By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
The internal crisis rocking All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State on Monday took another dimension when the leadership of APC Akida, a faction of the party, passed a vote of no convidence on the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai over what it called anti people policies.
The faction, which has Senator representing Kaduna central, Shehu Sani, APC gubernatorial aspirant who contested primaries with El-Rufai in 2015, Isah Ashiru, Chairman, Atar Communication (Liberty Radio and Television), Tijjani Ramalan and one time Commissioner for Education, Maitamaki Tom Maiyashi, among others as key members said, the party may look inward for a replacement of the governor ahead of 2019 election if he continues with his ‘anti people’ policies that may wreck the hard-built political party in the state.
But the Governor in his reaction described the group as that of ‘frustrated’ politicians who were only disguising their personal economic crisis as political commentary, with the sole aim of setting Kaduna on fire.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, Chairman of APC Akida, Tom Maitamaki Maiyashi lamented that, the party is on the verge of total collapse because it has only produce a mega wrecking machine in the state that has destroyed the integrity of the party and taken the staholders to slaughter lab.
According to them, with the way things are going in the state, “APC Akida is passing vote of no confidence on the governor. We will consult widely if he continue with his anti people’s policies and then look inward for his replacement before the 2019 elections because we cannot afford to let him sink this party that took us time to built. We have several people that are have the charisma to run just the way El-Rufai came in then.
“The ‘change project’ has only succeeded in producing a mega wreck machine that has destroyed the integrity of our party and taken all of us to the slaughter lab. We will continue to work for peace and certainly protect and sustain the honour and integrity of our great party”, he stressed.
Highlighting some of what he described as anti party policies Maiyashi said, “two years down the line, our people have only witnessed greater hardships, dehumanization and complete disregard to the basic sense of humanity. Government policies have put the APC platform on a cliff running up to 2019 when we have to give account of our stewardship. We must not wait until its too late to effect correction.
“Destruction of community peace or mortgaging the future of our children whose state of education and development is hitting its worst level”.
He further alleged that, government of El-Rufai is characterized by intolerance of opinion contrary to his mindset adding that, instead, he has hired mercenaries to attack individuals who dare any opinion meant to add value to public policy so far it is seen as against his policy.
“Regrettably, the state is walking into another circle of avoidable crises. This time around, it is the attack on traditional and community institutions that have sustained our sense of community for ages from pre-colonial days. The circular that contained information on sacking of over 4,000 district and village heads simply on the feeble reason of wage bill is worrisome and detrimental to peace process in the state.
“We put our communities and our elders on notice on this sensitive issue that governor is actually aiming at pulling down the traditional institution in its entirety.
“The state house of assembly should come come clean on this issue by publicly explaining to the people their role in this destructive policies and insulting policy that could potentially place community security on the edge.
“What this government knows how to do best is lies and lies even at the risk of destroying its own image. The governor has so much energy – fighting to destroy his own party that brought him to power. He has no regard for public or responsible opinion.
“The Zaria water water project recently commissioned specifically on the 29th May 2017 is the most classical fraud meant to win honour fraudulently. There is no water in Zaria. What a shame”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai who reacted through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan said, the government was aware of the funny games being played by the group regarding the return to 77 districts.
According the Governor, “In June 2017, the Kaduna State Government announced that the state was returning to the 77-district structure that existed prior to 2001. The government reached the decision after due consideration by the State Executive Council of the report of a committee that examined district and village administration in the state.
“A meeting of the State Executive Council on 24th April 2017 concluded that no scientific criteria or strategic consideration could be found to justify the expansion in the number of districts from 77 to 390. Instead, political expediency appeared to have motivated this proliferation that imposed the burden of paying personnel of the 313 extra districts on our local government councils. This proliferation also severely reduced the prestige and respect attached to the office of district head.
“On 25th April 2017, Malam Nasir El-Rufai consulted the State Council of Chiefs which requested two weeks to deliberate on the matter and submit a report. The State Council of Chiefs eventually communicated its support for the restructuring of districts via a letter dated 8th May 2017. This letter forwarded the resolutions of a meeting the State Council of Chiefs held in Kaduna on 4th May 2017.
“The government has subsequently implemented its decision to restructure the districts. Reverting to 77 districts implies that fresh appointments of district heads have to be made. Government asked all the 32 emirates and chiefdoms to forward nominees to be considered for appointment as district heads. In addition, government restated longstanding policy that succession to district headship is not hereditary, and that all residents of a district are eligible to seek the headship whenever it is vacant.
“It is important to highlight that the restructuring of district administration is a logical extension of the streamlining of governance that has guided this government since inception. Actions taken to reduce the size of government since June 2015 include: Reducing ministries from 19 to 14; Appointing only 15 commissioners, compared to the 24 that the previous government had.
“This government has fewer special advisers, special assistants and technical assistants than the hundreds of appointees that previous governments appointed. Reduction of the monthly payroll from N2.7bn to N2.2bn through verification of workers and pensioners. Why should anyone expect that these vital decisions meant to orient government to actual public service delivery should not be extended to the local government level? Why should anyone oppose measures to restore the prestige of district heads while also reducing the burden that proliferation of districts imposed on local governments?
“Government cannot be deterred from doing what is important, necessary and consequential for what our people. That is a more important goal than the ego and private interests of certain individuals. As you will recall, we have provided a robust response to the frustrations of the so-called Kaduna Restoration Group. The same response holds good for Tom Maiyashi and his factional ilk, who think that nothing can or should happen in this state except they say so. There is nothing new in what he said. Kaduna State is moving forward, whether the frustrated and the greedy elite like it or not. We acknowledge that the personal economic crisis of some of this elite is what they are disguising as political commentary. Even those who always condemned and displayed disrespect to our traditional institutions and religion, are now pretending to be their champions.
“The government is aware of funny games being played regarding the return to 77 districts. We have letters from some of the former district heads who are alleged to have sued the government dissociating themselves from the litigation.
“The government has consulted, made its decision and has already implemented it. Districts have been restructured in the better, longer-term interest of Kaduna State. Those who are concerned have already applied for appointment as District Heads. There is no need for all the baseless scaremongering.
So, this is a group of frustrated politicians whose intension is to set Kaduna on fire, because they are suffering from economic ego crisis”, El-Rufai’s aide said.