“It is unfortunate that the policies of APC is affecting people negatively, but…” Barrister Kozah


BARRISTER FRANCIS KOZAH, the Kaduna State legal adviser of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in this interview with our correspondent AMOS TAUNA, critically assesses Governor NASIR AHMAD EL-RUFAI’S administration in the state and observed that the governor will definitely make the state great again before the expiration of his tenure in office in 2019 despite the teething problems and negative impact on the people now.
Governor El-Rufai promised to make Kaduna State great again. How would you assess his programmes towards realizing his dream since coming into power as the governor of the state?
First of all, let me appreciate God and the good people of the state for giving the governor success at the last governorship election in the state.
El-Rufai took the mantle of leadership in the state about a year ago. During the campaign, we went round with him and he made promises to the people of the state. One of such promises contained in the APC manifesto for the state and Nigeria at large is that his government is going to fight corruption and we all know that corruption is the bane of any progress in this country. I have no doubt that since El-rufai has been in charge of the affairs of the state; he has shown total dislike on corruption and has gone all out to fight it in all its ramifications.  The operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), in governance has really reduced the level of corruption in the state.
The way the civil service is being ran today with verifications are avenues where corruption is being fought and l think, we are winning the war on corruption in Kaduna State.
Secondly, El-rufai and the APC during the campaign promised that his government will do everything to secure lives and property in the state. We all know the situation where we found ourselves in the country in the area of security and in Kaduna State in particular. Today, those that knew the era before the coming of El-rufai will all say that security has greatly improved in the state. The cattle rustlers around Birnin Gwari has come to a standstill, the killings in Southern Kaduna has also given way to peace in the area. Though we are having the issue of kidnapping here and there in the state, I know very well that the state government is taking decisive measures to deal with the situation.
Thirdly, we talk about education, we know that in Kaduna State education is our mainstay and being citizens of the state, we know education has been in dilapidated stage while our schools and the educational system has been reduced to total neglect in the state.
I make bold to say that the government of El-rufai has taken decisive steps to revamp the educational system through renovation of schools, free feeding in primary and junior secondary pupils meant to encourage children to go back to school and also reduce the burden of parent in the area of feeding their children, provision of textbooks, uniforms and other learning materials which I am aware that contracts have been awarded for those things to be in place.
In the area of education, I think the government of governor El-Rufai is not left behind in trying to address the situation of education in the state.
In the area of health, he promised during the campaign that health will be made available to the masses and since his assumption of office, he has declared free medical treatment to pregnant women and children in government hospitals which is currently going on and is back up with appropriate drugs. The state government is in the process of awarding Primary Health Centers in every ward and a general hospital in every local government in the state. The governor’s bold step to abolish the hospital in government house and the directive that the medical personnel and every medical equipment be taken to government hospitals in the state is a step in the right direction.
In the area of agriculture, the governor promised to make agriculture no longer business as usual for the masses and even for the elites. I think arrangements are on to bring in mechanised farming in the state and companies that will bring in fertilizer at fairly good prices to the people and stores will be provided to store grains and other farm produces in anticipation of any eventuality in the future.
So far, so good for the government of the state. I know this is a trying moment but the state government has started on a sound foundation. Very soon we will begin to enjoy the dividends of democracy in Kaduna State.
Governor El-rufai lacks human face in the implementation of his laudable programmes. Is that the agenda of APC?
You see, the problem we have in the previous administrations that most past governments in Kaduna State lack the political will to decisively address issues and so there were people that were untouchable in spite of what they did whether right or wrong and so things were covered up. This time around, the reserve is the case.
Governor El-rufai is very principled, very decisive in taking decisions for the overall benefit of all citizens in the state. It is the difference that people now complained that El-rufai lacks human face. We need a leader that is decisive, a leader that will call a spade a spade, a leader that will hit the nail on the head so that it will be firmly established and that is what El-rufai is doing. It is unfortunate that the policies of APC is affecting people negatively especially those that are used to doing the wrong thing are the ones bitterly complaining. Those used to doing the right things have nothing to fear.
Look at the issue of reclaiming government land, you have not encroach on any government or school land, you have nothing to fear. These things must be reclaimed so that our children would have a conducive learning environment. If you have been collecting peoples’ salaries in hundreds of thousands of naira every month and now the APC government is saying enough of that evil act, is it correct to say El-rufai lacks human face by correcting the wrongs that have become the order of the day?
The civil servants that massively voted this government into power appear to be at the receiving end with endless screening and many have not been paid for months. Why is it so?
El-rufai is a lover of the civil servants, he does not hate them but we all know there are elements of corruption in the civil service which we all know and which governor El-rufai is trying to address. The screening is ongoing but I know as a fact that there is no how the state government can give a report without completing the exercise. I know when the exercise is concluded, a detailed report will be issued by the government of its findings.
In spite of the screening, it is unfortunate that some civil servants are trying all they could not to allow the good intention of government succeed simply because they don’t want their illicit acts to be revealed to the world to see. I know as a fact that this government is trying to pay salary on or before 25th of every month, but those that have one problem or the other could still not be enjoying regular payment until all such issues are rectified once and for all.
The APC government at all level of governance has a very good intention for its people and therefore, all the good people of Kaduna State should support the state government to fight out the bad eggs in realising its good intention it has for the people.


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