By Abdul Musa
The successor of governor Nasir el-rufai’s of Kaduna state after his first tenure is yet to come to the fore. However, what is clear is that el-rufai will face an uphill task in his re-election bid, worst still he might lose out completely. This assertion is not debatable.
Whatever chances el-rufai and his cohorts think they have, has been completely eroded by mounting catalogue of unfulfilled promises and unnecessary controversies that has been the signpost of their administration in the last two years.
In just too years, el-rufai has tactlessly attracted enemies on major fronts such as his tactless approach to the Southern Kaduna conflict, the Shiah affair and the manner in which he has frustrated members of his All Progressives Congress APC and a considerable chunk of political stakeholders in the state by refusing to refresh the party structure and not allowing local government elections.
He also demonstrated lack of respect for traditional institutions which are the custodians of culture that help in maintaining the delicate balance for peaceful coexistence of diverse cultural and religious identities in the state. An instance was when he insisted on cutting down on the number of district heads after refusing to pay their wages for many months.
El-rufai also insisted on a drastic cut in the workforce of the state civil service, by deliberately subletting most of its statutory functions to consultants who he hired from outside the state at alleged high costs and awarding contacts to cronies at supposedly inflated costs.
Furthermore, in just two years, el-Rufai has ridden roughshod with Kaduna workers coupled with his poor handling of youth unemployment and abandoning projects midway such as the deceptive school feeding programme, road construction in the metropolis, drainages construction across the state after all the culverts were dug thereby exposing the metropolis to impending flood.
Worse of all, el-Rufai has needlessly dragged himself into a losing battle with President Muhammadu Buhari’s kitchen cabinet by his controversial 30-page memo which tended to discredit the entire federal administration.
Having realized that he lost out in the Presidency, el-Rufai sought the assistance of an elder statesman, Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, who happens to enjoy good rapport with the President to help him patch up, and the elder statesman obliged him, only for him to get disappointed with el-Rufai, who, after seeing the president during one of the Jumu’at prayers, continued castigating the same people working with the president, because he realizes it is over for his plots. This is in addition to his renewed confrontation with APC leaders and elders such as the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his Vice Atiku Abubakar and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki and the entire Senator’s from the three districts of the state.
Resulting from his tactless approach in dealings with the presidency, feelers from the villa have indicated that there is high level moves to draft Sani Shaaban into the race of the governorship in 2019, Shaaban has been with President Buhari since 2003 and there was never a time he deviated from the norms and principles of the president.
Therefore, the consensus is that come 2019, Shaaban will likely be the sole candidate of the party in the state.
Solutions to these mountains of problems require expert hands of a well grounded grassroots politician with genuine intentions to carry the people along and serve them selflessly. Sampled opinions across the political and religious divides in the state show that people are earnestly searching for a viable political leader who has what it takes to move the state out of the current cesspool of political conundrum.
The general consensus from Sanga to Ikara suggests a burning desire for a new leader who knows the peculiarities and intricate nature of Kaduna indigenes and who is acceptable in all the three major senatorial zones of the state.
This is why perhaps as 2019 approaches el-Rufai with this baggage of problems, those who traditionally tune the politics of Kaduna state have already marked him as disposable garbage and are thinking of replacing him with Sani Mohammed Shaaban, who they believe to be a reliably tested and trusted person with all the qualities required for meaningful growth-driven leadership.
– Musa contributed this piece from Ungwar Rimi, Kaduna State.
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