Memo to Kaduna State Governor: How to manage people’s expectations

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai

By Mukhtar Garba Maigamo

Right actions are to be measured in proportion to the greatest good they achieve for the greatest number” (Utilitarian Philosophy)

Your Excellency Sir, I hereby congratulate you once more on your landslide victory. 1.1 million votes to 485,000 votes to me are indeed a walkover victory. Before I go into the theme of the issue, it is remarkable to refute the general view that your victory occurred in spite of; rather than because of you due to the fact that the whole country has been under the sway of Hurricane Buhari. I don’t believe so because for some of us, who are even critical to some of your personae, your victory has long been foretold. We had long seen you on the paths of inevitable victory not necessarily because of HurricaneBuhari but because of the assemblage of your campaign team we’d seen and with the caliber of people like Samuel Aruwan in your media team.

When PDP in Kaduna were busy mudslinging and hate campaigning, Samuel Aruwan, instead to follow suit, opted for issues based campaign, and also concentrated on preaching peaceful co-existence, violent free election and also bridging the gap that have hitherto been created by past regimes between zone 1, 2&3. With his cosmopolitan outlook and Pan-Kaduna attitude, Sam has indeed won the hearts of so many voters in your favor Sir.

In any case a combination of you and your deputy (Q.S & Architecture) is a square peg in square hole. Therefore, it is a well deserved victory. We will only wish you to be magnanimous in victory.

Your Excellency Sir, it is a well known fact that Kaduna State which was created alongside 19 Northern states on the 27th of May 1976 is known to be a nerve-centre of the North and one of the strategic states in the country that suppose to be the model of those states, but ironically for a long time our state is being faced with serious crises of development. It has been suffering from the maladies of unemployment, crime, epileptic power and water supply, decadent infrastructure, moribund industries etc.

But when we heard that before your inauguration you toddled round Makera area where the Industries in the state are sited, we all heave a deep sigh of relief because, as we all know you as a man of unrivalled capacity for work, with the mastery of administrative leadership; a man who displayed, in his previous callings, a high tradition of public service, and who carried out his ministerial job with a complete personal honor and integrity. Especially when we look at your five point agenda namely: education & health, security, public service reform, development of infrastructure and promotion of agriculture and food security which was encapsulated in your “let’s make Kaduna great again” we all know for sure that our Kaduna is on the paths of rejuvenation.

Indeed Sir this comprehensive blueprint has captured the very problems of our state which we hope you will be able to address in the next four years. Also even a quick glimpse at your composition of Transition Committee and your cabinet now has revealed not only a break away from past regime of quackeries, but also a serious business on your part. Because no one will doubt the integrities and capabilities of these all-rounded personalities. In fact your acumen in distilling these seasoned technocrats cum academicians of unquestioned expertise is no doubt a litmus test of what we expect to see in your cabinet. But still there is an issue at stake now. It is how to manage people’s expectations which is necessary to the success of your administration.

The manner in which PDP governed the state in the last 16 years discomfited the people of the state because the regime did not improve the lives of the lots nor did it even attempt to facelift the architectural features of the state, or to construct new beautiful sites that would be catchy to the scenery if not only one conference hall it built inside government house even at a highly inflated rate.

People were umbrage by the way PDP handles the state and there were a growing concern about change. The popular appeal was overwhelming that even the nickname “Mr Demolition Man” that was invented to blacken you was converted into a positive sloganeering. Now “me rusau” is no longer a fad it has gone beyond a mere electioneering, it has started getting imbedded inside the minds and hearts of the people in the state. In other words “me rusau” has graduated from being a campaign slogan to a broad spectrum of expectations.

Your Excellency Sir, very close to the election there are various Photoshop of you and a magnificent city of Dubai going viral purportedly likened it to Kaduna which gives the assumptions that you have committed to make Kaduna to be like Dubai. Even though I heard you debunking that rumors in one of the programs you aired live in Liberty Radio, but that to me is far-less enough in disabusing the minds of the people in the state that you didn’t promise to make Kaduna to be like Abuja or Dubai, because such popular expectations (of making Kaduna to be like Abuja) are the very engines that carry the train with which you rode to wining your governorship election.

