“We are pained to join the outcry over the anti-people policies of Governor Nasir El-Rufai which have continued to produce misery and pauperization. The high handedness of the governor, which has now created the impression that an APC administration in the state has turned its back against the people is a matter of huge concern to us. We are equally tremendously worried over the issues of unpaid salaries, irrational dismissals and termination of appointments as well as other terror tactics that have placed people under constant stress. We do not support the strategy of the state government that seeks to extend and compound the sufferings of our people…”
This quotation was culled from an advert placement in Daily Trust of Friday December 11, 2015 page 65 and signed by Alhaji Murtala Abubakar on behalf of All Progressives Congress (APC) concerned stakeholders, Kaduna state which gives an elaborate insight on the reign of terror under El-Rufai’s administration.
Since El-Rufai emerged as a top public officer from Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises to Minister of Federal Capital Territory Abuja, the venoms and policies from him have kept his subjects under constant fear and panic.
The 6th Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory Abuja chaired by Senator Abubakar Sodangi from Nasarawa state which publicly probed El-Rufai’s tenure as the Minister of FCT recommended among others that El-Rufai should be banned from holding any public office for 10 years because of his alleged atrocities as the FCT minister. It was the intervention of then Senate President, Senator David Mark, which expunged the harsh banishment.
It is common knowledge in public domain that El-Rufai as the FCT minister used the bulldozer to sanitize and restore the Abuja original master plan and at the same time brutalized, terrorized and wreaked havoc on the occupants without human face and fairness.
An example is the sympathetic case of retired Justice Bashir Sambo. It is the same reign of terror he orchestrated in Abuja that El-Rufai is replicating in Kaduna state today.
He was later charged to court for abuse of office. If the court case against him and the recommendation of banning him from holding public office were sustained, he would not have been the governor of Kaduna state today to wreak havoc on the people.
It is the duty of any government to protect the lives and properties of the citizens it is governing. The essence of constitutionalism and rule of law is to provide caution and limits on the part of the rulers and the ruled.
El-Rufai threw caution to the wind when he overzealously started the biometric exercise of the state’s civil servants. He summoned the workers in Sabon Gari local government area for such exercise without providing adequate security to cover the workers which sadly claimed the lives of over 25 civil servants on lawful duty through bomb blast. It was negligence of duty on the part of El-Rufai to carry out such exercise without proper intelligence gathering and policing knowing how unsafe the environment is.
Granted that street begging and hawking is counter-productive, if the beggars El-Rufai banned from the Kaduna metropolis had not protested the ban vehemently he would not have made the policy pronouncement of rehabilitating and empowering them because compensation and human feelings are not in the dictionary of his harsh anti-people projects.
The cruel and inhuman demolition of houses in the state by El-Rufai is another salt to the injury of the reign of terror in the state. Let us agree with him that such demolition is justified, why must he give mere three week’s notice for such demolition exercise and why must he demolish people’s houses without first of all resettling and compensating them? Most of the houses El-Rufai demolished were built over 20 years ago and with life savings by most of them who are over 70 years of age. The demolition caused severe hardship on the families of the victims and created heavy tension and commotion in the state. If not for court intervention, El-Rufai would have continued with the wicked and ungodly demolition.
Reasonable leaders think and act well for their subjects but certainly not El-Rufai who had wished his subjects death. When he was heavily criticized for appointing his close friends and family members into coveted positions in the state, he was reported to have announced in the Kaduna Central Stakeholders meeting that; “if you are not happy with appointment made, you can go and climb Kufena mountain, fall and die”.
This satanic statement from the pit of hell made El-Rufai appear unfeeling and at worst irresponsible in the eyes of the people who voted him into power. This gaffe caused serious public opprobrium and the people were traumatised and disappointed. Many are yet to come to terms why a governor wished death for the people who voted him to power. Such blunders and reckless utterances are part of El-Rufai’s antecedents.
He was reported to have called Senators “fools” when he was the FCT Minister and had to be on his kneels for them to forgive him. What about his derogatory tweet on Jesus Christ (Prophet Isa)? This was a man who once described Muhammed Buhari as unelectable because of age and today, El-Rufai considers PMB as the best man on earth. I do not think former President Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who were El-Rufai’s bosses can vouch for his gentility because he at various times praised and demonized them.
The situation on ground in Kaduna state is that El-Rufai does not relate well with the people of the state. The introductory part of this write up captures some of the obnoxious and unpopular policies of El-Rufai’s government. This write up is equally not enough to exhaust those unpopular policies and programmes of the Kaduna governor. The fact on ground demonstrates that El-Rufai is becoming highly unpopular in the state due to his anti-people utterances and policies. If any governorship election is held now in Kaduna state, I do not think El-Rufai will get 25% of the general votes cast.
It is very unfortunate that Governor el-Rufai’s reign of terror has been worsened the recent military-Shia clash, which led to the spilling of innocent blood. With the refusal of Shia leadership to accept el-Rufai’s commission of inquiry, it goes to fuel the suspicion that the governor may have endorse the extra-judicial killing by the military.
A stitch in time saves nine. If El-Rufai does not change and start with popular and pro-people policies, he will end up stopping the people from happiness and progress. All stakeholders in Kaduna state project should be conscious of the reign of terror in the state and unite to halt the impunity living with them.
Ebirim, a pro-democracy activist and media practitioner writes from Abuja, email@example.com