•Shi’ites raise the alarm as govt moves to demolish 48 IMN structures in Kaduna
•Only El-Rufai can speak truth to power in Nigeria, says Wike
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed to continue to sack any bad person that needs to be sacked in his government and as well demolish bad structures till the last hour he will be leaving office.
The governor spoke yesterday at a book presentation on him. The book authored by a veteran journalist and public commentator, Mr. Emmanuel Ado, is titled, “Putting The People First”.
“Any bad thing we find we will remove so that the next governor does not need to do it again. Watch out till the eleventh hour when we shall quit office, we will continue to sack bad persons and remove bad things.” El-Rufai said.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky led Shi’ites group, otherwise known as Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has raised the alarm over plans by the El-Rufai led government to demolish 48 structures belonging to the movement across Kaduna State.
Briefing journalists on the development in Kaduna, the movement’s Engineer Yunusa Lawal who was flanked by other leaders, said the planned demolition was not only illegal, but vindictive, as the only reason given by the government was that IMN had been banned.
Lawal, said though, the Islamic Movement was yet to receive any notice of demolition from the Kaduna State government or any of its agencies, it stumbled on a leaked memo where the Director General of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), Ismail Umaru-Dikko, was seeking approval of Governor El-Rufai to carry out the demolition.
According to the Shi’ites leader, “We are constrained by the memo to address you arising from the premeditated attempt/approval given to carry out the demolition exercise.
“It is baffling to note the manner and timing of the proposed exercise! Could it be part of Mr. Dikko’s severance package? The DG, ASUPDA and his cohorts should know that their intention to destroy people’s properties/structures is evil and could be consequential sooner or later!
“It is noticed from the memo, 48 structures belonging to the Islamic Movement are earmarked for demolition across the state; 1,860 security personnel will be involved and N20,253,500 will be the cost of the demolition exercise. The sinister motive is to particularly clamp down on the Islamic Movement once again.
“To cover up the deception for the exercise, 7 other locations were earmarked, but NONE of those locations will cost up to N2,500,000 and NONE will require above 180 security personnel to execute! The total cost approved for the exercise is N29,523,500 and the total security personnel required is N2,510.
“It is, therefore, disheartening to observe that the main purpose of this demolition exercise is to, again, subjugate and oppress members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. We view this as an act of provocation and suppression tantamount to the infringement of our fundamental human rights as citizens and indigenes of Kaduna State.
“From the memo, the acronym ‘IM’ is alien to the Islamic Movement under the leadership of Allamah, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakkaky (H) and members of the movement have their various hard earned properties/structures as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are aware, throughout the 8 year tenureship of El-Rufai’s stewardship; he has had NO regard for the rule of law! He has been a loose cannon trampling over whoever he does not like! He has been law unto himself since becoming governor.
“Furthermore, we would like to seize this opportunity to call on the government to release the international passport of our leader, Sayid, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and that of his wife, Malama Zeenatudeen Ibrahim, without further delay to enable them seek medical treatment abroad. We also demand for the release of hundreds of our members that are in detention centres across the country,” Lawal said.
Only El-Rufai can speak truth to power in Nigeria, says Wike
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday described El-Rufai as a fearless and outspoken Nigerian who can speak truth to power in the country by his Rivers State counterpart,
Wike who spoke at the book presentation noted that only El-Rufai had the temerity and courage to do so, even to the ruling party he belongs, adding that he (El-Rufai) is not known for sycophancy and eye services.
He recalled how El-Rufai wrote a controversial letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, telling him to deliver good governance to the people despite being a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike who donated N20 million for the book launch advised other guests at the occasion to buy the books and stock them in public and private school libraries across the country.
According to Wike, “El-Rufai, for me, is one leader whose greatness defies categorization. Governor El-Rufai embodies character, commitment and hard work. He is bold. He is courageous and daring with a strong spirit of justice, equity and fairness. He is socio-politically assertive and unbending his loyalty to principles.
“Governor El-Rufai is never known to be sycophant. I could remember his controversial letter to President Muhammad Buhari, especially the one written in March, 2017 that challenged him to deliver the peoples expectations to avoid falling on the wrong side of history.
“I don’t know how many governors that will have the courage to write a sitting president of his party to say, ‘look, do the right thing’ being the expectations of the people, so that you will not be on the wrong side of history. It takes men of courage; it takes men of character. No sychophantic person can do it. I don’t know people who can even look at the president’s face. Everything that Mr. President does is right. Mr. President does no wrong. That’s not El-Rufai for you.
“His loyalty to principles is not for not telling the truth. And that is what leadership and the kind of character that we required for this country today. Those who will look at you eye ball-to-eye ball, not an insulting way, but to advise you, this is not right. And that is why some of us have no choice but to relate with him.
“You remember what happened in this country. El-Rufai was one of the APC governors who came out boldly to say look for the unity of this country; for this country to move forward, let the presidency go to the south. After all, he has all it takes to say, to also said he will vie for the presidency of this country. You can’t say no. But he said this is the country we are building together, we want unity to move forward.
“I don’t know how many people that can set aside their selfish interest and come out to say let us go to the south. And that’s why we will say “agreement is agreement.” El-Rufai believes that agreement is agreement. Keep to what we have agreed. That’s why when I saw the invitation, this morning, it was raining heavily, I said if it likes, let there be flood everywhere, I must be here today, to participate, honour a man who has shown characters; who has shown that service is not all about getting to be elected. It’s a privilege to render service to your people. That is why he has chosen the people first; he has put Nigeria first. You are on the right side of history.
“Remember that it is only when you have left office that is when people will talk about you. Not when you are in office. People are talking today when you were FCT Minister. Let us compare. When you were FCT Minister, I am sorry to say this, whether anybody likes it or not, that is not Abuja today.
“When you were FCT Minister, it was not the same. We need people like you to turn back to what Abuja used to be. FCT was a place everybody wanted to go back to. But today, go to the FCT, refuse everywhere. That was not there when you were a minister. I am sorry this is your party but the truth must be told.
“I believe that today’s event has deeper meaning than the book launch. It is more an opportunity to celebrate governor El-Rufai’s exemplary leadership, revolutionary ideas, courage and commitment to service and contribution to the growth and development of Kaduna State and Nigeria in the last eight years as governor of Kaduna State”.
Speaking, El-Rufai thanked Wike for all the accolades about him, saying, “our path may not have crossed long before now, but God’s time is the best. Whatever Wike said about me is also applicable to him, he is as outspoken and as fearless.
The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu described governor El-Rufai as a hardworking person, saying, “give El-Rufai any task, he will deliver it.”
Tinubu who was represented at the occasion by the former Chairman of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Kashim Imam, donated N20 million for the book launch.
Over N100 million was realised on the spot from the book launch.