Assalamu Alaikum, Your Excellency. Ramadan Mubarak!
I have been an admirer of yours from around 2013 when I read your memoir, The Accidental Public Servant (TAPS). Thanks or no thanks to the ASUU Strike of 2013 which afforded me the time.
In TAPS, I couldn’t help but cherish the El-Rufai personality you expound therein. The memoir was inspiring to me as a then engineering student envisioning political leadership. In the personality of Accidental Public Servant, I saw a ready-made template worth of emulation anytime I might find myself in leadership capacity.
Anyone who objectively checks through your leadership career shall find you exhibiting pragmatic leadership, unflinching determination to materialize plans into realities, and a deep passion for infrastructure development.
This led me to believe in your Kaduna Governor candidature in 2015. I prayed you make it to Kashim Ibrahim House because it appeared that you had all it takes to rid our dear state of the stagnation we’ve faced since Gov Ahmed Muhammad Makarfi. After seeing PMB’s first tenure, I wasn’t convinced he has the capability to deliver. So, I didn’t vote him a second time. I completely shunned the polls because to me, PDP’s Atiku wasn’t any better as an option. However, I was fairly okay with El-Rufai’s first term and believed he was still a better fit than PDP’s Alh Isah Ashiru Kudan. Therefore, I queued a second time to vote Gov El-Rufai for continuity.
Your Excellency, good news! Kaduna State is shining! Many thanks to you for the nylon pavements, the bridges, the youth inclusion in governance, the human resource investment in KIF, the digitalization of processes, foreign investment attraction and others. Your Excellency, these are records. Essential records. They are milestones you will be remembered for in good number of years to come.
However Sir, we have a problem. A very huge problem. While the city is shedding brilliance, the dwellers are shedding tears. As an informed mind that you are, I need not narrate the sorry economic condition that Nigerians are currently facing. You are definitely aware that Nigeria has successfully achieved its first record as the World’s Capital of Poverty. This means, Nigerians (Kaduna people inclusive) are currently poorer than you used to know them in 2015. I know that it is not your fault that they are poorer. I only wish to remind you that they are poorer than 2015.
Kaduna streets are full of whisperings and wailings these days. It has to do with what is largely known as your “capitalist policies” or famously called your “anti-people policies”. Whether true or not, these cries are truly concerning. They relate to how you tactically lay off workers, how you demolish buildings with inadequate compensation, how you crumbled businesses (SMEs) with the extensive Covid lockdowns you imposed last year. Heartily, it still relates to how you hold onto the entitlements of the Level-16 retirees whom were advised to retire few months/years to their retirement schedule with a promise that they will be timely paid their entitlements; this happened in 2017, some of them are dead already. Others are still waiting for Your Excellency. Even though Nigerians have gotten poorer, these people are poorer than “poorer Nigerians” because they have not been earning anything since 2017. Recent on the list of these tagged “anti-people policies” is the hike in school fees in KASU. We have a problem Sir. Humanity is at stake. I am not raising the issue of insecurity because you have already passed the buck to the Federal Government by saying they are in charge of security architecture and deployment. So, as usual let’s PATIENTLY wait for the Abuja Majesties on that one.
Your Excellency, I sincerely hope you are not aware of all these problems. I am giving this benefit of a doubt because your media chats are usually laced with promising remarks on things like this. In a recent interview, you denied that there was any workers lay-off looming. However, we later saw workers disengagement letters trending on Facebook. There seems to be an economy of communication between you and your people.
Your Excellency, I am appealing that you look into these issues. People are silently dying while we are Making Kaduna Great Again. Let us not have a beautiful Kaduna someday after everyone is already sleeping in the cemetery, dying from heart attack on demolished properties/businesses and frustration on withheld entitlements and job losses.
Your Excellency cannot be punished by Kaduna people. Usually, people would have want to express their anger never to vote you again, but as unlucky as they are, you are in your last tenure. I also don’t think you would want to spend your retirement at the Red Chambers, because pragmatists don’t enjoy sitting and merely talking. Sen Kwankwaso for example, didn’t seek a second going to the Senate because he is a pragmatist and doesn’t believe that place suits him. So, I do not think Kaduna people have any protest card to play on you. They are feeble on this.
However, on your own part, I would want to admonish you. You are a Muslim who knows there is a Day of Accounting that awaits us in the life after this. You should fear Allah in all these dealings. The volumes of “Allah Ya isa” should really worry you, especially since there is no barrier between Allah and the prayer of the oppressed. Your Excellency, I truly believe it is time to fix this so-called “anti-people” feeling. If possible, truly and sincerely beg for the forgiveness of the people you have wronged. Search for them and compensate the ones who truly deserve to be compensated. This is not for your “political career” in this world, but for your “eternal safety” in the Afterlife.
If Nigeria does not currently have the financial might to make people richer, Kaduna State should leave people manage their existing condition without adding insult to their injury.
Ibrahiym A. El-Caleel