By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has said he had regret over all the policies that had been undertaken since he assumed the leadership of the state.
He said that, “Since the policies put in place have been touching the lives of the masses hence I am not bothering on the hues and cries from the elites in the state.”
El- Rufai made this declaration in Ilorin, Kwara State capital in his speech delivered at the maiden public lecture of the Al-Hikma University, Ilorin.
The title of the public lecture is “Governing Justly: Perceptive from Near and Far with Lessons for Nigeria’
He said that his administration had put in place legacy programmes that would be very difficult for any government that takes over power after him to rubbish.
El-Rufai stated that, “Look, when my government came into office in 2015, the primary school enrollment was 1.2m but as of today, the enrolment has increased to over 2m because of the pragmatic approach towards the provision of free compulsory primary education for the masses of the state.
“The free education policy has brought many unschooled children to come out and registered and this has brought a great joy to me because these children are the future leaders and they must be given quality education so as to enable them compete with the children of elites.
“Also, we have been able to provide good academic environment for these school children through the provision of good academic classrooms while teachers who were not qualified to teach these children were sacked.
“I want to inform you that, we have recruited over 21,000 new teachers that would be replacing the sacked ones so as to provide qualitative education to these young school children in the state.”
He added that, “all the opposition to our policies were from the elites that didn’t want the children of the less privilege people in Kaduna to grow, more so, some of these elites do send their own children to private schools in the state.
“I want to say that, all our policies are people oriented ones and this has impacted positively on the lives of the people of the state.”
The governor described the emergence and attainment of power of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governance of the country in 2015 general elections as a ”miracle’, saying that, there was no opposition to APC in the 2019 general elections in the country.
He said that the party would repeat the same feat come 2019 elections.
The governor also boasted that there was no threat to the success of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections in the state and beyond because according to him the party had no formidable opposition that could stop it.
He said that, many people that voted for the APC in 2015 voted for the party “because they were tired of the PDP .Many people voted not really for APC but against PDP.”
The governor labelled those agitating within the party as ‘‘rascals, trouble makers and noise makers’’ who only wanted the party to continue in the PDP ways of sharing money.
“The APC has no opposition, the opposition we have is no opposition because the opposition is within the APC, there are many unhappy people, we also have many rascals, trouble makers and noise makers.
“They are simply disgruntled because they are used to the PDP ways of doing things, every month give me money, Paris club is here where is my money? They will remain in opposition until you have a way to alienate them,” he said.
The governor blamed the elites for the challenges confronting Nigerians because of what he described as craze for ‘‘elites’ entitlements and selfish interests’’.
‘‘The Nigerian elite is corrupt, selfish, self-centred and largely divided, like I said there is need for consensus of the Nigerian elite’’, the governor said.
He however said that Nigerians should hold the elites responsible for the underdevelopment and lack of progress in many states of the federation and urged ‘‘citizens to put pressure’’ on state and local government to deliver on good governance rather than looking up to the centre for everything.