Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai has began his tenure with an act that may be a sign of the kind of selflessness the people of the state will enjoy for the next four years.
Upon his swearing in as Kaduna State’s 22nd governor by the Chief Justice of Kaduna state, Justice Tanimu Zailani, El Rufai said he was contributing 50 percent of his salary and allowances to Kaduna as a mark of his sacrifice to develop the state. He said that his deputy, Balla Barnabas Bantex had also agreed to make the same sacrifice.
To whom much is given, much is expected. The governor therefore said he expects citizens of the state to also be ready to make sacrifices when called upon to do so.
“Kaduna State is in a difficult situation. As soon as we have all the facts in coming weeks, we shall lay bare to you just how deep a hole we have dug ourselves in the past several years. But this much we already know,” el-Rufai said.
“Our finances are a shambles. Kaduna is the second most indebted state in our country. Our state is staggering under the weight of billions of naira in debt and other liabilities. As we all know, merely by walking the streets or seeing our neighbors everyday, the state of our state is abysmal. Our schools and hospitals, our roads and bridges, our villages, towns and cities, all are markers of backwardness.
“Too many of our children are hungry and in rags and in the street. Our society is divided along religious and ethnic lines. Worse still, our state cannot stand on its own feet. We have become a state of beggars, a condition of dependency that is an affront to our dignity and our humanity,” the governor said.
He promised to do his best to change the fortunes of the state.