By MAHMOON BABA-AHMED
Friday, May twenty-ninth, was observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria. It was also a dawn of a new era in which the much expected change had commenced with the installation of a government mid-wifed by progressive forces in the country for the deliverance of distressed masses in great danger and difficulty. Nigerians were therefore excited with the prospects brought by that auspicious day and were, therefore, eager to throw their weights behind the new government that promises to change their lives for the better.
In Kaduna State, as in many other parts of the country the coming of a new government under Malam Nasiru el-Rufa’i has actually rekindled hope of a new Kaduna where fairness and justice will reign. The people were happy with the arrival of a seasoned technocrat who is also vastly experienced in statecraft as the new man at the helms of their affairs, believing that he would work with similar distinguished citizens that abound in the state to build a virile polity where every citizen would be equal before the law. The people of Kaduna State are of the opinion that the future of Kaduna State under adept and dynamic leadership of Malam Nasiru el-Rufa’i would not only witness rapid socio-economic development but the enthronement of fairness and justice so as to achieve a greater level of development in all sectors.
Indeed, the coming of Malam Nasir’s administration, with the April 11th gubernatorial election, gave hope for a brighter future to the citizens of Kaduna State and Nigerians in general. That also restored the confidence reposed in the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC which have ensured peaceful and hitch-free elections — a situation that caused the sudden disappearance of tension, apprehension and palpable fear that characterised the pre-general elections period. That has set the stage for joyous celebrations and jubilations by the Kaduna State people who were obviously satisfied with the outcome of their resolution to endorse Malam Nasir as the man in whose hands they would be committing the destiny of their dear state.
The enthusiasm or energy dissipated in extolling the virtues and sterling qualities of Malam Nasir in Kaduna State was commendably demonstrated on Democracy Day by hundreds of thousands of spectators and well wishers that thronged the spacious Murtala Square in the heart of Kaduna Township to witness the momentous occasion of his installation as the 22nd Executive Governor of Kaduna State.
The investiture of Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i had clearly signalled the commencement of carefully planned strategies to restore the dignity of Kaduna State and to uplift the status of its hitherto despondent populace. These revolve around a 7-point agenda distilled from the manifesto of the APC which include: Qualitative and affordable Education; Health care and social welfare; Social justice and security; Governance with public accountability; Economic growth and rural development; Agricultural development and industrialisation and Electricity and Transportation.
These points were conscientiously reiterated in Governor el-Rufa’is post swearing-in speech in which he carefully outlined the strategies and modalities for achieving the lofty objectives of his new administration within the shortest time possible. As a supporter and advocate of the rights and interests of ordinary people, Malam Nasir was particularly concerned with the poor state of the state’s economy which had taken a critical turn for the worst in recent times, promising to take drastic measures to turn it round. He had therefore indicated that he and his deputy will only take half of their monthly salaries until when the economy of the state improves substantially.
Nasiru’s admirable and praiseworthy gesture was a clear demonstration of how his administration will surely swing into action decidedly to devise reasonable and practicable means of ending the recurrent economic as well as socio-political problems that immensely inconvenience the citizens of Kaduna State. It had also shown how his administration will get preoccupied with the ardours task of rejuvenating the state by systematically rectifying all the anomalies, misconduct and unlawful acts perpetrated by the previous government.
In the last two years no significant developments have been recorded in the history of Kaduna State, Contrary to expectations, the people of Kaduna State have been endlessly subjected to a steady deterioration in the general standard of living while the level of intolerable suffering has correspondingly increased. Good education and quality Medicare remain an exclusive preserve for the rich and the mighty. With the coming of Nasiru el-Rufa’is government on board citizens of Kaduna State are now hopeful, extremely happy and encouraged to give maximum support to the man in whom they have placed faith, confidence and absolute trust.
From all indications, Malam Nasir came with rigid, strict and uncompromising determination to succeed in taking Kaduna State to a greater height, and despite the widespread, daunting challenges, he will muster and mobilise the people of Kaduna State to tackle them head on. The goodwill that ushered him in will certainly serve as a prime motivation for justifying the mandate given him. Accordingly the people of Kaduna State and indeed Nigerians believe the new Kaduna State Governor is off to a good start.