The People’s Representative
Hon Ishaq Ahmed Kana proved himself well as a man of the people while in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly as a legislator. This is regarded as the reason why his people flock around him and proved their support in April by voting him into the House of Representatives, where he pledged to do more for his people than he did while in the state legislature in Lafia.
By Mohammed Lawal Dogara
Hon Kana, the House of Representatives member for the Keffi/Karu/Kokona Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State has such ambitious plans for his people as will require huge financial resources to execute and will keep him busy for the next four years that he would be at the National Assembly serving his first term during the current Seventh Session of the legislative arm of the Federal Government.
Hon Kana’s constituency comprise the fast growing towns of Karu and Keffi as well as surrounding communities by reason of their closeness to Abuja, the city centre of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and the resultant rapid inflow of people from other states. The expanding population is putting substantial pressure on existing facilities and posing security concerns. It is the realization of this fact, among other considerations, that Hon Kana has had to come up with developmental project that he make observers believe that he needs to work very hard and mobilise huge funds in the process of implementing them.
To start with, Hon Kana’s vision statements are: 1, “Emancipating and empowering the people of Keffi, Karu and Kokona Federal Constituency towards self-actualization and positive contribution to and participation in the democratic process”; 2, “Effective representation of the people and promotion of their interests at the House of Representatives to ensure adequate federal presence in their localities”; and 3, “Provision of support services in the areas of education, water supply, health care, agriculture, and social services to the people.”
Brief excerpts of the detailed proposed development projects aimed at implementing the outlined vision include,
Water Supply: To sink 296 boreholes across Keffi, Karu and Kokona (at least one in each polling unit); sink nine boreholes for nomadic Fulani around the constituency; and to assist with water pipes in areas needing replacement or fresh construction.
Health Care Services: Hon Kana plans to provide free field medical care at least twice a year around the constituency; and to offset medical bills for the less privileged that may be referred, from the field, to hospitals for further medical attention.
Education: Hon Kana wishes to renovate two secondary schools each in Keffi, Karu and Kokona Local Government areas; assist the less privileged with fees for WAEC and NECO examinations; award scholarships to the less privileged students who gain admission to tertiary institutions within Nigeria.
Agriculture: To boost agriculture around his Federal Constituency, Hon Kana who was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), will be assisting farmers with fertilizer and cattle breeders with vaccination. He plans to meet some of the needs of the youth by empowering them with skill acquisition and working tools for self-actualization, among other things.
He similarly has plans for widows, orphans, and physically challenged persons.
General Social Services: In his development plan, the honourable member of the House of Representatives will sponsor many of the people of his constituency on annual Muslim/Christian holy pilgrimages, providing electricity to at least five rural communities within the constituency, and easing transportation tasks of the people by constructing bridges across the three local government areas.
As indicated earlier, the tasks Hon Kana has set for himself are daunting, but those who know him say he will deliver. Such people point to his background as a philanthropist. They draw attention to his time as a member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly from where he contested in the National Assembly election of April and won to assume his present office in the House of Representatives.
As member of the state House of Assembly in the state capital, Lafia, Hon Kana left enough footprints that are widely accepted to convince his people that he is a man of his words.
While in the state House of Assembly, Hon Kana renovated more than 12 boreholes in his state constituency, which are now all operational; he awarded scholarship to 100 students in tertiary institutions and 50 secondary school students for their O’ level WAEC/NECO registration. He initiated free eye medical treatment in his constituency where over 350 people benefited and others are still benefiting; he sponsored 50 people to lesser Hajj and 40 people to Hajj in 2007 through 2009, and sponsored 40 Christian brothers around the same time to Jerusalem.
He gave out 820 new motorcycles (Jincheng), supplied many benches to Federal Medical Center Keffi, and established a free medical treatment scheme for the people at the centre, and Imani Clinic Tudun Kofa under his health care assistance project. He gave out 10 computers to senior secondary schools, provided vaccines to 100,000 cattle to help Fulani in his constituency, among several other things.
Hon Ishaq Ahmed Kana was born on June 4, 1965. He studied at Ahmadu Maikwato Primary School, Keffi between 1973 and 1979, and Government Secondary School Uke, from 1979 to 1984; the School of Preliminary Studies Keffi, now Nasarawa State University, between 1984 and1986 for his I.J.M.B result, and he was in the Bayero University, Kano from 1990 to 1994 and obtained his Bechelor of Science degree in Sociology.
