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El-Rufai blames Buhari over ‘deteriorated security situation’

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The out gone governor of Kaduna State, Mal. Nasir El-Rufai, has expressed “serious regret” over the deteriorated security situation in Kaduna State and some other states in the zone, blaming outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari for it.

The governor made the assertion in a farewell speech at the inauguration of his successor, Senator Uba Sani, in Kaduna on Monday, upon completion of his tenure.

He said, “In 2017, I requested the Federal Government to designate the emerging banditry as an insurgency and to unleash on them the full weight of the military. Sadly, this was not done until 2022, acting upon the declaration of the Federal High Court. 

“It is a matter for regret that the Federal Government did not appreciate the gravity of the problem until banditry had wreaked so much havoc to the lives, liberty and the livelihoods of so many people.” 

He earlier stated that their government worked hard to firmly confront the security challenges that emerged, saying measures took ensured that they did not record any statewide crisis over the last eight years. 

“We expanded the security footprint in the state, ensuring that more military bases and police divisions were established. We harnessed soft measures, like creating the Peace Commission, and we created a dedicated Ministry of Internal Security. 

“We foresaw that banditry could mutate into a terrible menace. We galvanized neighbouring states for collaborative action to address the problem right from 2015,” he said.

El-Rufai stated that, “Although, coordinated military action began later in 2022, the job remains incomplete,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the incoming government to sustain the pressure on the bandits, insurgents and terrorists and make the military action comprehensive and simultaneous across the seven frontline states, six in the Northwest and Niger, that are most impacted.

“As we complete our tenure, we have not relented in removing as many security threats as we can, in order to help clear the deck for the incoming government. We have taken action against groups and individuals that are engaged in acts that are inimical to peace and lawful order in the state. 

“We are removing the properties of identified sponsors of terrorism and those of unlawful societies that have been proscribed in this state. We have insisted on the primacy of law and order, and on asserting the prerogatives of the State in guaranteeing life and liberty.

“On security, I can say that we did all that is within the powers of a sub-national to do, and resisted pressure to negotiate with or pay off the criminals. 

“We are leaving behind a net cash balance in our Treasury Single Account of about N5bn, after deductions, for the payment of salaries, pensions and dues to the Local Government Councils, and US $2.05m in our Domiciliary Account as of yesterday, 28th May 2023.

“Kaduna State has receivables for reimbursements of infrastructure and security spending from the Federal Government amounting to about N41bn; that will be paid to the state in due course. 

“This does not include the sums due to the State as share of the accumulated stamp duties receipts, estimated at over N100bn, that the incoming government will certainly receive before the end of this year. 

“I am, therefore, optimistic that the incoming government will in due course be in a position to settle all inherited liabilities, complete ongoing projects and initiate new ones, by the Grace of God,” he stated. 

According to him, “We governed under very difficult fiscal circumstances, surviving two recessions, collapses of crude oil prices, the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We, therefore, had to borrow extensively to spend our way out of recession and pursue our ambition to make Kaduna great again,” he said, adding that “As at the last financial year, Kaduna State has the liabilities of Domestic debt of N64.54bn. Other Contingent Liabilities are N16.06bn, while foreign debts is US $577.32 million.

“We have spent N818.9bn as capital expenditure, between 2015 and 2022, in the prosecution of our first and second State Development Plans, attracting nearly US $5bn in foreign and domestic investments that created jobs, improved our tax receipts and laid a solid foundation for the future,” he stated.

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