BY YAKUBU B GALADIMA, ESQ
Today, my searchlight shall be beamed on the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, in order to showcase his underlining sterling and not-so-sterling attributes that have become manifestly glaring, particularly in the recent days.
el-Rufai, no doubt, has an enviable and rich curriculum vitae, having been a former Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where, like a bride, he strode to the admiration of many. As a quintessential, albeit accidental, public servant and now seemingly a politician, he has shone like a star in the galaxy. If his book, ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ came about after his meritorious years in public service, it would then be anticipated that he would yet deliver another book chronicling his sojourn into “accidental” active politics which has led him to occupy the Sir Kashim Ibrahim’s House.
Many people have deferred to Malam as he’s fondly called as exceptionally brilliant and intelligent, which with all sense of modesty, I do not want to agree less. However, without appearing impervious, brilliance and intelligence do not only resonate with “academic performance ” alone, instead, they also resonate with one’s social performance, political performance and religious performance, etc., which as a matter of necessity, must constantly interplay positively towards achieving a good result.
Thus, it is needless to say that intelligence and brilliance which does not harbour the aforementioned performance indexes so as to be maximally utilised and optimally used for a positive result is not complete intelligence or brilliance. At best, it could and should only be particularized as the case may be; academic brilliance / intelligence, etc.
Being a governor in Nigeria, I want to agree, is not an easy thing. It’s not been an easy thing isn’t limited to how deep an aspirant’s pocket should be, but also what factors could possibly “favour” him. Therefore, can it be possible for an aspirant to accidentally wiggle himself into occupying the exalted seat of a chief executive? My answer is yes. First, he can accidentally become a governor through the “concerted” manifest electoral rigging and broad daylight judicial robbery. Second, he can by some serendipitous happenstances become one. This is to leave out such candidate who might have passionately prepared himself and worked assiduously in order to become a governor.
In Kaduna State, becoming a governor is also not easy. Although as I postulated earlier, the possibilities for one to become a governor in the state accidentally cannot be ruled out. These likelihood of accidentally occupying an elective position in the Nigerian political hemisphere is as real as seed and harvest time which has happened in Kaduna and other states in Nigeria as well.
It is true and I believe same that, becoming a governor of Kaduna State could be likened to ruling Nigeria as the President. This I believe is not limited to the cosmopolitan nature of the state which was neither at a point in time the abode of who-is-who in Nigeria, nor could it by any stretch of imagination be as the result of the complexities of the people amongst other reasons. In any event, if these and more could be the reasons, then it won’t be out of place to say that the past governors of Kaduna State, including the present, have qualified and demonstrated capacity to rule Nigeria. However, their performances as governors would go with them as their scorecard, showing how they’d rule and or will rule the country. This is the grain of truth!
Be that as it may, I hold with tremendous respect the office of the governor, most especially, the governor of my loving state, although now in the cauldron by killer herdsmen, criminal elements, etc. that have remained at large as against the onerous duty of the government to arrest and prosecute all criminals.
For Mallam el-Rufai, I think he came, rather so early but so wrong, going by some recent actions of his. By the way, it is true that leadership is stewardship. As such, every leader be it religious, political owes a duty of accountability to his subjects which could as well be exercised by them demanding that their leaders so renders that. Therefore, the place for constructive criticism or critiquing cannot be eroded. These are few of the pecks that comes with leadership at all levels.
The setting up of the White Paper Drafting Committee of the Rahila Cudjoe / AVM. Usman Mu’azu’s (rtd) reports of the 1992 Zango Kataf’s crisis for me is desultory. It is a move so early so wrong. This is because records has it that since after the crisis, there were series of meetings, peace parleys/ accords, reports, etc. all on the possible causes(s) of the crisis; which have somewhat settled the dust. But with the events that occurred on the 10th and 11th of June, 2020; the killing of a young man and a protest by Zangon Kataf youths. The governor should have in my opinion, amongst other things, relocated his executive members for a round-table meetings with selected opinion leaders, religious leaders, illustrious sons/ daughters of the land who are of impeccable integrity to discuss on measures to bring about lasting peace in the area, not to appear to have whetted the appetites of one group against the other over likelihood of polarization, land confiscation and or allocation.
Secondly, if the recent radio chat by the governor over the recent spate of unabated attacks/killings in the Southern Kaduna is anything to go by, then it was untimely, unnecessary, ill-conceived, etc. How can it be that in the wake of despair, wanton killing and arson, a governor and leader would spin those venomous and gangrenous words? If those words are not unguarded, then they’re unfortunate that a leader who is under oath to protect and govern the people, in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, by the dictate of his faith, would condescend to that level. Rather than squarely looking into why such attackers have not been prevailed upon and or flushed away by our security agencies. Unless he likes it that scores of defenseless children, women and men are being killed on one part by exonerating their attackers on the other part.
In any way, el-Rufai may be excused, because it is only in Nigeria that our elected political and religious leaders, including appointees of government would make statements very caustic and get away with it. Maybe we should have a special Act of the National Assembly that would punish every “negative” or “inciting” utterances made in favour of one group against another by leaders.
These may perhaps put leaders in check who would at any slightest “provocation” run their mouth.
Barr. Galadima can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org 09081254041(SMS ONLY)