Sola Ojo, Kaduna
I will vote Nasir El-Rufai. This is because of what he has done during this first term. There are some infrastructure developments in the state with particular reference to the education sector. I can cite some rural road projects like what we have in Kauru Pambegua road, a good road with drainage. He’s renovating 255 PHCs where a significant number of them are completed and handed over to the people for their use. And now, he’s posting staff to these facilities. As a politician, he has promised the local government free hand to award contract up to a billion naira. Zaria LG for example, just awarded 700 million projects. Kubau LG boss just bought one grader, one pay loader of 1.8 cubicle meter bucket. Without the governor given them the free hand, he would not have been able to do that. That means more feeder roads across the state. These are just a few things I can recollect at this point in time.
I will pitch my tent with Isa Ashiru. I am compelled by moral necessity to X-ray my concern about a choice candidate in the build up to the 2019 elections in Kaduna especially between the two most dominant parties in Nigeria. My choice is dangerously opted with all sense of responsibility and sensibility tied to some realities; the exhibition APC and the character in the PDP. The PDP system has over the years, been a party that has demonstrated a communication approach of dealing with issues with a friendly and tolerant style in her governance. PDP over the years represented a system where people dwelt in bountiful; a flexible and growing economy, guided utterances, freedom of speech, fair security whether, physical and psychological distribution of resources and appointments, creating a sense of belonging to citizens of Nigeria. Although, these factors may not be perfectly given but there was a fair demonstration and will to serve the people. This is evident upon the leadership period of the PDP stretch over the period of 16 years.
The situation grew dimmer and illusive under the APC. A state that is evident on the faces of Nigerians and to an extent, a large chunk of her APC party faithful. Kaduna State has never witnessed sadness like it has since inception; from Birnin Gwari, to Chikun, Sanga to Kajuru and this extends to other parts of the state and even the country. These killings continue to build unabated with people crying foul play, government also crying in like manner and accusing religious and traditional leaders. Unequal distribution of projects, appointments and resources has continued to grow in this administration. This became evident in the choice of Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC governoship ticket; this does not reflect consideration and respect for Christians and other groups within the state.
Unpopular policies like the sacking of more than 22,000 teachers and other civil servants within the state. This had not improved anything within the educational sector in Kaduna State, except for the school feeding programme which has a huge allocation amounting to billions without proper payment of fresh teachers, some schools still do not have enough teachers, some schools still have dilapidated structure without proper fittings like desks and writing materials. The APC administration has not been able to demonstrate freedom of rights, rights of people and professional bodies. During this administration, individuals, activists and journalists were arrested and keyed for some time. Lawmakers are not spared, two senators were manhandled, a structure belonging to a popular senator was completely demolished and the other senator’s house ransacked without telling the public any reason for that. These actions and inactions are controlled and regulated under the APC government in Kaduna led by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. This is a basis many will no longer vote for the El-Rufai ticket. As much as PDP may not be perfect in her dealings, it is far better than the APC government. Following the above notes, I pledge to pinch my tent with the PDP governorship candidate, Alhaji. Isa Ashiru.
My choice is Governor Nasir El-Rufai and that is simply for continuity. To start with, he has been able to stabilise security in the state to some extent. There were a lot of security challenges when he came in but he has been able to do his best and combat the menace of insecurity in the state. Besides that, we have infrastructure development ongoing despite the fact that he has been complaining that he has challenge of funds and that of failed loan from the World Bank. I believe if he had gotten that loan which was truncated by the Senate, he would have given the state more infrastructure. Again, when you look at him from political will angle, I think El-Rufai has got it. He has the political will to deliver to the people of Kaduna State in compared with other candidates especially the man from the PDP. I don’t see any chance of him winning the election considering his antecedents – where he was coming from and where he’s going. El-Rufai has already laid a foundation and people are happy with him. So I believe with security, infrastructure and other things he has been able to put in place, El-Rufai has a better chance to win 2019 governorship election in Kaduna State.
Isa Ashiru Kudan is sure of my vote. Ashiru understands Kaduna State and its dynamics as a former civil servant and a business man. His closeness to the masses helped him in his decision making as his projects still speak for him as a former member of the state House of Assembly. Record showed that he would do only what the people want. He is calm, reserved and down to earth that is why I am not only voting for him but mobilising people to vote for him. Take pride away from people around him. Take arrogance away from his person. Take favouritism and nepotism away from him. Take disrespect for traditional and religion leaders away from him. Isa Ashiru is the man of the people. Ashiru has created balance in the polity by choosing a Christian running mate. His rescue mission agenda provide a holistic approach to governance in Kaduna State, which is a political melting pot of Northern Nigeria. He’s coming to correct the many haste decisions of the present administration. He is giving youths and women a role in his government. His programme and policies are people friendly owing to his track record of rural development. His ability to gather key stakeholders is key which makes him a team player and a compassionate person living in reality.
The beautiful one is not yet born. The two governorship candidates of the two major political parties in the state, APC and PDP are not serious with factual governance. Although both are well experienced to lead the state, the APC governorship candidate, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai sees nothing good about anybody except his immediate family members and friends. To support this argument, his sister is now serving as Minister of Finance. He brought the inefficient pri- vatisation option of Obasanjo’s government to Kaduna State. As we speak today, all civil servants houses in Kaduna State have been sold including the state House of Assembly quarters built by the Makarfi’s administration of PDP. He has not built one property. He has sent the poor civil servants out of those houses and sold to his political associates. He runs a close door government where only the few benefit. He has shrink the numbers of executive council just to punish people from the southern Kaduna axis of the state all under the guise that they didn’t support him in 2014/2015 general election. This is the kind of government he runs. Then come to Isa Ashiru of the PDP, his campaign has not being held with expected high level of responsiveness. He has refused to engage community and make commitment to show seriousness on his side. Very recently, there were claims that he has issues with his qualifications. Both candidates have equal chances as far as the contest is concern. But I think the good people of Kaduna State need something more serious and better than what we have on ground. It is still as if the PDP has no candidate in Kaduna and El-Rufai is against himself.
The election date is close by and the will of God, only the will of God will open people’s eyes to see who is better for us.
My vote is for Isa Ashiru. El-Rufai disappointed us as our governor. I am one of those that brought El-Rufai on board. I trekked distance for him because we saw hope in him before 2015. He has turned Sir Ibrahim Kashim house to his mini palace where only a few can access. Today in Kaduna, he has brought disrespect on traditional institution with his unpopular policy of mass sack of traditional leaders. Funny enough, Isa Ashiru has been around all this while. We now saw the renewed hope in him. We will vote for him by the grace of God. But, PDP must open their eyes. The way these people rigged local government election is a clear indication that they will also attempt to rig the governorship election. But I know that will be difficult for them. The Isa Ashiru campaign organisation’s team should not watch APC rigging them and say they will go to court. Isa Ashiru is the way to go.