As President Muhammadu Buhari embarks on a two-day visit to Kano, his
strongest political base this week, a simple question the Kano man or
woman should answer for himself/herself is: How well did you fare in
two years, six months after Muhammadu Buhari took power?
When Kano gave Muhammadu Buhari about two million votes, the highest by
any state that swept him into office in 2015, one issue had dominated
election-time discourse, and still remained: Security.
A few morons who did not any way represent Islam, a religion of peace
had launched a series of horrendous gun and bomb attacks on he city as
they did on a number northern towns and villages.
No where was safe in Kano. A place that was safe today, can be site of
a deadly attack tomorrow. The police, the other security agencies and
the general civilian bore the brunt of a large-scale insurgent
offensive. The security situation was intensely volatile.
Men and women leave home to fetch food for the children and later in
the day, their dead bodies are brought back.
The casualties mounted to dramatic levels. On a particular Friday in
February 2012, Boko Haram launched a deadly attack on police and other
security establishments leaving its trail, hundreds of deaths and
thousands with various degrees of injury. In December 2014, suicide
bombers and gunmen launched yet another deadly attack on the city
Juma’at mosque killing 300, leaving hundreds of others injured.
Kano residents, as did nearly everyone across the country had by 2015
lost confidence in the incompetent, corrupt Jonathan administration
which they said was not doing enough to protect them against Boko Hara.
Nigerian soldiers with centuries old reputation for courage, valor and
accomplishment were starved of needed arms and ammunition. They
recorded their first-ever failure to bring peace and stability.
It is instructive to remind ourselves that the people didn’t just fold
their arms doing nothing about their plight. Given that they had a
government that failed to govern, in the circumstance, they did the
most they could to overcome the life of fear and anxiety clamped upon
them. They imposed security rules on themselves and listened to their
They erected high blast protection walls and barbed wire around homes,
institutions and public places.
After years of murderous campaign by the terrorists, what everyone
wanted form Candidate Muhammadu Buhari was security first, security
second, security third, then economy and jobs and the fight against
corruption which only a man with his credentials of impeccable personal
integrity could wage. Group after group of voters promised him that if
only you show us a plan for ending the dislocation and disruption of
our lives, we will give the kind of support that no others will give.
On the day he assumed power, there and then on the inaugural Dias,
President Buhari began the war against terrorism and insecurity.
After billions of Naira sunk and thousands of the lives of our
servicemen and women lost, he has put he terrorists out of business,
albeit a part of the mopping remains. Boko Haram designs for Kano and
as many other cities has come to naught.
Peace is back and the people are enjoying freedom all over again. This
freedom and democracy is what people are expressing when they go on
radio and social media to say nothing has changed in their lives; that
nothing has been achieved.
Peace is back and people are no longer preoccupied with the fear of
when the next bomb attacks will happen.
They are fighting over their favorite football teams. Our men and women
are squabbling over who is the best player.
In the two-and-a-half years in office, the government of President
Muhammadu Buhari is putting Kano State through a revolution in the way
projects are being assigned and executed.
Kano, long one of the fastest growing economies in the country , had
begun to lag in the years preceding Buhari due to problems occasioned
mainly by the acute shortage of power. Neighborhoods spent weeks
without electricity; factories sent workers home and shut down because
they had no money to sustain production using diesel generators.
Now, things are getting better. The numerous projects put in place to
enhance power generation and transmission in particular are being
brought to fruition. Records indicate that Kano today enjoys a daily
cumulative power supply of about 18 hours.
To bring a permanent solution to the problem power epilepsy, the Buhari
administration has been discussing the idea of of a contract for the
laying of gas pipelines from Ajaokuta through Abuja and Kaduna to Kano.
This should meet the needs of manufacturing industries as it has been
for the coastal areas including Lagos and Ogun states industrial zones.
Road projects that are ongoing include the following:
· Dualisation of Kano- Maiduguri Road Section IV (Postikum –
Damaturu) with over 58% now completed;
· Dualisation of Kano – Katsina Road ( From Dawanau – Katsina)
· Kano – Western Bye Pass
· Rehabilitation of Saminaka – Doguwa Road; and Doguwa – Tiga Road
The state of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual-carriage way which has attracted so
much public criticism is now receiving attention.
But the President, it has reliably been gathered, has a different plan
for the road. It is expected that in the course of this visit, he might
be making a significant pronouncement on the future of this road.
The Aviation sector has also given Kano good deal. Presently,
Construction is ongoing of a new international terminal building at the
Kano International Airport, as well as rehabilitation of car parks and
President Buhari just approved the construction of rail tracks
connecting Kano to Maiduguri.
A brand new standard gauge rail line will connect Kano and Lagos. This
railway development funded through partnership between Nigeria and
China has delivered Kaduna-Abuja and the Lagos-Ibadan sector is under
construction, to be delivered by the end of the year 2018.
Actually, Kano-Kaduna contract would have been signed months ago, but
was postponed following Chinese, the funder’s insistence that they
wanted to take Kano-Ibadan in one stretch.
Kano, as to be expected, is one of the major beneficiaries of the
administration’s Social Investment Programs. Following successful
awareness creation among the state’s large population of the unemployed
and the downward revision of the entry requirements to accommodate NCE
and Diploma certificates holders, Kano entered more than 80,000
applications for the current wave of N-Power recruits.
On the Conditional Cash Transfers, Cash Transfer Facilitators have been
giving orientation and training; State Cash Transfer Offices have
already been set up in the state and enrollments have commenced from
the 23rd of November. The payment of beneficiaries is expected to start
this week, that is the first week of December.
The Implementation of the Home Grown School Feeding Program is
commencing soon. The month of December has been set as the target
The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program, GEEP loans through
the Bank of Industry are currently being received by traders, artisans
and small scale business men and women in the State. The special
intervention fund for textile manufacturers is already making possible
the return of the industry in Kano and other states.
Before I end this discourse, let me address an issue of frequent
interest in radio talk shows in the city’s vibrant broadcast industry.
Hardly do you have a day without one hearing such claims as, “we gave
Buhari two million votes. That is the highest by anyone. What special
consideration is he giving us?”
Although Kano appears to be well served from the litany of projects
illustrated here, and truly deserves even more, it is evident that
government’s effort in developing the state, and indeed all parts of
the country is driven by the party, APC’s philosophy of integrated
development. Kano remains President Buhari’s strongest political base.
The President will however be the first to say he does not consider any
community or state a vote bank. He will not treat any section or
community as a vote bank because he is bent on pursuing a policy of
inclusiveness. If one part develops and the other lags, then the
country cannot be said to be truly on the path to sustainable
Instead of treating parts of the country in any preferential way,
President Buhari has stuck to his themes of development and uplifting
the poor and the marginalized , saying over and again that he belonged
to everyone and he belonged to no one. To that extent, the man at the
bottom of society would continue to be at the centre of development.
The people of Kano should themselves grow out of the feeling that they
are tools or items of vote bank but a people who are just and fair to
themselves and to others forming a part of the mainstream of
development; a people who want to be treated as equals and who do not
expect or demand anything special, over and above what is due to them.
Although this essentially is an official visit, millions of Kano people
will turn up to see and listen to the President with decorum. And given
the high level of political consciousness in the state, expect our
people to sport Buhari masks, T-Shirts, banners and buntings saying “we
love Buhari.” Don’t even rule out a shouting match between splinter
groups. It is a way to show true love for the President.
SSAP(Media and Publicity)