Kaduna; Now that Change is Here

by Abdulrahman Magaji

By the time history of the just concluded 2015 general election in Nigeria is written, one key State that can’t be written off is Kaduna State. For many reasons, the State is unique in the political calculations of not just Northern Nigeria but the entire country. If records are anything to go buy, it was one of the few States that delivered over a million votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last general election.

The State has been under the stewardship of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) since Nigeria’s return to Democracy in 1999. However, even generous observers have understood that much is still desired to be achieved in terms of meaningful development in the state. This is why during the last gubernatorial election, even the much-visible sharp political division between the North and South and indigene-settler dichotomy were buried. The citizens unanimously voted against the PDP and its candidate Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero in favor of Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a matter of weeks from now, Kaduna people will unveil a new government come May 29th 2015, under a new stewardship of Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai. Mallam has a proven track record of public service that even his adversaries agree, speaks for him. Therefore, the governor-elect has the herculean task of mending the rift in the political, social and economic marginalization between the North and South caused by the dismal performance of the PDP led Administration in the state.

Indeed, the good people of Kaduna State, particularly the people of Kagarko Local Government area (Where I proudly come from) needed this change and assiduously worked towards it. A lot of sacrifices have been made thereby putting aside personal comfort and safety for the sake of the loudly echoed melody of change. Some were abused, denigrated and even humiliated by those who sought continuity of the PDP but people stood their ground. The much desired change that was needed was not just in party name but it was a change that was rooted in every nook and cranny of the state to do away with the PDP. The change the people of Kaduna worked for and by the will of God earned, was due to dismal performance of the PDP government that prioritized one part of the state over the other, preferred to “settle” political party loyalty and elite patronage at the expense of the masses. The Change mantra people hoped and worked for is a people-oriented government that feeds to put the collective interest of the people at heart rather than its personal interest. Change always comes with a price tag, which we heavily paid and thankfully, it paid off.

No doubt, Kaduna state faces enormous challenges. Prominent among which are; Lack of unity between the North and South, the conspicuous political rift between ‘indigenes’ and ‘settlers’, the army of unemployed youth engaged in decadent and criminal activities ranging from substance abuse and depravity, lack of adequate infrastructure, deplorable educational and health institutions and collapsed industries. To tackle these challenges, the incoming administration of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has the onerous task of employing commitment, zeal and focus. We have no doubt that Mallam has what it takes to transform Kaduna back to its lost glory as the northern capital of Nigeria.

At this point, let me, on behalf of the good and progressive people of Kagarko Local Government Area in particular and the people of Kaduna State in general; heartily congratulate the governor-elect on his well-deserved victory. Sir, you can rest assured that as we all believed in you and supported your bid to become governor, we are solidly behind you with strong support for your just, efficient and transparent policies meant to put the State back on the right spot of development map of the world.

May God continue to guide and protect our well-meaning leaders at all levels. Amen.

Long live Kagarko Local Government Area.
Long live, Kaduna State.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Abdulrahman Magaji can be reached via @kaagarko or [email protected]