Your Excellency, it might interest you to hear this conversation which I heard by means of eavesdropping. A week after your victory, as the euphoria goes all over the state I overheard my colleague in the office telling another colleague of ours that their house rent was due since March but she and her husband decided to halt the renewal since they know definitely that you are going to demolish part of that house to expand the road. This woman leaves in Badarawa. Again the next day when I came to the office and from the gate to the office my shoes and trouser picked dust, when some people in the office noticed as I entered, they all said that the era of mud on the roads is over because you are going to tar all the roads and interlock all the pedestrians path in the state. Your Excellency such is the extent of people’s expectations of your regime. People living in the slums of Unguwan Television, and those commuters on the terrible roads of Romi; also those people living under the shanty areas of Kwaru and Tudun Nupawa all harbor this view.

I am very much concern on how you will be able to manage these expectations giving the bleakly nature of the state’s treasury. It’s not all will understand that you will take over in a very difficult times, when the state is hugely indebted, when federal monthly grant which the state – solely depends upon is no longer forthcoming as the price of oil has crashed. And the leakages in the state’s revenue are too porous and too many that requires a systematic approach to block it and which cannot happen overnight.

Your Excellency there is another stratum in the state which we call “social media” (which you are part and parcel of) and among who are mostly youth like me who doesn’t know the meaning of “guarded utterances” because they are driving by exuberance. And still in this social network especially face book, there are some hawks that now bare their fangs and sharpen their teeth to bite the whole lot of you. And you cannot wish them away or pretend they do not exist because social media is one of the driving force of your campaign. Also I believe you won’t make the same mistake of your predecessor who couldn’t manage the expectations and interests of this sector and which contributed to, among other things his downfall.

In view of that Sir, you have to be ready for criticisms, and divergent views because the ability to be amenable consist in giving due weight to people’s needs, expectations and their criticisms. I will, in this vein, quickly suggest that you create or devolve a unit that will relate with people of social network. The person in charge must be able to create rapport and manage their expectations by constantly extending your good plans about the state and your policy direction, also relaying to them (us) the programs you embark upon. These programs must be of immediate effect and those that will not only be visible to the people’s eyes but also tangible to their grasps. In this instance it is apt to quickly draw your attention to the deficit in infrastructure that is too common in the state and which you too put into cognizance. Engaging into a serious construction of flyovers, over head bridges and culverts for drainage and generator powered streetlights is something of priceless value. Also as you know Kaduna is in dire need of roads, not the ostentatious one we are seeing presently from Kawo to NDA, but serious road expansions that will unchain the habitual traffic gridlock that has become the norm in the state.

Sir, another issue that has became a canker worm which requires your immediate attention is Zaria water project and electricity. Truly peoples of Zaria are suffering from an untold hardship of lack of light and water. You must know that you had an edge over Ramalan Yero in Zaria because Zaria people were disenchanted about the issue of Zaria water project which they felt despite he is from Zaria but he didn’t do any about their plights. You came at the right time and you promise to break that jinx which bedeviled the city for over 20 years. Meanwhile I learnt that you visited Zaria on Saturday pertaining the issue of Zaria water project and renewed your commitment to end the perennial problem, I will please urge you to hasten the completion unlike the previous administrations which over the years had been giving gave false promises.

Electricity is a general problem in the state but I want to tell you Sir that Zaria is the worst hit. Apart from the usual rationing of electricity, people hardly get lights for four hours every day in Zaria and even the small hours of light they enjoy, it is always low current. Part of the problem I came to understand Sir is the 11KVA that goes directly to ABU Samaru and college of Aviation Technology Palladan. Because the light from national grid goes directly to them, rather than the substation based on their MOUs, the remaining communities are left at the mercy of PHCN (Kaduna Electric)

It is my considered view that out of those lofty and ambitious plans and programs contain therein your manifesto, if these issues I raised can be prioritized and to be able to addressed on a quickest possible time everybody in the state will be happy and I can assure you that by 2019 you will have a nod to carry on because by then you must have balanced the “want-get ratio” of both the social media and the other people in the state.

Mukhtar Garba Maigamo, a public commentator, is a Credit Officer in the Unity Bank Plc, Kakuri Branch Kaduna. And can be reach, 08066792996



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