Hon. Kana (Ciroman Kana) worked as a Clerical Officer in the Ministry of Education, Plateau State in 1989-1990, served as an Administrative Officer to the Federal Capital Water Board, Abuja, under the National Youth Corp (NYSC) scheme in 1994-1995. He was the information officer, State Primary Education Board, Lafia, from 1997 to 1999 before he was appointed as a Protocol Officer in the office of the 1st Executive Governor of Nasarawa State from 1999 to 2006. He contested and won election in 2007 to the Nasarawa State House of Assembly representing Kokona West Constituency.
The true state of affairs in Edo State
In the last couple of weeks, apologists of the PDP in Edo State have been quite busy on various internet forums. Basically they peddle untruths about the state of affairs in Edo State and at other times they attempt to denigrate the towering personality and public perception of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, both at home and abroad by calling him uncomplimentary names.
These emerging activities indicate that the PDP strategy ahead of July 2012 election in Edo State, is to do everything possible to avoid campaigning on issues and instead trivialize the campaign process by turning it into a “you thief, you monkey affairs. However, we are prepared for their antics and ready to expose their lies and deception ahead of the forthcoming elections in Edo State. We have termed the elections, “Reward 2012″ because we believe it will all boil down to Edo people making a crucial choice between rewarding Oshiomhole for the marvelous job he has done these past three years, or rewarding the PDP for ten years of purloining our treasury and selling off Edo State industrial asserts to their families and cronies.
The important point to remember is that the personalities who chose Lucky Igbinedion as the PDP candidate in 1999 and directed him throughout his tenure as governor, are the same personalities that will chose whoever the PDP will present as their candidate for the forthcoming elections in Edo State.
As the saying goes ” You cannot use the same standards that brought Edo State to the pre Oshiomhole era and expect different results” If you are eager to know the true state of affairs in Edo State, and willing to be updated daily on Adams Oshiomhole’s emerging vision for our beloved state, we invite you to join our group on facebook.
Attention, Professor Ruqayyatu
I wish to draw the attention of Minister of Education Mrs Ruqaiyyatu Alkali, on the recent changes that occurred at the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Kaduna zonal office of the movement of its staffs and of course reducing its status of power to mere of (JJC) Just Joint the club.
Professor Ruqayyatu, with or without your knowledge, presently more than 2/3 of the Kaduna Zonal office staff have now been transferred to Abuja and other nearby area offices, why? The Kaduna office will suffer these changes after all we all witnessed the magnificent achievement it’s rendered to our children for more than 3 decades. I am not against what the current JAMB Register did by opening another new office in Oshogbo from the existing once in Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna, Dutse, Asaba and Ekiti.
The Kaduna JAMB office was first opened on 2nd October, 1979 in the premises of Kaduna State Ministry of Education, until 18th of April 1987 when it rented a property at No 9 Alkali Road Kaduna. It was the sudden rise of rents in Kaduna as a result of movement of the national headquarters to Abuja that the landlord also increased the rent by 80%. The then Registrar applied for an office accommodation to the Commissioner of Education on 4th May, 1988 when it became clear that the request would be possible as a result of state creation and the anticipated shearing of assets, a move was made to look for suitable abandoned dormitories with the advent of deboarding in the state. The present site was then sought and chosen as suitable. He took the matter to the Military Governor and approval was given to JAMB on 11th of April 1989, renovation commenced immediately and full zonal office activities and operation took off on 27th April, 1991.
Later the Board resolved to make Kaduna an area office, and contracts were awarded in December, 1992 for the additional blocks to accommodate matriculation and examination, also computer and research, monitoring and evaluation developments.
With all these process, why will somebody overnight decide to jeopardize all the amiable development reached by Kaduna JAMB office?
Musa Abubakar Abdulsalam
Reporter Desert Herald
AWAKE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Anybody who wants to see bribery and corruption among Nigerian security agents like the police and any other forces should come to Maiduguri, Borno State where you will see them extorting money openly and if you fail to give them, then you are a member of Boko Haram. Some of them have bought cars at their check points; what a shame and disgrace to our security agents! The Federal Government needs to do something hurriedly before it gets out of control.
The Last Minister of the FCT
By AUSTIN MAHO
Hate him or love him, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, who was in office as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory between August 2003 to May 2007 remains the last Minister of the FCT.
Under him the Territory achieved rapid development in all indices and was placed on a proper administrative platform of world class capital cities. since he left office four years ago, there is nothing to indicate that there is a functional government in the Territory. Diminutive in stature his shoes has proved too big for his successors.
