by Dare Lawal
On Monday, former FCT minister, Nasir El-Rufai formally declared his candidacy to run for governor of Kaduna state under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The most prominent face on the stage that day was Muhammadu Buhari, the former military ruler and frontline presidential aspirant in the APC.
Here are 3 quotes from Buhari, and 5 from El-rufai made during the rally which held at the Trade Fair Complex in Kaduna.
Let’s start with Buhari:
1. On voters card being a weapon –
“Your card is your gun against incompetence in government and deception. We have suffered enough. You know what it takes to repair Nigeria, especially as regards infrastructure, security and employment. Let us get the infrastructure working; let’s get security materially, physically and morally.”
2. On how he and El-rufai convinced each other to run or president and governor respectively –
“I developed cold feet to come and present el-Rufai to you because of the sacrifices he wanted to make on my behalf, which I turned down. He insisted that I must contest and I told him that if I must contest he must also contest, because I believe he has the qualities required to make Kaduna State great again. These qualities are competence, integrity and courage. I have seen the way el-Rufai handled Abuja and we know he loves this country. He is endowed with the three qualities I have mentioned, so I assure you that if you vote for el-Rufai, you won’t be doing him a favour, but would be doing yourselves a favour. I am not being arrogant; I am just being honest.”
3. Still on El-rufai –
“El-Rufai is the kind of person that will respect you if you respect yourself, and if you don’t respect yourself, he will help you go down the drain. I am here to ask for your support and understanding for el-Rufai and myself.”
Here are quotes from the man of the day, El-rufai:
1. His reputation as demolisher-in-chief has gone before him. S0 El-rufai used the occasion to try to convince Kaduna people that he won’t demolish houses in Kaduna if elected governor –
“For those worrying about the demolitions that took place in Abuja, I assure you that Kaduna and Abuja are different in history, growth and priorities. We did what needed to be done in Abuja to make it a true national capital. In contrast, what Kaduna needs are better schools, health facilities and productive farms in an atmosphere of improved peace and security. That will be the focus of the APC, not the scaremongering of impending demolitions.”
2. He talked about the situation of “neglect” on ground in the state, which he claimed to have noticed while on tour of the 23 local government areas –
“To say that I was shocked by the level of neglect is an understatement. Our road networks have fallen into disrepair; our schools have no basic teaching and learning tools; our teachers are not motivated; our hospitals and clinics lack essential resources to mitigate the challenges of healthcare and our civil servants are not being sufficiently motivated. Poverty has become worse; unemployment has become more pervasive; agricultural productivity has declined; internally generated revenues are too low to even pay salaries. The picture is indeed very bleak.”
3. Kaduna is one of those states continuously on the edge over communal tensions, as well as tensions between Christians and Muslims. Here is what El-rufai had to say about that –
“Ladies and gentleman, we must move Kaduna State from a state where people live in mutual suspicion; where few people feel safe or secure and where nothing gets done. It is disheartening that Kaduna State which used to be a melting pot of religions, cultures and industry has become a battlefield of ethnic and religious divisions due to incessant conflicts, denial of opportunities and relentless narrowing of the space for political freedom and expression. We shall foster an environment of security of life and property by tackling the roots of intolerance and communal violence.”
4. On the priorities his administration would focus on if elected, apart from ensuring peace and security, El-rufai had this to say –
“We shall make a priority of transparent governance and improved service delivery by re-energising and empowering the public service. We shall rebuild and expand water supply, rural electrification and roads. Our government will invest in our people by improving capacity and delivery in health, education and social welfare. We shall energetically promote agriculture and food security, while implementing land reform as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation.
“The APC Kaduna Team will implement reforms that will create a transparent and responsible local government system that is properly funded, autonomous and technically-strengthened to be responsive and capable of delivering services at the grassroots. We are poised to take advantage of our state’s proximity to Abuja by developing new towns in locations neighbouring the FCT.”
5. And finally…
“Today, I stand before you to offer a hand of brotherhood and partnership in the mission to make Kaduna State great again. Let’s work together, man, woman, child, old and young; in the journey to knock down ethnic and religious divisions. I ask you to join me to chase out poverty forever; I ask you to join to build our state and make Kaduna great again.”