By Auwal Umar
One of the most onerous tasks before anyone though seems so easy is to see things as they are. That squarely sums up the essential job of criticism with the actual sense of the term. We are all subjects therefore, we are all predisposed to certain inclinations that tempt us to be subjective. Truth, no matter how opinionated one seems to be, can be separated from falsity. Against this background, I write this to the rejoinder written by one Binta Spikin titled: “Protest Votes” as a rejoinder to my article “Protest Votes: Abban Kanawa and the Sins of the Kano APC” published on 6th March 2023 by The Daily Reality.
Having had the conviction that even the points are raised cannot be easily refuted without wreaking havoc on the feeble reputation of the Kano APC led government. I really feel sense of pity seeing how Miss Spikin tried to defend her boss at all cost. I cannot reproach her for doing her job but when that shall deter the truth to prevail.
The meaning of criticism has nothing to do with condemnation but to simply point out both the strengths and weaknesses of the situation. The writer went ahead to rate Ganduje as one of the best performing governors especially on security which I equitably agree with no question. However, many questions still left unanswered on whether he is the best in handling the affairs of the state being comfortably positioned as statistically one of the worst performing in transparency which has nothing to do with the writer’s poor attempt as you described it to predict the possible scenarios that might unfold at the gubernatorial election as you called it, you really understood my piece but you skilfully evaded going squarely to disprove the points I raised but unfortunately you keep dangling between the facts and your newly self-appointed job of being a generous spokesperson instead of addressing them directly.
For the record, in the tail end of 2013 as reported by The Vanguard, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) decorated Governor Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State as the best Nigerian Governor in the area of Fiscal Responsibility – a concept which refers to openness, discipline and accountability in governance unlike your self rating to please the power. On the other hand, Kano state under the stewardship of His Excellency Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Malam Nasiru Gawuna have performed woefully that is substantial enough to raise questions rather than answers. This means a lot to any one that is conversant with the art of governance, because lack of transparency signifies absence of financial accountability which culminated into unspeakable corruption allegations and embezzlement of public fund.
It is quite unfortunate to hear the writer chanting a sonorous songs that the governor has done his best with regard to education and health. This kind of “best” is enough to tell you that they have nothing to offer as one cannot give what he does not have. It was the best thing Ganduje could have done to education to close down schools established by his former boss as if they were meant for the children of Kwankwaso not for Kano citizens. He did his best by not constructing new one and recruit competent and qualified teachers in primary and secondary schools across the state. He did a commendable job to the health sector by his lackadaisical attitude to let the medical doctors of Kano extraction to get employed in Katsina and Jigawa with many of them securing juicy jobs abroad while the generous governor’s last attempt was to employ them as volunteers during Covid-19 pandemic.
It is very laughably shameful to describe protest of the frustrated and stranded scholars as indoctrination unlike Rimi’s era. For your information, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was the main brain behind it, if you even assumed it were. I heard Ganduje’s voice bashing them for even complaining. Those students were rendered like beggars close to importuning for alms to sustain them. Instead for their governor to treat them as his sons, he treated them as his archenemies. When did the heated political atmosphere should transferrable to the innocent people instead of being aimed at your opposite numbers? If you blame this to be indoctrination, you boss is the first culpable. No doubt, we don’t have much problem with Kwankwaso-Rimi political tussle as long as it did not affect the citizens, it was their interest. Had the incumbent governor adopted this style of opposition as that of Shekarau and Kwankwaso, he would not have been so much greeted with blows.
On the rerun, the zig-zag style detected in your writing is very funny. First you did not talk about the perpetrators and the implications of it. But I’m glad you admittedly come to terms with how it has come so much an issue and wonder this bespeaks how deeply it itched and still irking the Kano citizens. It is in order to have a rerun but it is not in tandem with the law of the land to be robbed of your mandate before the whole world by having a recourse to the thuggish force instead of votes. Put up with me! Kanawa will definitely give the right answer on 18th March seeing how the perpetrators are fielded as candidates. How I wish you had denied it but you didn’t.
On sponsoring the Kano state indigenes to attend the Law School the excuse is so frail and obvious. You first associated the failure with the dwindling oil revenue from 2015 to date, it is okay. Even though I cannot blame you for the upward and downward nature of the oil price curve in the world. Despite the dwindling oil revenue of Kano State has the guts to abandon education, health, science and technology, and many other critical sectors in favour of the bridges and underpasses. Wow! The governor is so concerned about these humanitarian projects that he even went further to see for billions of loans to go on with the projects yet the dwindling oil revenue impede the payment of Law school fees for the poor sons and daughters of Kano. One could praise the governor’s audacity to seek for ten billion Naira loan for the installation of CCTV cameras for the security of the state but not meagre amount can be sacrificed for our law graduates. It is very difficult to be one spokesperson but I cannot blame this honourable writer for her job.
In your last point, I respectfully take the different route which maintains that Ganduje is unmatched as he instituted continuity in governance partly true but not that true. Kwankwaso’s laid foundations for many projects that are left in deplorable condition. Many schools are still close, not to talk of improving them and establishing new ones. Northwest University renamed as Maitama Sule University left in the mercy TETFUND. The training Institutes Kwankwaso established to bridge the wide gap in the rural areas are still part of the unanswered questions.
In conclusion, with much sense of respect, I admire your effort for doing your job as SA Research and Documentation but unfortunately you here got some of your records wrong and fail to do serious research about the points I expressed in my article.
Auwal Umar writes from Kano and can be reached via email@example.com
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