Anniversary: More praise than knocks for Yusuf in Kano

Supreme Desk
28 May 2024 10:21 AM GMT
Anniversary: More praise than knocks for Yusuf in Kano
Abubakar praised Yusuf for paying 50 percent registration fees for students in universities and polytechnic in the state

In the coming days, different parts of the country will mark the one-year anniversary of the current leadership at the national and most state levels.

On May 29, President Bola Tinubu’s administration was inaugurated simultaneously with 28 governors.

While the anniversary calls for celebration, it also offers an opportunity to evaluate the performance of these leaders.

One of the governors on the one-year anniversary list and under scrutiny is Abba Yusuf of Kano.

Political analysts say politics in Kano State reflects the complexity of Nigeria’s political space.

Therefore, when Yusuf, against all odds, won the March 18 governorship election in Kano, it did not come as a surprise to many.

Though it suffered a temporary setback with a rerun in some parts of the state, his victory was ultimately affirmed by the Supreme Court.

So far, his supporters point to his performance in the critical areas of health, education, and infrastructure as the hallmark of a visionary leader who is willing to excel where others have failed.

They say notable among his achievements in the past year are the renovation and equipment of countless primary and secondary school classrooms and the payment of a 50 percent registration fee for university and polytechnic students.

Others, they say, are rehabilitation of the Accident and Emergency Wing of Murtala Mohammed Hospital, Kano; upgrading of the paediatric hospital, Kano; and payment of pensions to over 6,000 retired civil servants.

Both projects are expected to enhance socioeconomic activities in the metropolis.

They say he also expanded township roads and undertook massive infrastructure development, including the three-layer interchange bridge at the Kofar Dan’agundi project and the upgrading of Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education to a University of Education.

Before the National Universities Commission (NUC) approved the upgrading of the college to university status, through dedicated funding and partnership, the facilities and teaching faculty got a facelift.

This included the recruitment of qualified teachers, with a good number of them holding Masters and doctorate degrees. This is meant to ensure academic rigour, quality research, and the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning.

The state government’s partnership with TETFund ensured that more resources were provided to enhance research and infrastructure as well as staff development.

The availability of modern infrastructure and facilities has provided the foundation for innovative pedagogy, research, and a conducive learning environment.

Also of note is the continuity of the National Certificate of Education Programme, which underscores dedication to providing uninterrupted educational pathways for aspiring educators at various levels.

These observers say they align with government policies on priority, access to education, and the development of quality teachers in Kano State and other parts of the country.

Alhaji Isa Abubakar, a residents of Tauroni Local Government Area, commended Yusuf for giving priority to education.

He said it was gladdening that within one year, many primary and secondary schools structures have been renovated and equipped to enhance teaching and learning atmosphere, unlike before when pupils received lectures while sitting on the floor.

Abubakar praised Yusuf for paying 50 percent registration fees for students in universities and polytechnics in the state

We are seeing changes in administration of Yusuf through policy and programmes that enhance the living conditions of the people

“I advise Gov. Yusuf to do more in education sector by rehabilitating structures in schools rather than building new ones.

“Let him concentrate on renovating structures in public schools and providing more learning materials for our future leaders’’, he told NAN.

Hajiya Maryam Haladu of Gwale Local Government Area wants to Yusuf to retrain teachers and provide more learning infrastructure in all public schools in the state.

“For paying the pension of over 6,000 pensioners and thereby easing their wellbeing, I can say that Yusuf has started well. Health is wealth and Gov.

“Yusuf has demonstrated that he means well for both retired and serving civil servants.

’’His township road expansion and upgrading is a testimony to the administration’s foresight to elevate Kano to a megacity’’, Haladu said.

Haladu commended the governor for laying a similar foundation at the Tal'udu roundabout, which has three-layer overpass, underpass, and surface-layer roads.

Similarly, Alhaji Abba Usman from Minjibir commended Yusuf for prompt payment of the salaries of workers in the state.

