By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Governor El-rufai of Kaduna state has been accused of deliberately evolved policies and programs aimed at impoverishing the state, shortchanging, oppressing, suppressing and dehumanizing the people of Southern Kaduna.
Similarly, Mallam El-Rufai has been accused of reportedly embarked on retrenchment of no fewer than 21,000 teachers in 2017, and thousands others in the civil service but yet to pay their entitlement till date.
The Southern Kaduna people’s Union (SOKAPU) made the assertions in a statement it issued Monday in Kaduna by its President Hon. Jonathan Asake.
“It is on record that since assuming the reins of power, governor Nasiru El-Rufai has refused to do what he promised. Instead, he has evolved deliberate policies and programs aimed at impoverishing the state, shortchanging, oppressing, suppressing and dehumanizing the people of Southern Kaduna”, he said.
SOKAPU stated that Governor El-Rufai’s style of leadership since he became governor has been to dismantle all structures that ensured balance, justice, sense of fairness, inclusiveness and unity in areas such as political appointments, provision of social amenities, infrastructural and development. “He has only embarked in promoting divisiveness among our peace-loving communities among others.
“As he became governor, el-Rufai met a scenario where our diversities were well managed by his predecessors for peace, progress, development and harmonious coexistence in the state (agreed, there was a few explosive incidences that came once a while). Unfortunately, Mallam Elrufai could not ensure continuity with this cherished tradition. Instead, he has continued to manipulate our diversities and caused unprecedented divisions among the people of the state along the faultiness of religion, ethnicity, Political Party affiliation among many others.
“More than anything else, governor el-Rufai has maintained an adversarial disposition against the people of the state, with community and religious leaders of Southern Kaduna extraction becoming his main targets of verbal warfare and interrogations.
“Without any evidence, he described Southern Kaduna leaders as “bigots and conflict entrepreneurs”, while sending some of our revered monarchs, elders and the clergy to jail on trump-up charges and unsubstantiated claims.
“Throughout his first tenure there was such high level of insecurity in the state to the extent that revered Southern Kaduna monarchs were killed and others kidnapped, and were only released after the payment of heavy ransom. The Adara chiefdom was not only Balkanized after the brutal assassination of the Agwom Adara in 2019, but their elders were also detained on trump-up charges for over 100 days.
“El-Rufai is also obsessed with destroying other traditional institutions in Southern Kaduna by balkanizing and renaming chiefdoms unsolicited and in an insulting manner. He also created emirates where the culture, traditions and religious practices of majority of the people affected are not in anyway related to the emirate system”, it stated.
SOKAPU also stated that’, their major concerned is the mass sacking of civil servants, noting that, “In 2017, Mallam El-rufai embarked on retrenchment of no fewer than 21,000 teachers, thousands more in the civil service.
“Most of these people that were sacked, and others forced to go on voluntary retirement are yet to be paid their entitlements almost 6 years after they were forced out. Monthly pensions for most of them have become a nightmare as a result of endless verification exercises with very stringent conditions attached which are very difficult to meet. We in SOKAPU view this endless and stringent exercises as a smokescreen to unjustly terminate people’s career.
“The ongoing mass sack of civil servants in the state that has so far claimed 4,000 local government workers across the state came to us as a rude shock. These sackings are coming on the heels of a recent boast by the governor that Kaduna state was doing well in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Governor el-Rufai had boasted that in the next four to five years, the state would get to a point where going to the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting would only be out of courtesy, and not because of a need for the money.
“The governor had also revealed that in 2020, the state had generated N50.9 billion as IGR. On the average, this translates to N4.2 billion monthly as IGR. If actually it is true as claimed by the governor that 40% of the state monthly revenue comes from IGR, and 60% comes from FAAC, then, 93% of FAAC could shoulder the state wage bill, while the over N4 billion accrued from the IGR could be deployed in capital projects. Besides, the governor took a much publicised controversial World Bank Loan of $350 Million (N162 Billion).
“The question we must ask Mr governor here is: What happened to the World Bank Loan and the N4.2 Billion IGR that workers have to be truncated prematurely against laid down Civil Service Rules and Procedures? Governor Elrufai must realise that every action he takes today will be brought to question tomorrow”, it added.
On their position, the Union stated that “Having considered the footprints of governor el-Rufai since 2015 and his antics of pursuing ill-defined policies aimed at implementing anti-people policies”, stressed that the mass sack is inhuman and deliberate plan aimed at further impoverish Kaduna citizens.
“We view the current mass sack as not only inhuman but a deliberate and orchestrated plan aimed at the further impoverishment of Kaduna citizens, having witnessed the mass travails imposed on previously sacked workers that are yet to be paid their entitlements. We also believe that the current exercise of sacking civil servants amounts to a calculated and callous act of mischief, heartlessness and wickedness that is set to destroy the public and Civil Service in the state, and subjugate everything under the whims and caprices of the governor. We conclude here that there is more to this exercise than meets the eye.
“SOKAPU Categorically condemns and reject the current sack of 4,000 local government workers across the state. We are totally opposed to any planned sacking of civil servants that are 50 years and above and the planned casualization of public sector workers from grade level six down. We call on the affected workers to resort to the legal option and challenge this gross injustice unleashed on them by the state government.
“It’s now clear that it is not only the civil service that is under attack by the governor who has proven insensitive to the survival of workers. Traders, artisans and many others have also had their shops and business premises demolished without any form of alternative given to them. We call on governor el-Rufai to stop unleashing warfare and hardship on citizens but should work to improve their welfare as enshrined in the constitution.
“SOKAPUis of the view that, considering the destruction the government under Governor el-Rufai has caused in nearly six years, it is clear that the government is only concerned in opposing the welfare of citizens and unleashing anti-people policies under the pretext of implementing ‘painful decisions’. A government that lacks empathy and humanity cannot be trusted to serve the people.
“We call on all men and women of good conscience, the Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, the International Community and all those that are committed to justice and fair play not to allow these injustices caused by the administration of el-Rufai go unchallenged but to join other voices against the current mass sack of the Kaduna state workers”, it further stated.