By Henry Umoru, Abuja
CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on National Identity and Population, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, PDP, Kaduna North, yesterday formally declared to contest for the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kaduna State, just as he has vowed to return the state to its past glory.
Senator Hunkuyi has also promised that when elected as the governor of the state, he would, in the first one month in office, re- instate the 4, 766 district and village heads that were sacked by the Mallam Nasir El- Rufai led kaduna State government.
According to him, it must be done because government or democracy, is all about people just as he also promised to review cases of 25, 000 sacked teachers along with their counterparts at the 23 local government areas of the state .
Hunkuyi has also explained how the PDP delegates from the 11 Local Government Areas of Southern Kaduna would determine the winner of the party’s Governorship ticket, just as the zone is made up of Sanga, Lere, Jabba, Kagarko, Jemaa, Zango Kataf, Kauru, Kachia, Chikun, Kaura and Kajuru LGAs.
Speaking yesterday in Angwa Wakili in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State before the party’s leaders from the 11 LGAs that make up the zone, Sen Hunkuyi who explained that since all the 10 aspirants were from the northern part of the state, the southern zone had the unique role of deciding the winner, even as he pleaded with the party’s leaders from the zone against handing the ticket to some one who will not win the election.
The Aspirant who explained that he decided to formally declare his interest at Zango- Kataf, said that the decision is because of the respect he has for the people of the area and that unless the delegates from the zone did the right thing with their votes, government of Governor Nasir El-rufai would continue “wrecking havoc on the state.”
Describing the present All Progressives Congress, APC government in the state as “enemy of the people,” said that 2019 offers an opportunity to send the government packing, adding that this can only be possible if the delegates did the right thing by handling him the ticket.
Hunkuyi said: “ El-rufai knows that the moment I get the ticket his days in the government House are numbered. He knows the damage I can wreck on his ambition. This is why they are sponsoring every Tom, Dick and Harry to cause confusion in our party. The people of this zone must ensure there is no by- election.
“I must sound this note of warning to the delegates that it would be sad to boot out El-rufai without a proper arrangement of who to replace him. We must be sure we send only some one who knows how to redress the humongous challenges on ground in the state government.”
Senator Hunkuyi who also declared that the rejection of approval for the $350m foreign loan Kaduna State government requested early in the year by the Senate was in the best interest of the people of the State, however stressed that one of the hundreds of billions of debts suffocating the state government under Governor Nasir El- Rufai , is the N34bn owed pensioners alone in terns of their unpaid entitlements like gratuities and monthly pension payment .
According to him, if the loan had been approved by the Senate , it would have been misused by the profligate government of the State already heavily indebted to different categories of creditors including serving and retired public servants in the state .He said: “I have no regret whatsoever as a senator from Kaduna state for kicking against the $350m foreign loan request of the state government because the request was not for the interest of the people or the state .
“ The three senators from the state and the Senate , after critically looking into the said loan, saw that there was no need for it and that is that aside the fact that there was no iota of sincerity of purpose in the loan request by the governor.
“The time is up for Governor Nasir El-Rufai to be voted out of office on alleged poor performance in office. Within the last three and half years , El-Rufai has been in office, billions and billions of monies in terms of monthly allocations, bail outs from the federal government , remittance from Paris club etc , have been received by him with little or nothing to show for them.
“Most of the roads within the state are bad , State owned hospitals are not functional and well equipped, morale of civil servants very low and so on and so forth.”
The governorship aspirant who noted that the state had been in the mood of lamentation, pain and anguish since the inception of El-rufai administration, noting however, that the opportunity to pay back the administration in its own coin was here, adding, “God in His infinite mercy has brought the end to this government. I want to tell you that you all have the stick with which to send El-rufai back to where he came from.”
According to him, it has become imperative for him to vie for the seat of the Governor and to make his declaration in the zone because of the importance he attached to people of the zone, adding, “So I ask, the traditional rulers, the youth, the PDP leaders, are you in support of our quests or do you want me to return the form?”. They shouted ‘yes’. Then may God lead the way. In the name of God and you the people I hereby declare to lead the charge to boot out the Short man from Government House.
“I want to assure you that we are going to hastily redress the many wrongs of this government. Within one week of my government I will return the dethroned traditional rulers back to their thrones. But, you must know that you have a role to play by mobilising your people.
“Secondly, we are aware that some people were sacked from their jobs without due process. Although, I may not promise to return everyone back to his job but we will ensure that the right thing is done by returning those who were unjustly sacked.”
Speaking earlier, the PDP chairman, Zango Kataf LGA, Samuel Bassa, described Hunkuyi as a worthy leader for choosing the zone to declare his ambition, adding, “We believe this gathering can bring unity, peace and progress in the state. The Senator has shown that both the northern and southern Kaduna can live side by side in peace with mutual respect.”
Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Bulus James, said that the gathering was one of the attempts to “retrieve the state from its drifting state.”
He said Hunkuyi decided to flag off his ambition to govern the state in the zone because he was “always at home in the southern Kaduna, adding, “ I want to say something here that many of you may not have known. The Senator was the one who helped win the state for late Yakowa in 2011 when every other part heavy weight deserted him. The only way we can pay him back for his friendship with the region is to support his ambition.
“I want to assure you that this man has the capacity to address our years of yearning in the part of the state. He parted ways with the state government because he refused to be part of any plot to sack traditional rulers, sack civil servants for no good cause and this is why the state government has been persecuting him.
“The state government has painted us in this zone as trouble makers but the Senator said that was not true and that is why he is here to prove the point.”
A retired Permanent Secretary in the state civil service, Hussaini Dembo who described Governor El-rufai as a civilian dictator who must be booted out, said: “We convinced Hunkuyi to come forward this time because since 1999 we have not had a core politician as a governor. While the first, second, third and the forth were technocrats, business man, bureaucrat and an accountant respectively, I know how to qualify the present one. May be he is more fitting as civilian dictator. This is why we say things must change this time.”