…says constitution amendment has to precede demands
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has thrown his weight behind calls for amendment of the 1999 Constitution, power devolution, review of the revenue allocation formula. He made this known while reacting to the Peoples Democratic Party’s governors’ recent demands in this regard.
Ganduje noted that these demands would not be possible however, without amendment of the constitution. He spoke exclusively to Saturday Telegraph. According to the governor, the devolution of powers requires constitution amendment because they are related in principle.
He likened it to the revenue allocation formula, which he said all governors have been unanimous in asking for its review, saying that what the PDP governors are advocating is not something new, but echoing what other governors have been saying. He said: “They are saying the same thing; devolution of powers requires constitution amendment.
“They are related to each other, but overall you could see like the revenue allocation formula, all governors are unanimous that there should be a review on that. “All chairmen of local governments are also interested in revenue allocation formula review; you cannot review the formula unless you review the constitution.
“So, they are tied together. When you talk of devolution of powers, you are talking of devolution of responsibilities, and review of revenue allocation formula is also related to responsibility in governance. “Take for example, in education some of us are saying that the Federal Government has no responsibility in man aging secondary education directly, like the Federal Government Colleges, Unity Colleges; all such schools can be managed by states.
“So, devolution of power in that aspect means that the Federal Government should stop managing education at that level. “In Agriculture, the same thing applies. The Federal Government should concentrate on agricultural research. “Also, in health, the Federal Government should busy itself with teaching hospitals, medical centres and research in the health sector. “There are so many areas and when properly examined, one could see that some responsibilities should be given to states, and some to the local governments. “In essence, that is what it means.
So, what the PDP governors’ are saying is not new, they are only echoing what other governors have been saying.” Ganduje also called the cash crunch being experienced by states situational, saying that the seeming economic meltdown can change with time. “We are not praying that it will continue,” he said, adding that recession is not something permanent. He, however, said that changing the revenue allocation formula is an arrangement that will permanently take care of issues as they come, especially financial issues, with the execution of responsibilities.
The essence, the governor said, is to get things done quickly and in a better manner. He also talked about security in Kano State, which he attributed to Allah as the ultimate protector of lives and property. “We are able to maintain security in Kano State because of the coordination among the security agencies, such as the Police, the DSS, the Military and others. “We also have other stakeholders in the management of security in the state, like the Customs, Immigration, Correctional Centres, Road Safety, NAFDAC, NAPTEP, KAROTA, vigilance groups and all other related security outfits. “So, in Kano State we have managed to bring all the agencies together under one umbrella where we regularly meet and get firsthand information from each other.
“This has complemented the community policing, where we have five level structures, right from the village to local governments to emirates and to state level; each one with specific composition of the security policing as members of the committee.” He added: “We have also embraced technology in managing our security networking in the state. “We have CCTVs all over, with a control centre in Bompai Police Headquarters, in my office and in the office of the DSS. “This has enabled us to visualise what is happening in the state, both in the day and at night. We also introduced a tracking system, especially for kidnappers.
“Today, we have the most powerful kidnapping tracking system, and it’s managed by the security. I don’t want to go into details of that because it is a security matter. “In our forests, before they were converted to the home of bandits, especially the Falgore Forest, I had to make a request to Mr. Pres-manident, Muhammadu Buhari, for us to use it as Army Training Ground, and he agreed to that.
“With the help of the military, we are converting the Dansoshiya Bush to a RUGA settlement where herdsmen would be settled. “We are providing water through the construction of Earth Dam, Veterinary Clinic, and artificial insemination, school for their children and market for the milk the animals produced. “It’s more than animal husbandry really. This will eventually reduce travelling of herdsmen from one end to another and that in turn will reduce the constant battle between the herders and the farmers. “All these are being done to make Kano State a safe place for all, but like I said earlier, Allah’s guidance is very important.
“We have also built along the major entrance into Kano metropolis what we call security dormitories. “There are eight of such dormitories and each has 70 armed security officers. This has enabled us to have control over the inward and the outward entrances.”