A students’ group, Concerned Kaduna State Students (CKSS), has accused the state governor, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, of destroying education in the state and passed a vote of no confidence on him. The group made the accusation in a statement signed its conveners, Messrs. Tobias Y Aboki and Victor Duniya.
The CKSS said Mr. El-Rufai promised that he would address the plight of the downtrodden in the state, but has failed to keep his promises. The students said the governor has been making extravagant claims that he is reforming education in the state and being applauded by outsiders, but his reforms have actually damaged education in the state.
“Since the inception of this administration, no single tertiary institution student, at home and abroad, has benefitted from any scholarship scheme. The governor has failed to pay old beneficiaries of the state scholarship scheme that the previous administration shortlisted. This is a man that grew up as an orphan but benefitted from a functional system to become who he is today. Why is he destroying the ladder that took him to his exalted position today?” asked CKSS.
While admitting that scholarships are a privilege, not a right, the students said they are entitled to access to potable water and electricity in their schools. For weeks, they claimed, virtually all the state-owned tertiary institutions have endured power cuts because of the government’s failure to pay electricity bills.
“The effect of this government’s negligence and insensitivity has led to lack of water supply from the state Water Board since it has equally been disconnected from the National power grid,” said CKSS.
It stated that Kaduna State University (KASU) has no internet connection because the university management said it lacks funds. “Who will ever imagine that a whole university under the internet- savvy Governor El-Rufai will be disconnected from the rest of the world like an isolated Island? This embarrassment has gotten to an unbearable level. We can't take it anymore. Consequently, most of our colleagues working on their final year projects and are relying on other sources of water and power for their research. They have suffered serious setbacks with corresponding financial losses. This has equally affected out lecturers doing research in numerous field of science,” stated CKSS.
The students lamented that life on their campuses is unbearable, as they struggle to read at night, adding that the governor’s action will lead to the production of future ‘incompetent’ teachers, doctors and what have you.
“We wish to pass a vote of no confidence on governor El-Rufai for not making the welfare of tertiary institution students a priority of his administration. This is the first time in the history of our state government can't settle electricity bills and pay indigent students scholarship.Following the sack of over 21,500 our primary school teachers, our schools have been reduced to feeding centers. No serious education business is taking place there, as the number of teachers remaining is grossly inadequate. While welcoming the belated release of the names of newly recruited teachers, we have observed many applicants that didn't participate in the recruitment process made the final list. The final list is far from the initial promised 25,000 persons,” said CKSS.
The students called on the governor to expedite actions to settle all outstanding bills to enable them have quality education, sack or redeploy all staff of the Kaduna State Scholarship Board and direct the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to release the names of shortlisted teachers to enable the public compare it with the list of those that were invited for interview.
“This will make the process transparent and clear the doubts of Thomases, who believe that the said reform is about cutting the cost of governance than genuine concern for quality delivery of knowledge,” CKSS said.
It also urged the governor to advise all Kaduna State students of voting age to go and obtain their Permanent Voters Card.