His immediate successor was Umar Moddibo, whose size is in sharp contrast to El-Rufai. He had a bold and intimidating stature, but in terms of meaningful achievements he failed to measure up. Apart from engaging in an unnecessary squabbling with his Minister of state which eventually cost him his job, his much publicized Abuja boulevard project turned out to be a white elephant, elitist and was bound for failure even before it kicked off. His achievements if there is any would be a tiny footnote in the history of the Territory.
Adamu Alerio, mounted the saddle thereafter. He is credited with allocating over 20,000 plots of land in record time to friends and cronies and erecting unnecessary speed breaks in major intersections in the capital city. Weighed and measured he would be remembered more for his role as a cabal member in the late President Musa Yardua’s kitchen cabinet than as a minister of the FCT.
After Aleiro was swept away by the attendant politics of the ill health and eventual demise of former President Umar Musa Yar’dua, Bala Mohammed, a senator mounted the saddle. He was rewarded with the ministerial posting to the Federal Capital Territory for his unqualified support for the acting presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. His performance in office was not cheering either. He was deficit in his understanding of the problems afflicting the capital city. Bala Mohammed was a politician who never had the patience nor the intellectual rigour to analyse and confront the problems confronting the city.
Pandering to a popular out cry, on assumption of office he was quick in removing Aleiro’s speed breaks in phases and replacing them with his own version. He showed his lack of administrative competence by setting up committees to address every problem and another committee to study the recommendation of the previous committee.
El- Rufai understood the problems, his approach was not the constitution of committees but the putting together of an implementation Task Force to push through his agenda for the speedy accomplishment of set objectives. Recourse to committees is an indication of an unwillingness to upset the status quo or to create the impression that something is being done whereas nothing is being done! A ridiculous committees put in place by the minister is one whose mandate is to identify green areas in the city and identify the allottees of these green areas. The question that begs for answer is do the minister need to constitute a committee to identify the green areas in Abuja? There is a full department of parks and garden in the FCTA, are we to believe that the FCTA bureaucracy is not in custody of such an information that a bureaucracy has to be put in place to get such a simple information?
From all indication successive minister of the FCT after El Rufai have shown beyond doubt that they have no grasp of the enormity of the task of administering a complex city like Abuja. The evidence is all too glaring for all to see.
El-Rufai has made things easy for subsequent ministers of the FCT. he has produce a workable blueprint for the holistic and comprehensive development of the city, all any minister has to do is to key into it and he would be guided on the road to successful. However what we have on ground at present is that every minister that comes on board wants to reinvent the wheel in his own shape and form. To pursue the policies of your predecessor is anathema, a weakness even when you don’t have anything better to offer.
El-Rufai I would readily say, had done the odious and dirty job of putting the capital city on tract and taking the bad name for it. He it was that embarking on the restoration of Abuja master plan and for that went on a demolition exercise that saw to the pulling down of over 30,000 houses and shop! Observing that the structure of the territory was defective because emphasis was on the development of the city and the building of physical infrastructures, he embarked on the creation of an effective administrative structure for the Territory. This saw to the creation of the federal capital territory administration and mandate secretariat to address all administrative problems of the city. AGIS, AMMA, Satellite Towns’ Development and Abuja Management Agency among others. These agencies where put in place to address specific administrative problems of the city. And they were primed to work. Structures where put in place and protocols established to ensure they succeeded in their briefs.
But typical of a country that destroys its own very best El-Rufai was made the subject of opprobrium by the new power establishment. His structures where pulled down and self serving dimwits where made to take his place.
As expected, things began to slide and the development of the city entered reverse gear. Green Areas carefully mapped out by El-Rufai as public properties where destroyed and appropriated by the rich and powerful. overnight houses began to sprout in them. Illegal structures like a disease, partially killed during his time, began rearing their heads in all corners of the city and satellite towns with a vengeance. And the administration seems helpless to act or is collaborating to promote the illegality. AGIS which worked wonders in its efficiency and deployment of ICT to address the critical issue of land administration in the FCT during the days of El-Rufai has become a cesspool of graft and inefficiency! It has become the problem it set out to correct! When El-Rufai was in power you dare not go to AGIS if you had no business to be there. You won’t have access through the gates anyway. But today all manner of crooks have taken over the place. The staffs are hands in cuffs with crooks cloning and selling land information entrusted in their care. One wonders if it wasn’t these same set of staff that once made AGIS a world class agency under El-Rufai. What has gone wrong? Evidently it is problem of leadership. When the head is rotten what do you think would happen to the body? Rot would permeate everywhere. It is no secret that successive Ministers after Elrufai deployed special assistant on land affairs. Their only duty was to liaise with AGIS and to regularly present ministerial list to the authorities for the prompt allocation of land. When the heads can be so blatant and indiscreet, what do you think would happen to the moral of the staffs who are daily witnessing the rape of our common patrimony? AGIS is no longer working because those entrusted with its management have lost their moral authority. It has become a free for all; the central land registry has become a center of corruption.
