TEXT OF INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ALH. ABBA KABIR YUSUF, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KANO STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SWEARING–IN CEREMONY ON MONDAY MAY 29, 2023 AT THE SANI ABACHA STADIUM, KANO.
A’uzu billahi minas shaydanur rajeem
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem Was salatu was salamu ala Nabiyul Kareem
Our Leader, The National Leader of NNPP, His Excellency Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso;
Your Excellency, The Deputy Governor of Kano State, Comrade Aminu Abdussalam Gwarzo;
Your Lordship, The Ag. Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Dije Aboki;
The Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Hamisu Chidari;
The Chairman and Members of the Board of Trustees of the NNPP;
The National Chairman and Members of the National Working Committee of the NNPP;
The Kano State Chairman and Members of State Executive Council of the NNPP;
Honourable Members of the House of Representatives;
Honourable Members of Kano State House of Assembly;
Your Lordships and Your Royal Highnesses; Members of the Diplomatic Corp;
Our International Guests from across the World; Distinguished Invited Guests;
My Fellow Good People of Kano State; Gentlemen of the Press;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, Monday the 29th day of May, 2023 is an unforgettable day in the history of our dear state. Today is a confirmation that the will of the good people of Kano State has prevailed. Today, my fellow Kano people, is your day! The day your Governor that you voted for with over a million votes is sworn into office. Alhamdulillah.
Let me therefore begin by thanking Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala for making today possible, for making the build up to today memorable and peaceful, and for making the days and years ahead even more successful and fruitful in sha Allah. Let me also thank YOU, the good people of Kano State for your support and cooperation throughout our campaigns, but most importantly for voting us and ensuring that your votes count. I want to guarantee you that this victory is your victory, our administration is your administration. We shall, together work deliberately and purposefully to turnaround the fortune of our state and improve the living condition of all citizens and residents.
Let me also place on record my appreciation to our Party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, and our Movement, The Kwankwasiyya Political Movement, the National Executives of our party under the able leadership of Alhaji Abba Kawu, the State Executives of our party under the capable stewardship of Hon Umar Haruna Doguwa, and the former State Executives of PDP under the resolute leadership Hon Shehu Wada Sagagi for their immense contribution to our successes. I also want to thank all our Kwankwasiyya and party members, supporters, volunteers and other nationalist who worked twenty four seven to organize, strategize, and mobilize all in an effort to make today a possibility. I want to assure you that your toil will not be in vain. To all the women of our state (the pathfinders and moral compass of our society), and our teaming youth and children (who are the hope for our continued advancement and sustained prosperity), we thank you for your support. And I want to let you know that your pain is our pain, and I shall deploy effective painkillers to tackle all your pains.
I also want to thank the business community, the religious leaders, and the traditional institution not only for supporting us, but also for their individual and collective roles in ensuring peace and stability in our state.
It is imperative to place on record our appreciation to all our international guests from over 20 different countries who are here with us to witness this momentous occasion. We thank you for your support.
And finally, to our father – the father of fathers, our leader – the leader of leaders, our mentor – the mentor of mentors, the grand commander of Kwankwasiyya Political Movement, the National Leader of our Party, the NNPP, His Excellency Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, PhD, FNSE, no words are adequate to express my appreciation and debt of gratitude to you, Sir. But in an occasion of this nature, words must be used. Thank you, Your Excellency. I shall remain the Abba that you always knew.
Fellow Compatriots, today is the beginning of repositioning and renewal of Kano State. Today marked the continuation of the Kwankwasiyya administration in our dear state – we shall continue from where we stopped in 2015. We will, by the special grace of Allah (SWT) redress all the injustices perpetrated in the last eight years. We shall recover and reclaim all public properties and assets misappropriate, hidden or stolen and return them to the custody of government. This was a promise we made during our campaign. And like all our campaign promises, we shall live no stone unturned to ensure that we fulfil our promises.
Beginning with security, we are aware of the persistent cases of armed robbery (especially phone snatching), kidnapping, cattle rustling and other violent crimes being perpetrated on the streets of our towns and cities. This menace will be confronted and brought to a permanent end throughout our State. On behalf of the government and people of our State, I want to register our condolences to the families of all the victims of this unacceptable crime. We are aware that one of the major factors that fuels these criminal activities is the consumption of illicit drugs. I am, today, announcing the formation of a Special Joint Taskforce to Prevent Phone Snatching and other Street Crimes comprising of teams of law enforcement agencies and mobile courts that would work together to clear our streets of these criminals and bring all of them to justice swiftly. The Kano State Reformatory Institute, Kiru will be reopened soonest for the purposes of rehabilitating drug addicts.
