….AND NOW THAT EL-RUFA’I HAS DECLARED
Now that the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i has come out through a live radio interview on October 1, 2017 to inform the good citizens of Kaduna State that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed him to contest for a second term in office as the governor of Kaduna State in 2019.
According to the governor, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed him to contest after he briefed him about the stakeholders meeting which took place on Saturday, September 16, 2017, and the unanimous resolution at the meeting to endorse both PMB and Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i as the sole presidential and gubernatorial candidates respectively of the APC in the 2019 general elections.
Thus, a quick review of this declaration by the governor El-Rufa’i with a view to coming- up with analysis of some of its implications to the political landscape in Kaduna State.
The Party stakeholders meeting which took place in Kaduna on Saturday, September 16, 2017 was nothing but just a sham and could best be described as a mere kangaroo political arrangement. The meeting deliberately did not invite key Party stakeholders in the State, the likes of Senators Shehu Sani and Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, Alhaji Tijjani Ramalan, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Alhaji Haruna Sa’eed, Mr. Mataimaki Tom Maiyashi, Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan, Alhaji Yaro Makama etc.
Although, Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi gate crashed to the meeting after he heard about it in town and being one of the major stakeholder and a beneficiary of the APC, haven been elected on the party’s platform. But he was quick to debunk the fraudulent endorsement of GNAE as APC’s gubernatorial candidate in 2019 through Dr. Abdulraham Usman , who is a chieftain in the APC and also the Senator’s political associate. The Senator stated as untrue the unanimous endorsement and therefore disassociated himself from it.
Senator Hunkuyi went further to state that he was well informed about the procedures with regards to political party activities and as provided in the APC Constitution and INEC stipulated guidelines for electioneering activities. Most disturbing aspect of the sham endorsement were the signatures of a selected few unsuspecting ward party executives which were collected during participant’s registration and were paid a token N10,000.00 ( ten thousand Naira only) at the end of the meeting.
The Moral Burden
Since May 2017, which marked the administration’s mid-term, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i has been very worried and disturbed about re-contesting and winning in the 2019 election. This is because of the abysmal performance of the governor vis-à-vis his campaign promises. Coupled with his bad governance style and the poor handling of political affairs in the state.
For instance the governor’s campaign promises included; 1). Investment in Education, Healthcare and Social welfare, 2). Internal Security, Law and Order, 3). Transparent Governance and Improved Service Delivery, 4). Investment in Infrastructure for Economic Growth and Job creation 5). and Improving Agriculture and Natural Resources Management.
On a snap chat, one would easily recall that in the education sector, in spite of the emergency that was declared there was huge sum that was wasted in the name of school feeding program. Under security, Kaduna state is experiencing an unprecedented security challenge that has never before witnessed, not even during the peak of boko haram. In infrastructural development, the drainage contract scandal quickly comes to mind. On agriculture, farmers did get any significant subsidy from government in term of inputs.
On governance style, the average citizen see’s El-Rufa’i as someone with an attitude problem, from brazen impunity, arrogance, self centeredness, elitism, wickedness, vindictiveness, stubbornness and to financially reckless. Some of these attitude were visible in the governor’s recent negative remarks on Late President Umar Musa Yar’adua.
On the political scene, the APC has remained without leadership for over 2 years now and is deeply enmeshed in crises. El-Rufa’i has locked out key stakeholders in important party decisions like; key government appointment, contacts, ward delegates congress elections, the marginalisation of the southern senatorial zone etc.
However, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i being fully aware of the fact that without President Muhammadu Buhari’s support he would not be able to go any where is the reason why he is beginning to play this drama – “endorsement”
1). El-Rufa’i’s candidature for governorship in Kaduna State is unsalable in 2019 with the myriad of problems highlighted above. The first hurdle will be to cross the “red lines” of those key Stakeholders and their supporters locked out in governance and party affairs and whom are in their large numbers or safe to say are in the majority in the Party. Like I predicted earlier in one of my writings “ please see -2019 Kaduna political matrix (1)” an uncompromising posture by El-Rufa’i towards genuine reconciliation by the aggrieved APC members may just lead to the party’s implosion.
2). Depending on whatever happens at the centre with regards to whether PMB is re- contesting or not, it is very doubtful if PMB will support any candidate, up to the extent of raising their hands at rallies in 2019. This is because of the high level of disappointment and embarrassment some of these politicians have caused the president.
3). It’s very unlikely that Islamic clerics will support El- Rufa’i candidature like they did in 2015 given the fact that in all the northern states then the perceived common enemies then were former president Goodluck Jonathan and Boko Haram being fought. One had paved way and the other is still being fought with significant progress.
4). In 2015, many PDP leaders and member in both the national and state levels supported the APC candidates to protest impunity and the absence of internal democracy within the PDP. El-Rufa’i may not enjoy these support in 2019.
5). Enhance voters apathy; In the event that GNAE emerges as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC, there is a high possibility of voters coming out in mass from the southern senatorial zone to vote infavour of the PDP’s candidate, so as to protest the marginalization of their people under El-Rufa’i ‘s APC.
5). Other categories of voters who will oppose El- Rufai at the polls in 2019 include those persons whose houses and shops have be demolished, land owners whose lands have been revoked, civil servants whose services have been bastardised and rendered dysfunctional , traditional rulers whose titles have been sacked, students whose scholarship have not been paid, the women and youths whom have been promised jobs, but no new jobs were created; Victims of criminal activities whom have not been protected or supported by government despite huge security spendings; Farmers and the grassroot people whom were not supported and see El-Rufa’i as elitist “Dan boko”.
By Muhammad Lawal Shehu (Molash)
A member of the Kaduna Restoration Group