“What the hell!” is the greatest human expression of abhorrence. When human souls are led beyond incomprehensible sequences of nature in negativity, the word ‘hell’ suffices.
Hell is a place recognised by the 2 major religions in Nigeria: Christianity and Islam, both religions teaches eternal reward for those who do well in time and eternal punishment for those who don’t.
The Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai, apparently has the sound of hell in his surname. His, is spelt “El” but sound same as “hell”. But beyond the sound of “El in his name is the hell of a living experience that living in Kaduna has become, ‘EI’ is a prefix, with origin common to middle east languages of Aramaic and Arabic origins. In Aramaic, the word it prefixes gives it meaning, for example; El-Shadai is God the multi breasted One, bringing humanity to an understanding of the God who didn’t just make supply provisions for all, but in whom is a source for all. This understanding is the need of every leadership to know that God has given us people with quota of potential productivity that we, as leaders must create enabling environment for them to bring to the table.
El-Rufai is of Arabic origin meaning elevation, or the one who lifts up. His becoming Governor in Kaduna came with so much hope, when his stewardship as Minister of Federal Capital Territory Abuja we reflected upon. The reality of the day is however shocking to the marrow; high handedness of his approach is unbecoming of democratic leadership.
His Government has not been entirely barren of dividends of democracy but they come with the price of profitable public service against people’s welfare which should be the measure of public governance.
In aesthetics and peace, Kaduna used to be the pride and haven of Northern Nigeria, much of the beauty the city still retains but peace seems to have left the city after the inauguration of the Governor, who later told us how the journey into forays of insecurity began. It all started with payment made by him to his ancestral distant cousins of Fulani heritage to stop killing his people in Kaduna state, the state has never known peace till now.
This free money must have informed the organised crime that killing has become and of course the industry of banditry and kidnapping that is thriving in the state presently.
El-Rufai is very well qualified to vie for the position of Vice President or even that of the President in 2023, but worrisome are his attitudes to opposition and his human management capacity generally which are the hallmarks of successful public leadership. Let’s save ourselves the details of the gory murder of the 5 students of Greenfield University and the weeks of agony and horror of students of college of forestry in kidnappers’ den. Security of lives and properties are responsibilities the Federal Government must oversee through its agencies via state administration, not much of a bad job from the Governor whose synergy with the Government at the centre is producing some form or respite but just when Kaduna was about to give a sigh of relief, the Governor heated up the polity again with his determination to sack 7000 civil servants among the hungry and angry populace. El-Rufai has carried on as Governor as if he was to lay those who elected him to lead them off their means of livelihoods. He started his sacking mission in the teaching service an assignment many on the streets believed he carried out because of his determination to send his son to public school to soar up his image laundering for Presidential election in 2023.
The challenge of his actions by Nigeria Labour Congress led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC President has shut down Kaduna State, the hell the streets of Kaduna has become with its attendant chaos is a brewing anarchy which if not nibbed in the bud, may activate the long awaited People’s revolution. In the midst of all this, the Governor remains stubborn and undaunted, insisting there is no going back on his decision. He has further declared NLC leadership wanted by the police. NLC has also alleged that the Governor hired some touts to disrupt a peaceful protest and in the ensuing violence, a stone from a tout hit another and he dropped. How many more persons the poor management of protests will drop in the days ahead is left to our imaginations. Hoping that El-Rufai being one of such persons confusing President Muhammadu Buhari, has alleged by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, will not opt for the decision that turned Lekki Toll Gate protest to the flow of blood and International embarrassment it became.
The failure of APC as a party is further revealed through the Kaduna crisis. One would have expected the intervention of the Party to champion the dialogue for peace between Labour and the Government of Kaduna State. Why they must have failed at providing direction for good governance, they were zealous at getting other to join their “DINNING TABLE”. Those who should throng Kaduna in courtesy visits to persuade their “table prefect” on the need for dialogue and peace, were out in Calabar telling Ayade to come and have the feel of their buffet table as against “allacat” that PDP table as become. it is very clear that many politicians will have no choice in the days ahead than to crossover to the side where the “DINNING TABLE” is sumptuous with Professor Ben Ayade. We can only wish that Governor Nasir El-Rufai will stop holding the hands of Kaduna State civil servants who elected him to come and eat and allow reasoning to prevail so that enough chairs can be added to APC DINNING TABLE in Kaduna to accommodate all, that peace may return to its haven.
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is the Convener Apostolic Round Table.
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