In the same vein we shall investigate all cases of political violence that led to loss of lives and properties across the State in the last eight years. The infamous case of Alasan Ado Doguwa, who allegedly sponsored the maiming and murder of over 15 innocent souls in Tudun Wada Local Government will be pursued to its logical conclusion. The numerous victims of the Ganduje campaign of violence, using thugs that were being intoxicated with drugs will not be left unchecked. In order to prevent future occurrence, a judicial Commission of Inquiry will be put in place to ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to justice and the families of the victims of political thuggery are also entitle to justice.
We cannot forget the case of one of our respected member and supporter, Hon Dadiyata, who was bundled in broad day light by unknown assailant and whisked away. For five years nothing is heard of him. Kano State Government will take up the case of Dadiyata with all relevant security agencies in the country so as to rescue him and bring his assailants to justice.
The destruction that was visited on our education sector in the last eight years is very disheartening. Arising from deliberate neglect and wrong policies, the number of out-of-school children in our state has astronomically increased. The number of college drop-outs has also risen to a scary height. I want remind the good people of Kano State that besides ensuring the security of lives and properties of all residents of the state, our number one priority is Education. Consequently, we will take these emergency measures beginning from today to rescue our education system and ensure the enrolment of all out-of-school children:
1. Our community reorientation committees, CRC, would be reactivated and continue to function as a vehicle for the implementation of our basic education agenda;
2. All the girl-child education buses for transporting girl-child to and from schools would resume operation as soon as possible. The school buses that were immorally sold will be recovered and new ones will be purchased to add to the fleet;
3. The de-boarding of all girls schools by the last administration will be revisited in due course;
4. We will resume our policy of Incentivise enrolment by providing free uniform, free books and one meal per pupil per day in our primary schools;
5. We will commence the renovation of existing primary and junior secondary schools in the state and make them ideal for teaching and learning;
6. We shall resume our policy on the provision of seats (chairs, benches and desk) and other instructional materials to support learning and teaching in our schools;
7. We will build more classrooms in all the local governments to accommodate new pupils;
8. We will continue to incentivise girl child education and strengthen the girl child education with relevant legislation;
9. We shall recruit and train more teachers and provide incentives for rural posting;
10. We shall continue to work with development partners, donor agencies, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trustfund (TETFund) and other relevant agencies of the Federal Government to support our education agenda;
11. Our policy of sponsoring our best graduates to pursue higher degrees locally and overseas is hereby restored. In the coming months, the screening process will, by the grace of Allah, commence.
12. The 44 Schools of Islamic Studies and 47 Technical Colleges across all our local governments that were constructed by Senator Kwankwaso’s administration and which were closed and abandoned by the former administration, will be reopened, appraised, resume admission and commence academic activities.
The healthcare system in our state is on its knees begging to be saved. Years of neglect and maladministration have reached an embarrassing crescendo that not only hospitals’ lands and funds were being stolen, even generators that are necessary for the hospitals to function were being sold. These cruel, immoral and criminal acts will not be allowed unpunished. While maternal mortality is rapidly increasing, neonatal death is on the rise and patients on emergency admission are receiving little or no attention at all, someone has the temerity to misappropriate resources belonging to hospitals! In what follows, I’ll announce measures to be taken by this administration in respect of these criminal actions. To commence fulfilling our campaign promises on healthcare, the following actions are hereby introduced:
1. The resumption of free maternity services and the issuance welcome pack to new-borns in our hospitals will be revisited;
2. To ensure balance distribution of medical personnel and their availability in rural area, medically qualified civil servants will be redeployed to hospitals across the state;
3. Reintroduction of medical outreaches and the establishment of Mobile Clinics and Ambulance Service (MCAS) in all the 44 local government councils in the State;
4. The renovation of all primary healthcare centres across the state; and
5. The conduct of emergency Needs Assessment of all our general and specialists hospitals.
Our city used to be the cleanest city in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015. Today, it is the opposite. Refuse dumps with uncollected wastes are all over the city. Our streets are littered with all sorts of garbage and nobody seems to care. Today, a Taskforce on Refuse Disposal, Evacuation of Drainages and Streets Cleaning (Operation Nazafa) comprising of different stakeholder groups is approved. In the coming days, I will officially launch a state-wide campaign with self-help groups to drive the operation. In the next few weeks all the dumps will be cleared, all our streets will be clean, all our drainages will be desilted and a sustainable system of maintaining the cleanness and clearing the dumps will be in place. To begin with, starting from next month, all vehicles on our roads across the state are required to have dustbin in them, and all businesses – including shops and stalls – should also have dustbin for collecting andproper disposal of wastes and refuse. At this point, we urge all the residents of Kano state to give us their maximum cooperation.
