A former minister of the FCT and All Progressive Congress, APC, Kaduna governorship aspirant, Nasir El-Rufai, has accused the state governor, Ramalan Yero, of inventing facts.
Mr. Yero is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP.
In a statement Thursday, Mr. El-Rufai said through the spokesperson for his campaign, Mohammed Soba, said the PDP had confirmed both its incompetence and its inability to engage with issues.
“Their panicky response to Malam Nasir El-Rufai’s declaration speech was long on personal attacks and innuendo, but short on credible and specific rebuttals to the charge that they have not served the state well,” Mr. Soba said. “In seeking the APC’s ticket to serve as governor of Kaduna State, El-Rufai has studied the state’s figures and knows the magnitude of the challenge. In its response, the Kaduna State Government detailed some expenses they have made. But nobody ever accused them of not spending money.”
Mr. Soba said the PDP had no results to show for its spending; either in infrastructure or human capital.
“It is a fact that the PDP government has rapidly accumulated public debts since 2007,” the statement said. “Figures from the 2014 report of the Debt Management Office show that Kaduna State has the highest debt per capita in the country. Kaduna State is also ranked as the worst place to do business among the 19 northern states, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, 2013.”
On the issue of poverty and unemployment, Mr. El-Rufai had said the figures were based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics. These according to him, showed that unemployment in Kaduna was well above the national average and it was second in the poverty index among the seven states in the North-west zone.
He said the state’s budget profile did not display a development orientation. He gave an example of the state’s capital to recurrent ratio, which had declined from 77:23 per cent to 54:45 percent, reflecting a preference to spend for the pleasure and comfort of the ruling clique.
“Shall we also show Kaduna state’s poor performance in education as reflected in WASC and JAMB results?” the statement said. “Contrary to the government’s claim that Kaduna came third overall in the 2014 WAEC Senior School Certificate Examination, the fact is that the state is ranked only 10th.
“Out of 100,362 students the state presented, only 36,514 secured at least five credits (including English and Mathematics), yielding a patchy success rate of only 36.38 per cent.Self-delusion should not extend to manufacturing and believing your own fictional statistics.”
It said Kaduna State had also failed in achieving the MDGs, while its officials were doing well on allocations for gifts, entertainment and security.
“A peep into budget figures bears this out,” Mr. Soba said. “The state government’s 2014 budget shows that they intend to spend N4.8 billion as security votes, split into two categories: security vote of N2.1billion, and another N2.7 billion as security vote (preventive and supportive). This same 2014 budget allocates N400m to the office of the Secretary to the State Government for “traditional gifts” and N285 million for entertainment.
“The incumbent government is entitled to delude itself that its spendthrift and ineffectual style is actually the apogee of governance. But the people of Kaduna State see, feel and know the worsening levels of insecurity, debt burden, infrastructural decay, corruption and poverty in the state.
“The communities being subjected to unrelenting slaughter in southern Kaduna know there are security issues, and that the government has treated them with indifference. So do the communities in the Birnin Gwari area who have endured unresolved attacks on their lives and chattel.
“Human suffering in these parts is a reality, and denying it does not mitigate the pains of those who are affected; rather it confirms them in their conclusion that the state government simply does not care. It took the governor months to consider visiting affected communities in southern Kaduna, despite the savagery of the killings recorded there. So much for bringing the communities and peoples of the state together!”
The statement said Mr. El-Rufa’i was running on his record as a successful public servant, both as director general of the BPE and as FCT minister, in which office he was acknowledged to have managed Abuja splendidly.
He said he had the experience to run things properly, the integrity to deliver value-for-money and the competence to successfully manage difficult tasks.
“The Nasir El-Rufai Campaign Organisation sympathises with the Kaduna State Government over its discomfiture regarding the 2015 elections, but wishes to advise them to make it a campaign of issues,” the statement said.