Parliament Watch, Politics

Kaduna Assembly rejects commissioner-nominee who criticised El-Rufai

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The Kaduna State House Of Assembly on Thursday rejected a commissioner nominee who criticised Governor Nasir El-Rufai on social media two years ago.

Mr El-Rufai had nominated Aliyu Abubakar for confirmation by the lawmakers as Commissioner for Agriculture.

But the speaker of the Kaduna assembly, Aminu Shagali, who presided over the screening, said the nominee was rejected for criticising the governor on his social media handles in 2017.

He said Mr Abubakar criticised one of the best policies of the governor on education, under which the government sacked unqualified teachers in the state.

Quoting some of the posts, he said the nominee had said there was nothing like ‘Making Kaduna State Great Again’, describing the slogan as a deceptive cliche used by politicians to deceive the masses.

The speaker said the position to which Mr Abubakar was nominated “is a responsibility for those who are truly sincere not for those who are inherently sarcastic.”

He said: “You also said El-Rufai must learn to tackle issues with a human face, you also said you are an advocate of change that goes to the root and cause, not only the symptom.

“You also said in the same post, ‘stop comparing me with El-Rufai who thinks he is more intelligent than intelligence itself’.

“You, however, said you are a humble human being that believes that all that glitters is not gold; there is nothing authoritarian in insisting on the truth and never speaking the truth.

“You also posted: ‘I detest insincerity as there are better ways of genuinely solving problems.’”‎

The chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Tanimu Musa, said the rejection was as a result of Mr Abubakar criticising the present administration.

According to him, “the evil that men do live even after them.”

He added that Mr Abubakar had been a critic of the El-Rufai administration on social media.

“He has been criticising the (Kaduna) government, so why did he want to work with the government you have been criticising before?” he said.

A spokesperson to Mr El-Rufai said the governor nominated Mr Abubakar without ever meeting him.

He said the nominee visited the state’s deputy governor on Tuesday but failed to disclose that he had been a vociferous critic of the governor.

“By Wednesday, party members from Kajuru local governments began to protest against the nomination saying such an implacable critic should not be rewarded,” he said.

The official said Mr El-Rufai became aware of the real identity of the nominee on Wednesday but declined to withdraw the nomination despite pressure on him to do so.

“But when the Assembly asked him how he planned to work and relate with a governor he has criticised for years, he was unable to respond leaving the lawmakers with no choice than to reject him.”

The assembly also screened the other nominees on Thursday. The nominees are Thomas Gyang, who was nominated as Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission; Hassan Usman Mahmud, Commissioner in the governor’s office for Riots, Damage, Rehabilitation and Resettlement; and Atiku Musa as Auditor -General for Local Governments.

‎Similarly, the speaker also announced that the Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, would serve as acting commissioner of Health, pending the appointment of a substantive commissioner.


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