The Kaduna State Governor on Tuesday replied the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, for criticising his government and accusing him of not doing well for the state.
In his declaration speech in Kaduna on Monday, the former minister said the present government had not done enough for the people of the state.
He said he would fix the state just as he described the current administration of Murktar Yero as “incompetent.”
In a response Wednesday, Governor Yero said, “Mal. Nasir El-Rufai is only but good at peddling lies in an apparent display of huge disconnect with the same people he aspire to govern”.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Ahmed Maiyaki, the governor called on the people of the state to ignore Mr. El-Rufai’s claims because “the former minister is already renowned as loquacious”.
“We may have ignored El-Rufa’i’s tirade against the administration of His Excellency, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, because the former minister is already renowned as loquacious, but we deem it necessary to address some of the misinformation central to his comment,” the statement said.
The governor also said “it is laughable that the former minister is not aware of the steady improvement recorded in all sectors of the economy within the last 23 months”.
“The Yero administration has recorded tremendous achievements in improving the standards of Education and the result is there for all to see.”
The statement added that “It is uncharitable of El-Rufa’i to say that Kaduna is being led by self-centred politicians. It is on record and equally verifiable that Governor Yero has never selfishly allocated lands to members of his family or relations.
“The people of Kaduna are not unaware of the mischievous antics of the ‘opportunists-self-centered accidental- politician ‘El-Rufai’, who is struggling to ride on the popularity of a man he once despised to clinch the governorship ticket of the APC.
The governor further said the former minister “cannot deceive the people, many of whom he once chased out of Abuja and dissociated with”.
Read full statement below.
Our attention has been drawn to the desperate attempt by Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to portray a bleak state of affairs in Kaduna State through exaggeration of the true situation of things. While we don’t blame the aspirant for his political gimmick aimed at cajoling members of his party, we believe the former minister deliberately ignored the facts by peddling outright lies in an apparent display of a huge disconnect with the same people that he aspires to govern.
We may have ignored El-Rufa’i’s tirade against the administration of His Excellency, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, because the former minister is already renowned as loquacious, but we deem it necessary to address some of the misinformation central to his comment.
For the benefit of the general public, especially those that listened to the former minister from outside Kaduna State, the administration of Governor Yero remains very popular in the entire State and is working tirelessly to improve the overall living conditions of the people.
It is an incontrovertible fact that Kaduna State witnessed improved security and peaceful atmosphere since the emergence of Governor Yero in December 2012. There has been reduction in crime rates as well as increased mutual understanding among the diverse ethnic groups in the State. Kaduna people have shown genuine willingness to live peacefully with one another.
Kaduna State is working under Yero; it is laughable that the former minister is not aware of the steady improvement recorded in all sectors of the economy within the last 23 months. For El-Rufa’i’s information, the Yero administration has recorded tremendous achievements in improving the standards of Education and the result is there for all to see. For instance, this year, Kaduna State came third in overall national standing in the WAEC Senior School Certificate Examination. Such success and many more were as result of massive investment in infrastructure, manpower development and provision of teaching equipment.
For instance, the construction/rehabilitation of over 187 schools, recruitment of additional 1800 teachers and training of teachers in core subjects at secondary school level has yielded positive result.
In the Health Sector, Kaduna State has emerged as the first State in the North-West to be free from polio in the last 24 months. This is verifiable if the former minister cared to check.
It is also on record that the Yero administration has conducted capitalization of 457 health facilities including; 29 secondary health facilities, 352 Primary Health Centres, 5 Faith based secondary health facilities and 18 PHCs faith based facilities. The administration also initiated construction of 36 Primary Health Centres across the State. The projects are presently at various stages of completion.
The APC governorship aspirant is also clearly out of touch with the State not to have known that Civil Servants are paid their salaries and allowances as and when due. For his information, Kaduna State is one of the few States in the country, where workers are not owed salaries, allowances and other benefits. The Yero administration is committed to maintaining a well-motivated work force. This led to the payment of N6.7 billion backlog of gratuity and death benefits. Some of the liabilities dated back to 2005. As at today, no retiree is owed pension in the State.
It is also absolutely false to claim that agriculture productivity has gone down in Kaduna State. Since assumption of office, the Yero administration has consistently provided support to farmers in all 255 wards in the State with over 10,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer per annum. For the first time in the history of the State, assorted fertilizers were shared to farmers free, as way of support to agriculture production.
Kaduna state Government and the Bank of Industry/Bank of Agriculture have provided N2 billion for disbursement as loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and farmers respectively. Government has also procured and distributed tractors to both small and large scale farmers. It is on record that agriculture production in the State is on the increase, with farmers requiring additional storage facilities, which is currently being addressed by the Yero administration.
The People of Kaduna are not unaware of the mischievous antics of the ‘opportunists-self-centered accidental- politicians’, who is struggling to ride on the popularity of a man he once despised to clinch the governorship ticket of the APC.
It is uncharitable of El-Rufa’i to say that Kaduna is being led by “self-centred” politicians. It is on record and equally verifiable that Governor Yero has never selfishly allocated lands to members of his family or relations.
On infrastructure, in the last 23 months, the Yero administration has successfully completed over 50 percent of all projects initiated by past administrations. This is also verifiable. Over 20 roads infrastructures have been completed as well as several public building and numerous other projects in all key sectors of the economy.
In an effort to open up rural areas, Governor Yero completed rural electrification projects in over 31 communities. The administration also completed several rural feeder roads. If El-Rufa’i had truly consulted people at the grassroots as he claimed, these facts would have been made clear to him. It is one thing to live in the opulence of Abuja highbrow district and another entirely to appreciate the living conditions of the ordinary people, let alone knowing how to improve them.
The former minister is also unaware that the Yero administration has trained over 7,650 youths and women in various vocations. At the end of their training each beneficiary received starter packs and start-up capital with which to establish their own businesses. This model is being sustained as a way of empowering the youth and reducing unemployment in the state.
In the last 23 months of Yero administration, Kaduna State has maintained positive rating by the Fitch Rating agency. This independent parameter for measuring economic stability and prudence in public sector spending is certainly superior to any mischievous hypothesis. Yero is providing the people of Kaduna with stable democratic leadership that adheres strictly to Rule of Law and respect for human dignity. Leadership is certainly not about bullying the people and disrespect for extant laws; it is about following due process, respect for human dignity, which has been the case in Kaduna under Governor Yero.
Our advice is while on this sojourn as an ‘accidental politician’, El-Rufa’i should respect the sensibilities of the people of Kaduna State, who are much better informed on the true state of affairs in Kaduna State.
The former minister cannot deceive the people, many of whom he once chased out of Abuja and dissociated with.