Nasir El-rufai Vs Uba Sani: When Things Fall Apart

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Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

As much as I cannot hold forth for Gov Uba Sani in the debt burden brouhaha a deeper look at the events leading up to it is revealing

A quick breakdown of what happened between 2015 and 2019 shows that Mallam Uba Sani was political adviser to Gov Nasir El-Rufai. Accordingly, Sen Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi represented Kaduna North at the Senate, while Sen Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central then were all in the ruling All Progressive (APC).

When Governor El-Rufai sought a staggering amount of external debt, Senators Hunkuyi and Sani joined hands with Kaduna South’s Sen Danjuma Laah of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to work against the debt, making sure it didn’t pass through parliamentary approval.

Of course it was because of political grievances. The infuriated Governor El-Rufai, got to a point where he literally poured invectives the three senators from Kaduna state on a podium!

Sen Hunkuyi was the unluckiest because later on his house situated at Sambo road in Unguwar Rimi was demolished. The Kaduna State Government said it demolished the house because of “flagrant violations of land use and non-payment of ground rent since 2010.” This same house was once used as campaign office for Kaduna APC gubernatorial candidate Nasir El-Rufai.

Both Senators Hunkuyi and Shehu Sani had to leave APC in 2019, when they couldn’t get the ticket to contest for reelection in the APC.

You can’t fight an incumbent governor to this length and still expect your ticket, unless you are a political juggernaut like Bola Ahmed Tinubu who fought against an incumbent Gov Akinwunmi Ambode and unseated him.

In 2019-2023, Governor El-Rufai conveniently sacked the two Senators who were instrumental in blocking his desire for this huge external debt, using all state apparatus and tactics. Senator Hunkuyi and Sani were sent back home and he replaced them with Sen Suleiman Abdu Kwari and the current Governor of Kaduna State- Sen. Uba Sani. With them, Gov El-Rufai got his rubber stamp as he expressly got his $350 million loan for Kaduna state.

Thus If today Governor Uba Sani is complaining about this debt, then one can only be seen to be confused. The same loan he facilitated as a Senator?. Didn’t he have an insight into the implications of this loan before he helped Governor El-Rufai secure it?

The main objective of El-Rufai sending Sen. Uba and Sen Kwari to the Senate was to get this loan approved, and they succeeded in getting the state indebted. The work that Hunkuyi and Shehu Sani refused to do.

Well, today we are enjoying our asphalt roads and the flyover bridge at Kawo, as Gov Uba reveals that the FG deducts N7 billion from our N10 billion allocation to service El-Rufai’s loans. It seems His Excellency cannot remember the role he played in getting Kaduna to this state of affairs.

Your Excellency, I personally think we should look for another loan o. Even if from Qatar. There are so many uncompleted projects scattered all over Kaduna. These uncomplicated projects are visiting untold hazards and inconvenience to residents. Please let’s get more loans to finish them first.

Hon Isa Ashiru Kudan couldn’t be luckier than this. Had he succeeded Mallam El-Rufai, he would have been mocked for his “incompetence”. No one would have believed him if he says that he is tied down by a huge debt profile.

What goes around comes around. Before casting stones into the pond of life, remember the ripples effects they create may return as tidal waves. Politicians are politicians.

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