GOVERNOR ABBA, STOP THE DISTRACTION GAME

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Dr. Usain Jarma, FCAI

It is evidently clear that after over a year in office, His Excellency, Engineer Kabir Yusuf, the Governor of Kano State, has wasted a quarter of his tenure settling old scores, chasing shadows, and fumbling around without any concrete achievements.

It seems the governor is confused or lacks the prowess and ingenuity to drive the state forward. Hence, his constant resort to blackmail and shifting blame. His constant affront to the former governor, His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, highlights how swayed and astray the current governor is.

As a concerned citizen, I have not seen anything tangible that this current administration has accomplished since assuming office in May of last year. Their ultimate priority appears to be bringing Ganduje down. Their focus is on annihilating him, shaming him, embarrassing him, tarnishing his image, downgrading him, impoverishing him, and jailing him. Aside from these, they have no plans, no blueprints, no aspirations, no destinations, and no objectives.

I am quite sure the only thing this administration can brag about is their purported scholarship program. Yes, some candidates were sent to India for master’s degree programs. It is true. But the big question is whether it was done with good intentions and the spirit of patriotism. I will dissect this later.

Abba’s actions, from demolitions to dethronements and witch-hunts, are the basic characteristics of the Kwankwasiyya cult. Any perceived positive development they might bring will likely have a hidden monetary advantage they will gain at the expense of the people. For example, after proclaiming to have settled all the tuition and upkeep costs of the scholars sent to various countries and some local private universities, Governor Kwankwaso left behind over nine billion naira in unsettled debt. Governor Ganduje had to settle this later, but still, Kwankwaso had the audacity to claim the merit. Moreover, the administration of the scholarship program was flawed. Many of the universities to which our children were sent were private, low-ranking, and poorly equipped. As a former advisor to Governor Ganduje on Higher Education, I was privileged to visit those universities and saw the situation firsthand. Some of the universities were uncompleted buildings with barely anything to show. Most importantly, up till today, the administration of the scholarship program remains shady and sketchy.

Regarding Abba’s new Kwankwasiyya scholarship program, I think it’s even worse than that of his master. This administration ended up cramming our children into a very low-ranking university in India. That same university has a campus in Nigeria. Why spend billions just to send our kids to study at a university ranked above 7000 in the Times Higher Education ranking? The university ranks lower than almost all the universities in Nigeria. This decision was made despite the fact that many public universities in Asia and the Middle East agreed to waive the tuition fee for Kano scholars. One of the universities that offered to waive the tuition fee is ranked below 300 in the global ranking of universities, a reputable public university. Yet, Abba’s administration chose to send the candidates to a shadowy private university where they will pay exorbitant tuition fees. Do you know why? Reputable public universities won’t stoop so low as to negotiate and exchange bribes.

The governor could have patronized local private universities instead, as most of them are far better than his Indian choice. While our state-owned universities decay due to a lack of infrastructure, research equipment, funding, and accreditation of courses, this administration is busy pumping money into a dubious foreign private university.

This is just one sector where people might think this administration has done something tangible from afar. When you get closer, it is another shady deal typical of the Kwankwasiyya cult.

Now that they have about three years left, the ball is still in the court of Governor Abba and his cabinet to change the narrative by addressing the problems of governance, improving the lives and livelihoods of the people, instead of playing the distraction game, fooling the people, buying time, and using Dr. Ganduje as a scapegoat.