@Oddy4real: Oddy in a #Kano wonderland!

by Ayokunle Odekunle

Not having visited the North for over 7 years, I shuddered when the troublesome, yet deeply intelligent Segun Dada who had come late to the Abia Tour, connected with us at the State Dialysis Centre and told me, “There is a Kano Tour next week and your name is included. Will you go?”

I was going to pee in my pants and throw up at the same time. Kano? All sort of thoughts flooded my oblong-shaped head. I thought of the bombs, the poverty, street begging (Almajiri) and all the things associated with the North. But then I thought of the positive sides. I still had a work free week and going to Kano would make me see things first hand. Not even the bashing I received on twitter for going to Abia was enough to deter me.

“I am in!” I told Segun.

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However, since Kwankwanso has made an excellent Governor, will he make a good President? Will I see Rabiu Kwankwanso on the same ballot paper as Goodluck Jonathan and vote Goodluck Jonathan?

I dont know.

BACKGROUND

THE DEVIL IS A LIAR

After I had booked my flight to Kano, a bomb however went off in Kano on Friday, November 14, 2014 and I started receiving calls from concerned family members to cancel the Kano trip. They wondered aloud why I would be willing to sacrifice myself to be blown into pieces in Kano. I asked them in return: “Why are you scared? Isnt our family a family of famed ancestral hunters?

So, I proceeded to Kano.

THE TRIP TO KANO

The Kano tour was to last just three days. Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Departure). Together with Ayobami Oyalowo (@Ayourb), Jude Egbas (@Egbas) , Segun Dada (Dolusegun), Atom Lim (@AtomLim) and a host of others, we boarded an Azman Airline Plane which made a brief stop-over at Kaduna.

Suffice to say at this point that I wasnt expecting to see anything extra-ordinary in Kano. But as they say, first impressions are everything.

POWER OF FIRST IMPRESSION

As the pilot announced that we were approaching Kano, I looked down and beheld one of the most beautiful views I have viewed in my entire life. From the skies, Kano shone like a thousand diamonds as all I could see were lights. Those were street lights stretching into the distance.  It seemed as if I was seeing that furnace reserved for erring humans as is depicted in Revelation.

As we landed in Kano, we were driven straight to our hotel where after freshening up, we were driven to the Government House to see the Governor. There again, with my first encounter with Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, I was already awed by his humility and intelligence. Asides having dinner with us, he regaled us with a run-down of his achievements as Kano Governor. From Education to Housing to security to infrasturctural development, Governor Kwankwanso reeled out his achievements. Worthy of note is the fact that he attributed the success of his administration to his TEAM!.

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KANO ISN’T A WAR ZONE

Just as the normal European who has never been to Africa believes Africans are monkeys who go about naked and live on trees, so is there a general misconception in the South that Northerners are hostile and the North is insecure.

That is hogwash.

After having dinner with the Governor on Saturday night, we proceeded on a brief tour of the State and this was around 11:30pm. With Tanko Yakassai (@Dawisu) as our tour guide, we went around the state capital briefly and we were not even afraid (well, let me speak for myself).

Why should we be afraid anyways? Almost all  the major roads were powered by very powerful streetlights and it is a well-known saying that light and darkness cannot live in the same realm. So, the presence of the streetlights act as no-cover for crimes and related offences.

We were shown some projects and returned to our hotel room at around 1:00 am.iqu9Aibp.jpg largePROJECTS

We were taken round the State on Sunday and were shown some projects executed by the State Government. It is important to note that some projects spoke for themselves as there was no need for anybody to explain them to us.

First of all, I noticed that almost all the roads we navigated through are standard roads with little or no portholes. I also saw that the roads were neat and well maintained.

The Governor to me has done excellently well in the field of education. We saw the North-Western University being constructed by the State Government and I was impressed by the infrastructure. Below is a picture of the proposed Senate building of the school which is under construction.

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Another thing I noticed was that huge pipes were being passed around the streets. Our tour guide  explained that those pipes were being laid so as to provide water to all the communities in the state. We were also shown the Kano State Sports Council which has been completed and other projects.

I would proceed to itemize other things that impressed me about the administration:

1. Education in Kano is free from primary to tertiary levels and any graduate who made a second class upper or first class gets an automatic scholarship to study abroad.

2. 2 sets of school uniforms are given to students in the public schools per term.

3. Female education is aggressively promoted by the Kwankwanso administration

4. The Street-lights in the state are powered by generators but that will be history once the State IPPs are completed

5. The Government has raised the IGR of the State massively

6. The Governors aides are sound and have their facts by the fingertips.

 

WHERE ARE THE ALMAJIRIS

Much to my surprise, I didnt see the popular child beggars on the streets. We were told that the Governor had forced them off the streets and forced them to go to school instead. Impressive.

INTERACTION WITH KANO INHABITANTS

The day we were billed to leave Kano, myself, Ayobami Oyalowo and Jude Egbas went around some parts of Kano to ask inhabitants what they think about their Governor. In as much as only few people were interviewed, they all alluded to the fact that their Governor has done very well. There wasnt a single dissenting opinion.

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THE PARABLE OF THE FAILED STUDENT

It is important to note that Kwakwanso was Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 but was voted out due to his alleged non-performance. To me, he is like that student who after repeating a class learnt his lessons and is aggressively aiming at writing his name in gold.

MY ASSESSMENT

With the little I have seen and heard from residents of Kano, I think the Governor is one of the most performing Governors around; albeit one with a very low press coverage of his activities or inactivities. I feel he has done excellently well and I wont hesitate in scoring him 75% for his efforts. I only hope his predecessor will be someone who is as result-oriented as he is

KWANKWANSO FOR PRESIDENT?

It is an open secret that Rabiu Kwankwanso wants to succeed Goodluck Jonathan as President of Nigeria come May 29, 2015. However, he still has the principalities in the APC to slug the Presidential ticket out with.

However, since Kwankwanso has made an excellent Governor, will he make a good President? Will I see Rabiu Kwankwanso on the same ballot paper as Goodluck Jonathan and vote Goodluck Jonathan?

I dont know.

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Ayokunle Odekunle, a Legal Practitioner is Op-Ed Editor of YNaija.com. He tweets from @oddy4real

Follow @ynaija on Twitter

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