We are aware that our street lights have not been in use for about eight years yet the exorbitant cost of fuelling and servicing the generators that power them have continued to increase even when the lamps were permanently switched off. To add salt to injury, we are also aware that in the last couple of days, some “officials” have stolen most of these generators. I want assure the good people of Kano State that our street lights will return as soon as possible. And the perpetrators of the crimes of stealing funds meant for servicing them and those “so called official” that stole the generators will be brought to justice, in sha Allah. Our Independent Power projects, at Tiga and Challawa, that we started in 2012, and which was bastardized by the last administration will be revisited.
Our novel policy of Auren Zawara, a policy that helps in bringing stability and reducing social vices in our communities will resume as soon as possible. Related to this are the empowerment programs for women and youth. All the 26 entrepreneurship institutes that were established by the Sen. Kwankwaso administration with the mandate of equipping our youth and women with soft and hard skills in different fields of endeavour, and which were closed down and abandoned by the former administration are hereby opened. Enrolment into these institute will begin soonest.
The mainstays of our state, beside education are Commerce and Agriculture. We shall modernize agriculture and give it priority such that agri-business will be made one of the major drivers towards eradicating poverty and unemployment in our midst. Arrangements are in place to ensure that fertilizers and other inputs are made available to farmers at affordable rates. The Kano Agricultural Supply Company, KASCO, and the Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, KNARDA, will be revived and reinvigorated. KASCO shops in all the 44 Local Government Councils will be reactivated to continue supporting our farmers. We will deploy extension workers, employ and train more of them, to support farmers to improve their yields.
We would expand the irrigation fields, desilt our dams and channels, and use the evacuated manure to improve the fertility of the soil. All available funding supports for farmers from banks and other donor agencies will be pursued to ensure that our farmers get optimal benefits.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen my administration will not be government as usual, because a vibrant and motivated public service is necessary for the success of every administration. We are aware that the former administration has bastardized the civil service – they employed tens of thousands of unqualified persons without due process and most of the improperly employed person had to pay through their noses to get the offer; they conducted arbitrary and illegal promotions to their cronies and agents; and they stuffed the civil service with ghost workers. All these will be reviewed. Additionally, we will put in place machinery that will bring about reforms to improve service delivery and boost productivity and ensure professionalism in the State Civil Service.
We will continue to partner with other stakeholders, including civil society organizations, the private sector, and international development partners to create more effective, more transparent and more accountable institutions that work to improve the lives of all citizens. However, let me warn that our administration will not tolerate abuse of the public service procedures, corruption and indiscipline. We shall put in place a structure that will ensure transparency and accountability in governance. To start with, we shall resume the good practice of publishing the weekly reports of the State Executive Council meetings in national dailies; we shall re-introduce the full utilization of the Treasury Single Account; we shall ensure that all government payments and receipts are done through the electronic payment systems; and our suggestion boxes, for members of the public to offer advice to their government, will be placed in different locations across the state.
To end the injustices being meted on petty traders in the state, beginning from June this year, all small business owners with income of less than thirty thousand Naira per month are exempted from paying any tax. We shall create the enabling environment and provide all necessary incentives, including the facilitation of access to capital, for small, medium and large scale entrepreneurs in the state to blossom and succeed. We shall reactivate all the 37 Microfinance Banks established by the Kwankwasiyya administration which were deliberately neglected by the Ganduje administration to justify selling them to their cronies and agents.
Our dear state, Kano is one of the oldest in Nigeria, a state with rich culture and history, a state that enjoys tremendous amount of respect all over the world. A state that sets all the good examples for others to follow. All these were thrown to the winds by the last administration. We are all aware of the embarrassments that the Ganduje administration has brought to the office of the Governor and by extension, to the entire people of Kano State – all negative perceptions as a result of crude corruption, land grabbing, and poor governance.
This perception has to change. And the time to change it is now. We shall work together to change this narrative and promote Kano positively.
To begin this, we shall be launching the campaign, ‘Kano, my state, my pride,’ in the next couple of weeks to promote unity and patriotism towards our dear state. It is a call to action that encourages every citizen to take ownership of their community, support initiatives that promote development and project a positive image of Kano at all times.
