“Retrogressive elites are opposed to this administration, [but] he was elected by the masses and only God and the masses will decide his destiny.”
Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Samuel Aruwan is the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to Governor Nasir El -Rufai of Kaduna State.
According to him, the joker on his principal’s hand to floor his opponents in order to remain in power beyond 2019 is the support that he is enjoying from the masses, and not the elites that will not vote in the election.
He also said that the governor’s numerous achievements in infrastructure development in the state are added advantage for him to be re-elected in 2019.
Some people are saying that there are pitfalls that will make it difficult for Governor El-Rufai to return to office in 2019. How true is this?
There is no wide discontent against the El-Rufai leadership in Kaduna State. It’s some retrogressive elites that are opposed to this administration and can’t stop him, he was elected by the masses and only God and the masses will decide his destiny.
Contrary to your assertion, this administration has done so much in key sectors (Health, education, water, reforms in the civil service and provision of infrastructure development) you deliberately ignored for reasons related to your political inclination.
We have reconstructed, built and equip over 100 Primary Health Care centers in the state, we have done same in the over 30 general hospitals in the state. Gwamna Awan Hospital, Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital, General Hospital Sabon Tasha, General Hospital, Rigasa and Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital are all located in Kaduna town and environs. We have recruited and employed over 2000 doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians and other supporting staff. You should note that as of May 2015, there are only 156 doctors this administration met in our work force.
This administration has rehabilitated over 600 primary schools with almost 200,000 units of furniture provided to these schools. As at the time this administration came, 75 percent of Primary School pupils were receiving lessons from bare floor.
Can you throw more light on the governor’s achievements so far?
There is increase in budgetary allocation to education above UNESCO threshold for three consecutive years 35percent, 33percent and 25percent for 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. Improved quality of food for boarding students from N44 per meal to 100 per meal (from 120 – 300 per day) for each student costing the state government N2,252,331,900.00 annually to feed 27,501 students in 31 boarding schools in the state.
Feeding for students in the Junior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State is free, in line with the 9-year free education policy of the present administration, and there was implementation of 9-year free and compulsory basic education (from Primary 1 to JSS3).
What is the impact of the state of emergency declared by the governor in the education sector?
Yes, there was state of emergency in the education sector in 2015. We abolished all fees in Primary and Junior secondary schools in the state saving parents N3 billion every year paid as school fees. Free uniforms were given to each pupil. We piloted the School Feeding Programme where the state government provided one meal per day to 1.8 million pupils of pre-primary and primary schools at the cost of N1.1bn monthly. For 8 months, the state government spent over N8bn before it was suspended. There was recruitment of 2300 teachers in the core subjects of English and Mathematics as well as the sciences to teach in public schools, and there was ongoing recruitment exercise for 25,000 new primary school teachers. We also embark on paying teachers in urban areas 27 percent and those in rural areas 32 percent higher than regular civil servants, with free housing for rural teachers to improve levels of retention and commitment.
What is the spread of the government’s infrastructure development in the state?
So far, nearly 200, 000, furniture were supplied, and about N450m spent on provision of beds and mattresses, in addition to constructions of six Science Secondary Schools, all the six are at 20 percent progress. A Science Secondary School was built at Pambegua, Kubau council, construction of Science Secondary School at Hunkuyi, Kudan council, construction of Science Secondary School at Rigachikun, Igabi council, construction of Science Secondary School at Buruku, Chikun council, construction of Science Secondary School at Jere, Kagarko council, and construction of Science Secondary School at Manchok, Kaura council.
I reel out these projects to counter some predetermined analyses from some quarters, but we have achieved so much, than I can mention here. We have not failed as some people will want to convince Nigerians, we shall never compromise development or accept divisive politics as a benchmark of governance.
What is this rumour we hearing that the presidency has endorsed a candidate for Kaduna central senatorial district?
It is false that President Buhari endorsed a senator for Kaduna central, and the concocted El-Rufai presidency crisis was fabricated along with other fictions scripted in respect of the Kaduna power struggle. Although we understood the foundation of this sentiment, but prejudices and biases never win a battle, El-Rufai by the grace of God is unstoppable beyond biased and prejudiced commentary.