Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 30 May 2015 | 4,019 times
Minutes after he was sworn-in as the 22nd Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Saturday announced 50 per cent reduction of his salary and that of his deputy, Arch. Barnabas Yusuf Bala, as a result of dwindling economy situation of the country.
Sworn-in by the state Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, the governor hinted that his administration would avoid ostentation and unnecessary spending, but would embrace transparency, modesty and accountability for effective service delivery to Kaduna people.
The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said in recognition of the difficult economy status the state was faced with, had concluded with his deputy to sacrifice half of their salaries, adding that change required must begin with them.
“We have decided to take a pay cut and donate 50 percent of our salaries and allowances, until our fiscal situation improves. We understand that leadership by example is the most persuasive way to demand sacrifices from all of us as citizens.
“We will obey the same rules that we demand of all of you. After all, the law is the difference between civilisation and anarchy. We submit ourselves to the principle that all are equal before the law.
“As we celebrate on this day that God has made, let us remember, with sober senses, exactly what challenges confront us. For far too long, our country has been a place where hope goes to die, where the future has been stolen from our children, where our leaders have commandeered our resources largely for their own personal enjoyment, and where grinding poverty has become a fact of daily life for nearly all our people.
“Our state is no exception. 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. 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 neighbours 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.
“I say to you today, my fellow citizens of Kaduna State, that the time has come for us to face up to our responsibilities as citizens. We must take many difficult decisions. We have no choice but to postpone immediate gratification and sacrifice the fleeting comforts of today for a better future for our children,” he said.
It took the doggedness of security agents to control some miscreants who were trying to assault Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, while the governor was presenting his inaugural speech at Murtala Muhammed Square, Kaduna, venue of the ceremony, over his alleged involvement in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s campaign against the All Progressives Congress (APC) during 2015 elections.
•Photo shows Governor El-Rufai.
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