Lukman’s Letter: A Tumble From The Moral High Ground

By John Danfulani

Mr. Salisu Lukman enjoyed his constitutionally guaranteed right of expression and penned a 4-page letter to Comrade Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna state. His letter, dated 13th June 2024, is a nest of outlandish, frivolous, and comically-dry postulations and surreptitious conclusions. Raging anger and insincerity of purpose denied him the capacity to parade his thoughts in a logical fashion—including terrible repetitive juxtapositioning of keywords like “probe” with “proves” and “in” with “ni”. The speed at which he aspired to pour the kitchen sink on Gov.Sani must be responsible for his careless mixing of words and illogical cum bumpy presentation.

It’s extremely esoteric to understand the quintessential thrusts of Mr. Lukman’s letter. However, after my third attempt, I identified frivolous narrations, convoluted arguments, and conclusions on: the House of Assembly probe of local and foreign loans from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023, Gov. Sani’s one-man show style of governance , lack of strong-willed aides, the Gov’s democratic(Aluta) credentials, his intended 2027 electoral project, P-BAT/Uba conspiracies, and refusal of Gov. Sani to dissuade him from his resignation. There are numerous others, but they aren’t worth enumerating here and expending energy in their rebuttals.

In his page three, Mr. Lukman piqued “Although, you claimed to be among those who fought for democracy, I am not sure from the way you are managing things, you can justify your contributions to the struggle for democracy in Nigeria.” His statement challenged the democratic credentials of His Excellency and his contributions to the lethal struggle for the enthronement of democracy. This assertion is astronomically detached from empirical evidence and testimonies of heroes and heroines of democratic struggle in Nigeria. Gov. Sani’s sterling contribution to the struggle was recognized on 12th June 2024 in Mr. President’s Democratic Day Broadcast. Curiously, Comrade Shehu Sani recognized his contribution while giving a speech at the state house dinner on the same day. The rugged comrade put it like this: “Mr. President, even though the Governor of Kaduna State removed me from the seat, I will always remember that he was one of those who stood for us when we were in prison. He was among those who kept the torch of freedom alive while many of us languished in the cell”. If veterans of the struggle recognized His Excellency as one of them , who needs Lukman’s certification? On the struggle for democracy and social justice, His Excellency can hold a candlelight and walk past him majestically.

In his page one, paragraph one, he stated that “The last one year has been quite interesting and honestly has made everyone who genuinely wants you to succeed and wants the progress of the state to be worried. Worried about the direction you are going and about the fact that you have surrounded yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear. Anyone capable of telling you the truth is kept away.” This statement is belittling and a deliberate provocation of his aides and members of his executive council. And indirectly equating His Excellency with Inter Wars totalitarian leaders of Europe. This bogus claim is far-off the reality of a respectful and cordial working relationship between the Governor and people in the loop.

Gov. Sani’s love for inclusiveness and recognition of the opinions of others masterminded the establishment of the Kaduna Elders Council and other interfaith groups. In his one year on the saddle, he has interfaced and deliberated with these groups on a regular basis. And their discussions and resolutions are being reflected in the policies and actions of the Governor. If the writer were a keen follower of events in the state—as he wants us to believe, he would have seen resolutions of these meetings with numerous clusters. This absurd take and many others have rendered his fairy tale of a one-man-show governance in Kaduna state absolutely useless and worthless, like some waste tissues.

In his desperation to create a scapegoat of his personal political miscues that peaked with his resignation as a member of the National Working Committee of APC, he tried to shift the blame on Gov. Sani. For whatever reason he throws in the towel, why expect someone to dissuade you from walking away from what you can bear? Was he kicking under the illusion of indispensability and invincibility? By the way, how is persuading him to stay on the position part of the governor’s responsibilities? This is a classic paragon of scapegoatism from a so-called record keeper of those that contributed to the struggle of democracy in Nigeria.

He accused Gov. Sani of instituting the state house of assembly probe of his predecessor. He put it this way: “I sincerely don’t subscribe to proxy fight. It is true that it is the House of Assembly that initiated the probe of the loans during the tenure of Mallam between 2015 and 2023. However, there is no way you can extricate yourself that it did not come from you.” This is the highest mischief and falsehood that one has ever heard. He knows that the house is a co-equal branch of government that has the power to investigate everything done by the executives within a period so desired. His many contradictory statements on this have one ending—which is, he doesn’t like the probe and its apocalyptic discoveries. He is happy with the reign of kleptocracy of Mobutu Sese Seko’s height. He is cherry of impunitive disrespect of constitutional provisos and throwing of due process to the dogs. Mr. Lukman should get the 175-page document of the assembly, read pages 111-117 and the appearance of Jimmi Lawal and his testimonies on pages 73-76—after that, he will appreciate the effort of the assembly. Thereafter he will surely know that it’s not possible to finish abandoned projects worth billions of USD and Naira in Kaduna state.

He said the duo of P-BAT and Gov. Sani are behaving ala autocrat: “…both President Asiwaju Tinubu and you have alienated yourselves and you are behaving as autocrats and if left unchecked whatever has been achieved under this
democracy in the last twenty-five years will be destroyed.” At this point, it’s highly doubtful if he knows the characteristics of autocrats and the type of political systems that they operate on. How can products of democratic struggles turn autocrats after victories against authoritarians? The duo are respecting other branches of government, observing constitutional rituals of appearing before the legislatures, and respecting the independence of the judiciary and their pronouncements. Do autocrats do this? Citizens are ventilating their dissenting views 24/7 without harassment; do autocrats permit that? It’s incontrovertible that they are leaders that are expanding the frontiers of freedoms like no others. In case the writer wants to know how autocrats behave, he should ask Egnr Bawa Magaji Kufana, Chief Of Piriga, Mr. Stephen Kefas, etc., for a deep lecture of autocracy in a democracy.

Aside from protesting the legit probe of the lawmakers, his second strongest issue is to put P-BAT and Gov. Sani on notice that they have commenced a 2027 mobilization against them and their platform (APC)—should they seek renewal of their mandates. This statement can only be taken seriously by people who don’t have full knowledge of the political milieus of Kaduna state and Nigeria. How am I sure that he knows the number of electoral wards in Kaduna state and can mention a single political actor of consequence in each of the wards. Is he blind to the rising popularity of the C-in-C and the governor in Kaduna state? A clairvoyant spirit isn’t required to know that the social bridges Gov. Sani is constructing will yield electoral dividends that will make their challengers slam dunks. The way things are going, a gubernatorial race in Kaduna in 2027 with Gov. Sani on the ticket will be a mere formality of fulfillment of constitutional and electoral righteousnesses.

Finally, no struggler of justice, equity, democracy, and egalitarianism will wear a stone face on the legitimate work of the assembly that exposed kleptocracy, lack of adherence to financial procedures, Maladministration, brigandage, and abandonment of projects.Isn’t it ironical for a man launching his diatribes on moral high ground to places premium on friendship more than adherence to the ethos of democracy and laid down procedures in governance? Let it be known to him and his cohorts that Gov. Sani will stand by his oath of office and will never cave in because of primordial and mundane variables being peddled by the writer. And will never take his eye from the ball of transformation, building of social bridges, promoting a suitable atmosphere for investment, wealth creation, community engagement, and securing of lives and property of the people.

Onward to victory, Governor Sani.


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