El-Rufai, as is the nature of all human being had his short comings. He presided over the sale of 35,000 government houses and his only accusation is that he allocated one to himself, he allocated many plots of land and had the boldness to allocate to his immediate family members in their names, when he could have easily done so in fictitious names like his predecessors and successors in office. Compared to what we are presently been assailed with, his allege failings pales into insignificance.
El- Rufail gave the FCT leadership and a sense of direction. His policies where clear and free from double speak. It applied to the rich and the poor in equal measures.
In a balance of performance Mallam Nasir El-Rufai remains the last minister of the FCT.
Why Dangote got GCON, by Jonathan
By MOHAMMED S. SHEHU
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, was awarded the nation’s second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) because of his enterprise and provision of jobs to thousands of Nigerians which contributed in developing the national economy, President Goodluck Jonathan said in Abuja.
The president spoke shortly after conferring various national awards on 355 Nigerians and foreigners who have distinguished themselves in service to their community at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. The occasion was held under very tight security.
He said, “We must appreciate enterprise and personal contribution to the economy of the country, which Dangote has been able to make in his business interest in the country. If Aliko did not have the business acumen to build that business empire; probably we would not have gotten somebody that could have employed thousands of Nigerians.”
He added, “So those who by their innate abilities, creative energies have been able to make impact in the society even deserve more honours than those of us who are holding political offices.”
Jonathan said the criticism that trailed the national honours regarding the criteria used in the selection of the awardees was expected, pointing out that even the most celebrated international award, the Nobel Prize, is often criticised. He said he had directed the relevant agencies to take note and ensure improvements in future exercise so that it would continue to serve the purpose it is meant for. Jonathan also said people who deliberately worked against their community or the nation could not be expected to be considered for national honours.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Alhaji Aliko Dangote expressed appreciation for the award and described it as a challenge for them and all Nigerians to work harder for the development of the country.
The 355 awards conferred yesterday brought the number of such awardees to 3,924 since the exercise began in 1963. A breakdown of the latest awards shows that one person got GCON, 65 got Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), 38 got Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), 74 got Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), 69 got Member of the Officer of the Order Federal Republic (MFR), 71 got Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), 28 got Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), two got First Class Federal Republic Medal and three persons got Second Class Federal Republic Medal.
In his welcome address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Senator Anyim Pius Anyim said the 2010 edition of the national honours could not take place because of preparations for the 2011 general elections and so, it was joined with this year’s edition.
Apart from Dangote, other prominent award recipients were Speaker of House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, as well as the governors of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Rivers and Jigawa States. Service Chiefs including Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petirin; Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Muhammed Dikko Umar; Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim; Chief of Army Staff Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika and Police Inspector General Hafiz Ringim also got awards, as did several traditional rulers, including the Lamido of Adamawa, the Emir of Bauchi and the Emir of Lafia.
In Defence of Professor Chinua Achebe
Chimamanda Adichie, that literary star once said she was accosted by a lady fan who categorically told her to write a sequel to one of her novels in order to facilitate her own very idea of how the novel should end. Had Adichie presented an opportunity for many of such people in a forum; she would have had been long drowned in the countless suggestions on what and what should happen to the heroes and heroines of her many books.
Worse is that they would have even made an attempt to write the story of her own personal life according to their fantasies; even though Adichie’s ideas are covert inherent imaginations unknown to any other but herself. Today, Journalists and online Bloggers face similar fate or even worse situation daily whenever they attempt reel out information concerning their trade or instances when they present views according to the angles of prisms of which they perceived them. There is an army of online and real life bullies whose sole aim are to cower people who spent valuable resources to produce thoughts and ideas according to their own perspectives. They often times seek to satisfy their own tendencies for megalomania and grandeur. I kind of liken this situation to the President’s response to Chinua Achebe’s decline of the National Award presented to him. The response shows that Government agencies, spokespersons or apologists throw all decorum away by attacking people who behave according to their inherent beliefs or perceptions of events. Even worse is that the social and political Commentators of National and International repute of not so long ago are the ones being saddled with the responsibilities of ridiculing icons who’s principles got them where they are now. These same commentators have now discovered that towing the line of hypocritical doom is a lot easier than penning articles from a divide of the majority. Of reference here is the Chief Media Person of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati; who had countlessly written piece upon piece that served same line of thoughts of millions of sound minded Nigerians for over 15 years; now being caught in the awkwardness defending a Government that millions see as incompetent and very wasteful.
