When governor Uba Sani’s administration was inaugurated on 29 May,2023, the question on the lips of many people in the state was whether he will be able to fit the big shoes his predecessor left behind. The eight years of Malam Nasir El-Rufai was dogged by controversy arising from his local government reforms in which thousands of civil servants were sacked; demolition policies that witnessed the pulling down of many structures considered illegal and above all, insecurity. After the successful handover, Uba Sani’s government was slowly kickstarted in comparison with other states. Little surprise, the governor turned to be a frequent visitor of Abuja. His inability to stay in office amidst pressing state’s matters has pitched him against many people. The governor was nicknamed Abuja governor because he barely spends two days in office in a roll in Kaduna.

 On Saturday, last week, the governor during a town hall meeting with stakeholders, raised the alarm that his administration inherited a huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the previous administration, making it difficult for him to pay workers’ salaries. He explained that N7billion out of the N10billion federal allocation due to the State in March was deducted to service the debt. With this shocking revelation, one can understand the reason why he hardly stays in the state. By this statement, the governor is indirectly saying Kaduna State is broke, with little or nothing left to run the government. For state government to be servicing N7billions public debt monthly, it will very difficult to meet up with its financial obligations. Before the 2023 general elections that produced governor Sani, El-Rufai was trumpeting how he cut the cost of government through restructuring and improving the state’s revenues for optimum performances.

   Unfortunately, what Kaduna State people witnessed since El-Rufai left office contradicted his much-talked about reforms and the acclaimed gains. While he deserves a pat on the back for the urban renewal programs across Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan towns, the loans he incurred to implement those projects need more explanation. With the state being insolvent, what will Uba Sani do to change this ugly narrative? Will governor Uba Sani use his power to summon the ex-governor to explain how the loans were spent? Will he collect other loans or improve the state’s revenue generation?  Governor Uba Sani’s revelation has received heavy knock from different angles. For instance, Bashir El-Rufai, son of the former governor, through his tweeter countered the allegations against his father. He described Uba Sani as incompetent, and surrounded by incompetent aides. Other people wonder why it took the governor this long to reveal the true financial position of the state. Besides, he is being accused for facilitating the loans when he was the Senator representing the state in ninth assembly.

 The cold political war brewing in the state should be tamed for peace, unity and development of the state. The APC stakeholders should quickly intervene, call the duo to a negotiating table and prevail on them to sheath their swords. This unhealthy development will slow the pace of socio-economic development of the state. 

 Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna State

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