…Kaduna State Govt didn’t author the agenda — Gov El-Rufai

By Ibrahim HassanWuyo

Who drew up the now controversial 10-Point development agenda for Birnin Gwari, the enclave for criminality in Kaduna State? This is the question that begs for urgent answer as the controversial ‘agenda’ continues to trend online, while the authors remain unknown.

At first, some elements attributed it to the Kaduna State Government given the lofty contents of the agenda. But the State Government has since denied authorship of the document, thereby raising more questions on the originality of the contents and spirit of the agenda.

In spite of the doubts generated by the document titled: “All for Kaduna State”, protagonists of the plan went ahead to splash the contents online, claiming that the 10-point agenda was aimed at addressing unemployment and the security challenges in the area.

The authors of the document, apparently to draw attention of government to the development needs of Birnin Gwari, which has become notorious for banditry, kidnapping and robbery in recent years, drew up what looks like a utopian development scheme for the area:

•Kaduna State government is setting aside 5,000 square kilometres to build the largest cattle ranch in Africa in Birnin Gwari;

•Kaduna State governor has reached an agreement with Al Rayan Islamic Bank to open an animal feed compounder at Birnin Gwari;

•Kaduna State government has reached a deal with the New York Giants Leather & Suede Jackets Company to open a manufacturing facility in Kaduna;
•Kaduna State government has successfully wooed Nestle to open a dairy plant in Zaria;

•Kaduna State government shall be opening Africa’s largest abattoir in Kafanchan. It shall be funded with an Islamic Finance loan;

•Malaysian Islamic bank CIMB has agreed to loan Kaduna State $5bn to build an intra-state light railway programme. This will engage up to two million youths over a five year programme;

•Kaduna State will open at least two technical training colleges in each of its 23 local government areas;

• At the Birnin Gwari ranch there shall be a disarmament centre where all armed herdsmen and bandit can hand in their weapons without prosecution;

•As from henceforth, Kaduna State will match Michael Okpara’s policy of spending 45 per cent of its annual budget on education; and

•Kaduna State government will open a 1,000-square kilometre solar farm in Makarfi. It will have an adjoining factory that manufactures panels with the view of providing employment for at least 20,000 people.

While the design looks attractive to the undiscerning, the state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has come out boldly to deny the authorship of the plan, claiming instead that there should be more security operations to clear Birnin Gwari of criminals to allow for the takeoff of economic activities in full swing.

El-Rufai made his feelings known regarding the document in a tweet he posted on his verified handle and made available to Arewa Voice. “Malam Nasir pushes for more security operations to enable economic take-off in the Birnin Gwari area. Efforts to make the area a hub for mining and agriculture have not yet reached the lofty targets being falsely peddled as KDSG’s 10-point plan for solving banditry. KDSG did not author or issue the said 10-point plan which contains untrue claims about contacts and agreements with partners. The public should note that all KDSG major events and policy statements are clearly announced on official platforms.”

Prior to the 10-point plan controversy, a heated debate had ensued in the state over the renaming of the state-owned university, Kaduna State University, KASU. Those pushing the idea claimed that the university had been renamed after Magajin Gari Sambo, who was an icon from the Mallawa ruling House in Kaduna State and used his position to promote education at all levels while alive.

According to records, the first primary school in Kaduna was established during his reign and he was also among the pioneer teachers of Western education in the region. But the management of KASU has denied the change of name of the institution, describing it as the handiwork of mischief-makers. A statement by Samuel Manshop, Registrar of KASU, urged the public to disregard the information and described it as the handiwork of mischief-makers.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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