So when the constancy of the Northern Star in Professor Chinua Achebe shone yet again by declining for the second time, a National Award that had been bastardized over the years; Dr Abati was compelled to condemn the Professor on behalf of the government of which he, Abati is serving. It was indeed a bullish statement compared to the noble nature and civility at which the said honour was declined. Were these times when Abati still chaired the Editorial Board of the Guardian Newspaper; he would have came up with an analysis supporting the erudite Professor. But of course it is only politics and personal interests that could make a man forget the feelings of Espirit de Corp; that he had been fledging for almost 20 years for the lofty heights of Aso Rock. For it can be argued that Reuben Abati based on his past works; was a critic of Governments of the past based on their incompetence and this also include the one he is currently serving under before May 2011. Of importance here is that this is the same way the revered Achebe viewed Governments of the past and the current one. The only difference here is the issue of principles that Abati does not have as the remarkable Professor. Because Abati is now on the other side of the fence, where the grass is a lot greener has not changed the facts that this current Government is even lower in morals and performance as compared to the one that offered the same award to Achebe 4 years ago. On behalf of his boss, Abati questioned the Prof.’s sense of relativism and contemporarism. A fallacy! If one should take into account the fact that Achebe’s most successful work is enjoying its 50th year of international relativism and contemporarism, not to talk of a mere National Award, that has become like packs of sachet water on the streets of Nigeria. To think this was a book set long ago in Nigeria, where things were a lot better than what they are now strongly supports the renowned Author’s stance. That Reuben Abati celebrated Chinua Achebe’s novel,Things Fall Apart in one of his columns in the Guardian, as a metaphorical contemporary piece in relation to the standards of history and literature in Nigerian Educational system few years ago exposes some level of hypocrisy. In the said piece, he berated that some youths in Nigeria believe Pete Edochie who played the hero, Okonkwo in the drama serialization of the novel in the 80’s was the author of Things Fall Apart. Of course that he now thought the Professor is worthy of a swipe all because of his own discovery of a purple patch is every inch condemnable; because the Nigerian Educational system has not changed a tad since Reuben Abati wrote that article in the Guardian few years ago and the mere fact that he is now in Government will not change that fact.
Surprisingly, with all Abati’s intellectual capabilities, that he could not water down a speech in response to Achebe’s refusal of the award is rather worrying. A speech to the tune of the government seeking support and international clout without flaunting the credibility of an election that hadn’t yet transcends to bettering Nigerian lots would have been very appropriate. Yet Abati chose to reel out the President’s thoughts like a robot. The alarming situation is that this government is trying to distinguish and distance itself from the past ones without much positive efforts. It even sought to severe itself from the periods when the President was in an Acting Capacity. Yet most Nigerians will choose that period even over now. Abati and his boss may beg to disagree but deciding that is exclusive to us on this other side of the divide. We are now climbing a route where the government wants to control even our thoughts. They want to tell us what we know, see and even feel. The parameters at which Achebe declined the Award offered by the government aren’t even very difficult to see; yet the Government believe he is a man blind to the facts on ground. Patronage of Principles is very common in Nigeria but few can withstand pressures of the order of the day. Abati and his boss should have known that the applause and international accolades still prevailing on Professor Chinua Achebe isn’t borne of Patronage of Principles like theirs. It isn’t politically motivated or induced. It is rather one that has stood the test of time from dictatorship to the neo-dictatorship where innuendos and covert methods are used to control one’s freewill and existence.
Abati had in the past questioned the people behind the image of past governments. Particularly, he had criticized openly, men who worked in the media part of the President’s corp during the President’s time as Vice- President and Acting President. But he is proving worse even as someone who understood media and its new inventions. Ima Niboro would have done better with the situation. What Abati should understand is the fact that he is in Government nowadays isn’t sufficient for the government to get a clean bill of health in the print world. He should know that his actions are being recorded, evaluated and analysed against the moral heights of which he attained before his new role. So when this government go like other governments have gone, he should save us all from his memoirs. Afterall, what have
- Achebe Rejects Prestigious Nigerian Award (webstermadanhi.wordpress.com)
- Jonathan regrets Achebe’s rejection of CFR honour (vanguardngr.com)
- Nigeria author snub ‘surprising’ (bbc.co.uk)
- National Honours: Achebe and the Nigerian narrative (vanguardngr.com)
- Chinua Achebe rejects an honor from Nigeria (csmonitor.com)