Usman said the gesture would enable the workforce implement the policies and programmes of the administration without hindrance.

The governor recognises the need to put the health sector at the service of the people.

“We have equipped the hospital with state-of-the-art equipment to provide qualitative healthcare delivery for our people.

“We are operating a responsible government geared towards providing basic infrastructure that will enhance the well-being of our people, irrespective of political differences,’’ the governor said at the inauguration of the upgraded Kano paediatric hospital.

The hospital was earlier shut down and sold by the past administration in the state but was revamped by Yusuf when he assumed office as governor.

The governor reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to accord priority to the health sector for the health and well-being of the people.

The governor warned that his administration would not tolerate abuse of office by medical personnel deployed to manage the facility.

“We felt it necessary to correct the dilapidated condition of the hospital for the benefit of teeming patronising the facility from across the West African States,” he said.

“The renovation and restoration of the hospital to a full-fledged government-owned hospital were part of his campaign promises.

“The paediatric hospital, established in 1990 with 86 beds, treats more than 5,000 patients from Kano State and beyond daily’’, said the Commissioner for Health, Labaran Yusuf.

“From what is going on in Kano in the last year, Kano State funds are properly utilised in providing democracy dividends’’, he said.

Yusuf appreciated the work done in giving the section a facelift and putting in place modern equipment for the provision of quality medical care to emergency cases and accident victims.

Prof. Yahaya Bunkure, the Vice Chancellor of Sa’adatu Rimi University of Education, is excited about the opportunities presented by the upgrade of the institution.

According to him, it is in line with the evolving needs of the education sector and the government’s focus on functional education.

“This transformation will not only enhance the quality of teacher education but also contribute to the overall development of Kano’s educational landscape’’, the scholar said.

Educationists say the new status will enhance career progression and increase admission opportunities for NCE graduates for the first degree programmes.

This is expected to contribute to the growth of a highly skilled workforce, meeting the evolving demands of the education sector.

It also prepares the school for the task of contributing its quota towards addressing out-of-school challenges in Kano State.

“The institution will actively engage in addressing the challenge of out-of-school children through community outreach, research initiatives, and the development of effective educational interventions.

“By doing so, the institution will contribute to the broader societal goal of ensuring access to quality education for all’’, said Malam Ibrahim Abubakar, a retired teacher.

The recent controversy over the throne of Emir Kano is another topical issue in Yusuf's first year in office. The move to return deposed Emir Lamido Sanusi to his office had divided opinions in Kano.

While many think it is unnecessarily heating up the polity, another school of thought contends that it was a good move to restore the fading glory of the Kano Emirate.

Alhaji Isa Musa of Hotoro Quarters, Kano, praised the governor, saying: “This is what we have been clamouring for.

“God has heard us by bringing back the people’s emir. Emir Sanusi was a victim of hatred from the previous administration. We are grateful he is back to move Kano forward.”

Mr. Emaka John of Yaruba Road, Sabon Gari, Kano, also commended Yusuf for his commitment to bringing back Emir Sanusi through due process.

“I am very pleased with the decision of the Kano State Government to make it possible to bring back Emir Sanusi,” he said.

Hajiya Halima Ibrahim of Brigade Quarters praised God for making it possible to meet the expectations of the Kano people by bringing back Emir Sanusi.

“You can see everybody is moving on with their legitimate business because what the majority wanted was a change in the leadership of the Kano Emirate Council,” she said.

Malam Balarabe Idris called for a peaceful resolution of the impasse, saying he trusted the governor’s capacity to act in the best interest of the people of Kano State.

Observers say it has been so far so good for Yusuf his first year in office. However, it is too early to judge his performance in office. A more critical evaluation will be at the end of his first four years in office.

However, for now, he has to work harder to maintain the peace in Kano, support farmers more and provide a lifeline to small and medium businesses that are gasping for breath following high inflation nationwide.

By Aminu Garko

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