It is appalling that in Kaduna State, our political history in the past six years under the APC-led government is dominated by anti-people policies, militia activities, banditry and kidnapping for
ransom. It looks glaring that the APC government in the state is powerless to deter aggression and to defend the integrity of the people. Nor does it show strength in defending the principles upon
which modern democracies base international conduct.
While policy inconsistency, anti-people policy and lack of openness and transparency in government dealings have grossly undermined people’s inclusion in the process of governance, Kaduna state is
currently experiencing an unprecedented relocation of people and businesses (multinational corporations and Small Scale Businesses) out
of the state.
The atmosphere has become hostile for human existence and businesses.
Celebrating Democracy Day in the state is like giving a failure a nod. Rather, the PDP is urging the government of Kaduna State to step up its game in the following areas to give people the dividends of democracy.
SECURITY Bandits are holding sway over territories. People (both in urban and rural communities) are going through dehumanizing experiences of their lives; the rate at which people are been killed appears we don’t have
a proactive government but, very quick in issuing empty statements provoking the bandits, which has helped to worsened the situation.
Apart from Gov. Nasiru El-rufai daring the bandits when he said, “I will not negotiate with bandits,” in a much touted statement, the wife of the Kaduna state governor, Hajiya Asia El-rufai also dared them:
“I’d rather die than pay ransom to kidnappers.” The PDP in kaduna state is calling on the State governor,Nasir Elrufai and his household to stop making statements that have the potential of aggravating the security situation in the face of avalanche of ineptitude. They talk carelessly while innocent people are being harassed, kidnapped and even killed as a show of strength by the bandits.
About 3 days ago, the same day Gov. El-rufai’s wife made a statement on ransom, students of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria and some
lecturers were kidnapped. This recent happening occurred after the much publicized abduction of students of Joy International School in Kaduna, the abduction of Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna, the abduction of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization,Afaka in Kaduna and Greenfield University also in Kaduna.
The abduction and later killing of Agom Adara, Maiwada Raphael Galadima, and the abduction of the Interim Management Chairman of Kaura LG,Dr.Bege Humble Katuka. These are abductions that took place at proximate distances from the seat of power, what more of the people at the hinterland and the ungoverned spaces?
In its 2020 Annual Security Report, the Kaduna State government conservatively published that 937 people were killed by bandits while1,972 were kidnapped.
As conservative as the figures are, the number of people killed and kidnapped are still stunning. PDP, in its magnanimity, fault the report as it failed to capture the number of communities in Kaduna State that have been sacked and currently under occupation by invaders, the number of Internally Displaced Persons in the State. However, the report didn’t capture such areas because the government of Kaduna State is not bothered about rebuilding
communities ravaged by violent attacks or helping victims to re-build ptheir shattered lives.
SACKING OF WORKERS
As it is now, if a section of people are not crying over insecurity and untold hardship, they are struggling to contend with sack from
their work place. Since the APC government embarked on the mass sacking of workers and right sizing of the civil service, he does that without paying attention to the Extant Civil Service Rules which abundantly makes provision for the procedure to be adhered to before a public servant is removed from service.
The mass sack of workers in the public service of Kaduna state have been done without reference to the payment of Gratuity, Section 210 of the 1999 constitution which guarantees Pension Rights and also without any fair hearing accorded the affected workers.
On Tuesday 6th April,2021, thousands of workers in the Local Government Services of the State were issued with sack letters.
According to available data
released by the Nigerian Labour Congress, Kaduna State Chapter, 77,000 civil servants have been laid off by Gov. El-rufai. In 2017,Govornor El-rufai sacked 4776 district and village heads as well as their staff.
STUDENTS TUITION FEES
The APC government is sacking parents, breadwinners and guardians from office and simultaneously increasing the tuition fees of pupils and
students in primary/junior secondary schools and tertiary
This is double jeopardy because the same parents that are expected to pay the school fees of their children are
been sacked and their entitlements are denied.The government is full of contradictions.
When the PDP government under Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi established Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences, Makarfi and the Kaduna State University in 2004, he didn’t establish it as a money making venture,he created it to help under privileged children access education and to close the gap between the rich and the poor. Over the years, many
poor and underprivileged children have graduated from these institutions, which wouldn’t have been possible if the school fees now, are what were obtainable then.
What we are witnessing today is capitalism of monumental height.
According to the new rates, students paying N26, 000 will henceforth pay up to N200, 000 for social science undergraduates, and about N500,000 for medical students who are not indigenes of the State.
APC government has generated more pressure on Kaduna populace than
deflating it. The sacking of workers, demolishing of people’s houses,demolition of markets and over taxing businesses have all combined and accentuated tension like never before.
Gov. El-rufai is heaping pressure for the present and future generations of children; this is
evident in the $350m loan he collected from the World Bank (which has 10 years moratorium and a 40-year repayment period).
Development is not a marathon race, it is a gradual process and it must not come with huge liabilities like the one that will accompany the $350m loan.
Central to any democracy is the rule of law but, the APC-led government in Kaduna state has shown contempt to Court Orders. Among many others, a High Court in Zaria ordered the Kaduna state government to reinstate all the dethroned 77 district heads, pending the determination of a case filed by them.
According to the Judge, despite the served notice ordering that the issue of district heads sack was
before the court, the governor went ahead to dethrone the 77 district heads.
The PDP in Kaduna state is urging the APC-led administration to change
its approach to governance and give the people of the state the much anticipated dividends of democracy. The essence of government is to
meet the basic needs of the people – not less. We, in the PDP are wishing the people of Kaduna State a happy Democracy Day celebration
even in the face of daunting challenges.
Again, we are urging all and sundry to continue to put hope on the PDP and work together in
creating a new order where our common humanity will be restored.
Abraham Alberah Catoh
State Publicity Secretary,