The Kaduna Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is not new to controversy as he has navigated a series of scandals while he was a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Majority of these controversies stem from accusations that El-Rufai allegedly demolished some buildings illegally while enforcing the Abuja master plan, an accusation he denis as he attributes the demolition of the affected structures to buildings erected on green areas, sewage pipes among other reasons.
These accusations were not enough to wash away the fact that El-Rufai as FCT Minister was an achiever that changed the face of Abuja to a befitting federal capital, a capital which even years of mismanagement by his successors haven’t quite managed to destroy. However in his latest assignment as the executive Governor of Kaduna, one of the former minister’s cardinal flaws is causing friction between himself, his constituents and his opponents.
To close watchers of eel-Rufai, it’s an open secret that he has little or no room to accommodate opposition and dissenting views. A close perusal of his book, The Accidental Public Servant is a testament to such, as he practically used the book to take his pound of flesh on his opponents one after the other including some that were his benefactors in the past.
As the Kaduna Governor, he has been harsh on some of his critics as they’ve been arrested by the police and officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) for criticising him on social and mass media. The demolition of the building housing a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state loyal to Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi in the wee hours of Tuesday, February 20, 2018, is the latest of the governor’s retaliatory actions.
Hunkuyi, a serving Senator from the state in conjunction with Senator Shehu Sani had last week suspended El-Rufai from the party for 6 months after failing to reply the query handed over to him in the previous week. The demolition which was carried out by Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) was carried out for flagrant abuse of the Land Use Act and non payment of ground rent since 2010.
However, the fact is that the reasons given by KASUPDA is lame as the agency only issued a notice to the occupant of the building a day before the demolition. And if eventually there was a default, the most reasonable thing to do is to lock up the building not demolition. The demolition wouldn’t have taken place had the group been a faction loyal to the state Governor. By his action, El-Rufai has shown his zero tolerance for opposition as the action is a flagrant abuse of power which should not happen in a democratic society.
Political disagreement is a norm in an environment where humans with divergent interest exists, however such should be approached with caution, the actions of the Governor compromises Asiwiaju Bola Tinubu’s attempts to mend fences in fragmented APC states.
Governor El-Rufai has run amok and he needs to be brought to order.