We must all work collaboratively to ensure cleanliness, maintenance of infrastructure, promoting our cultural heritage, and encouraging investments that will create opportunities for our people and attract more investors. At this point, let me say that we will commence the work of ensuring water supply across the state. We shall also commence the completion of the 5km roads across the local government councils in the state by the special grace of Allah. Similarly, the Jakara River Project, popularly called the Wuju-wuju Road and the dualization of the Sheikh Salga Road would be resumed.
Our government recognises the superior importance of decent shelter to human life and as a hub around which all development programs hinge.That is why between 2011 and 2015, Sen Kwankwaso’s administration built three cities that were abandoned by the former administration. We shall complete these cities and expand the project to commence subsequent phases of the cities.
My administration will encourage, as well as support the citizens of Kano state toexploit financing opportunities for home ownership, construction and renovation, especially the National Housing Fund. True to our campaign promise, we shall provide rural housing and develop mini cities to decongest Kano city and bring development and job opportunities to all corners of our dear state. We shall improve our land administration for ease of doing business and to facilitate sustainable housing provision.
We shall introduce innovative and sustainable measures to curve the menace of irregular development of unplanned shelters or ‘Awon Igiya’ around the metropolis. All ‘Awon Igiya’ projects in and around the Metropolitan Kano are hereby suspended. We shall also resume the street naming and house numbering project in earnest.
My fellow Kano Residents, democracy is as precious as it is fragile. Much as we cherish its values and respect its outcomes, we must also be mindful of its fragility. The manifestation of such fragility has never been so palpable as it was in 2019 in our dear State. Recall that in that year, we won the Gubernatorial election clean and clear. But the mandate was stolen. And those that stole the mandate, knowing full well that the voters have rejected them, started unleashing their vengeance on the entire state. No state in the country suffered the kind of vandalism, maladministration and naked injustices like Kano State in the last eight years. The vandalism they visited on the state was mind-boggling; the havoc they wrecked was unprecedented; and the looting spree was simply unimaginable. It was like the night operation of rattus norvegicus or the result of an unleashed mad bull in a china shop.
As I swore to the oath of allegiance and oath of office this bright Monday morning, the work to recover public properties, assets, and looted funds starts now. With a near empty treasury and a humongous local and international debt left behind by the former administration, and with almost all assets and properties looted, misappropriated or sold. The only rational thing to do is to commence the recovery and reclamation in the overall interest of public good.
We have noted that the last administration have sold lands in and around schools, religious and cultural sites, hospitals and clinics, graveyards and green areas, and along the city wall of Kano. We have also noted that they indiscriminately sold numerous other landed properties and assets belonging to Kano State within and outside the state to their cronies and agents. I am announcing, today, that all these public places and assets that were immorally plundered and sold by the Ganduje administration should be taken over by law enforcement agencies, led by the Police, the DSS, Civil Defense, and Hisbah pending the final decision of government.
And to guarantee that no public officers, their cronies, or assignees are ever allowed to engage in the looting of the common wealth of the Kano people, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be empanelled in the coming days to ensure that all perpetrators and those that aided and abetted them are brought to justice.
Further to these executive order, all political appointees heading government MDAs and companies are hereby relieved of their appointment with immediate effect. They are directed to handover to the permanent secretary or the most senior director as the case may be. Similarly, all boards of MDAs, companies and institutions of higher learning are hereby dissolved with immediate effect.
My fellow Kano People, these actions are necessary to reset the state and commence repositioning her on to the path of honour and dignity, on to the path of respect and responsibility, and on to the path of progress and prosperity.
I guarantee you that I will give my all in the service to my dear State and her good people, thinking not of power but the immense responsibilities that come with it. I beseech you to continue to pray for our dear state and your trusted government; I beseech you to continue to support and cooperate with us as we, collectively, steer the ship of our state to success, in sha Allah.
I will end this speech as I started it by thanking the Almighty Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, to whom all thanks and praises are due and praying for the peace and blessings of Allah (SWT) to be on our beloved Prophet, the Leader of Messengers of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and to all members of his family and to all his companions.
I want to thank all our invited guests, members of the diplomatic corps, our development partners, our gubernatorial candidates, members of the Ulamah, and all our supporters from across the country and beyond for gracing this Inauguration Ceremony.
To my family, you have all been very supportive all through this journey. I am certain that your support and understanding will continue to increase. I want place my debt of gratitude to all of you.
Finally I want to thank the entire people of Kano state for your continuous support, cooperation and prayers. Let me assure you that we will not disappoint you.
Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah,
I wish all of you safe journey to your respective destinations. Kanawa Mungode.
H.E. Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf
Executive Governor, Kano State