By: Yakubu Lere
By now, many Kaduna residents who supported the “sai mai-rusau” mantra in 2015 are full of regrets following the antecedents and negative impact the Kaduna APC government has caused many citizens.
Unfortunately, while some are looking backwards and making analysis for the purpose of making informed decisions on the candidate they will support, some are still making the mistake of joining the emotional band wagon, hell bent on repeating the mistakes of the past. And by their decision, if the APC returns to power beyond 2023, it is certain that Senator Uba Sani will tow the line of his predecessor.
It is no longer news that in the last seven years of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna state, majority of citizens were crushed to the ground and in agony, with bad experiences socially and economically attributed to what many describe as unfriendly policies of the present administration of the Malam Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai in the state.
Despite the economic potentials of Kaduna state, many citizens are complaining of increase in poverty rate which is beyond imagination, and have also attributed it to the anti-people’s policies of the APC government in the state.
Sadly, according to the Kaduna State Social Register and Rapid Response Report, (RRR) released recently, rural dwellers, subsistence farmers, and illiterates top over two million poorest and most vulnerable in the state.
No doubt, the policies of the APC in Kaduna state has adversely affected many institutions and sectors of the state, creating all kinds of socio-economic consequences, as many have closed shops and relocated to other states.
The state’s socio-economic position is alarming, with a very high rate of unemployment. This is just as the United Nation’s Global Multidimensional Poverty Index, noted that 44% of the population in Kaduna state are in extreme poverty.
Within the seven years of APC reign, over 5000 teachers were sacked, thereby putting pressure on the labour market and increasing the poverty rate. Indicators have also shown that for every 100 people living in Kaduna, 44 residents do not have access to food because their means of livelihood has been taken away by El-Rufai’s government.
Also, traders who constitute a large percentage of the state’s population have had their own share of the APC style of governance. They are left to wrestle with or survive with a lack of means of livelihood. As he is popularly called ‘mai-ruzo’, (the demolisher), El-Rufai had demonstrated that his government is anti-people by demolishing several markets in the state without alternative means, hence, causing economic hardship on citizens. Without mincing words, over 10,000 traders were displaced within the state in the last seven years of this administration. Markets, shops and houses have been demolished in different parts of the state capital without adequate compensation to victims in most cases. About 10 major markets demolished in Kaduna state since 2019 are still under construction while traders are left to fend for themselves. Fortunately for shop owners at the Kasuwan Barci market located at the southern part of Kaduna, a state high court ruled in their favor by ordering government to reinstate them in the market, allocate 4600 stalls to them and also compensate them accordingly.
The court had pronounced that the state government is in breach of the constitutional provision vesting the creation and operation of markets on the local govts by usurping and arrogating to itself the clear powers and function of the local governments.
But the question people are asking is, will Governor Nasiru El-Rufai obey the court order because he never did in the past, and for the records, his administration has the highest number of court cases ever against it in the state and the country at large.
With the aforementioned, it goes to show that the tentative framework that requires economic prosperity for states to thrive is lacking, instead, unfriendly policies have been imposed on Kaduna residents, leaving them with terrible experiences.
Kaduna residents must take proactive measures in restoring the little glory left of the state by making wise decisions at the 2023 polls. After all, it is said that, a word is enough for the wise! A vote for continuing is a vote for more disaster.
Lere writes from Kaduna state.