to find the real meaning of these words:
I:1used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself
Pledge: (Noun) A solemn promise or undertaking. (Verb) Commit by solemn promise.
Continue:To persist in an activity or process.
Good: Having a required qualities of high standards. Work: 1)A task or tasks to be undertaken. 2)A thing or things done or made, the result of an action.

After going through these definitions and knowing fully well what is obtained now in Kano State from primary to tertiary institutions- the near non- existence of feeding programme in primary schools, the cancellation of two sets of free uniforms to primary school pupils, the scarcity of instruction materials, the uncertainty of “full” salary even on the 30th of every month to teachers not to talk of car loans, the overcrowded classes with teacher: students ratio of 1:113 (Source ~KMOE Schools Census Data 2018). The epileptic services of schools buses for girls where more than 60% of the vehicles were grounded over minor repairs, the overcrowded classes
with teacher:students ratio of 1:52 for JSS and 1: 42 for SS (Source~ KMOE Schools Census
Data 2018) which is below standard.

One may even be tempted to ask why am I using 2018 data when actually we are in 2020. Well, that is the latest results available with the Government! I Seriously wonder which data do
they use for planning!!!.The monumental disaster of closing established Schools e.g, School of Remedial Studies, Kunchi, the Corporate Security Institute, Gabasawa and many more.

The cancellation of free education at all levels, in its place announcing the free and compulsory
education programme for Primary schools only after amassing 15Billion Naira “Education
Development Loan”. The Primary education that was made free and compulsory nationwide by
Olusegun Obasanjo the then Head of State as far back as 1976 through UPE is now being made
free again in 2020 (laughable).

With all these in my mind, I begin to ask myself whether actually Governor Ganduje wanted to say in his inaugural speech (2015), “I pleadge to DISCONTINUE
with the Good works”, Yes to discontinue, if not, how can an elderly man (71years old officially) fall short of keeping his promises and pledges made under oath willingly watched and listened to by millions
worldwide, even as he has the means?

This I think, provides the missing link, as to why Kano people voted the way they did in 2019 Governorship Election. This Government is not worth re-electing and majority of Kano citizens did not re-elect it, but it was imposed on us and we are allowed to bear the cross of its emptiness, which Kano citizens saw right on time, accounting for why they refused to vote for it.

Signed
Hon. Umar Haruna Doguwa
Thursday, July 15, 2020

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