His Excellency, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State was in Zaria today, Tuesday, 3rd May, 2022, for the traditional Hawan Bariki durbar, which was hosted by His Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, Malam Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli. At the great show, he delivered the following remarks:
1. Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to Almighty Allah for His mercy and benevolence. He has permitted us to see and complete another Ramadan, and we give Him all the thanks.
2. It is with immense delight that I receive Your Highness and the highly esteemed members of the Zazzau Emirate Council today. Hanwa Bariki has become part of the tradition of Eid el Fitr celebrations, and we can all consider ourselves privileged to uphold it.
3. We welcome Your Highness, and we assure you of our deep respect for the traditional institution. As you are aware, we have enacted the Traditional Institutions Law to help modernise the administration of our emirates and chiefdoms, clarify the mode of succession to each of our graded chiefdoms and emirates, as well as reduce the intrusion of caprice into their management.
4. Many of our citizens retain a special affinity for their traditional institutions. This has placed our royal fathers in unique positions to encourage citizens, mobilise them to vaccinate children and record births and deaths, promote peace, gather information and sustain traditional networks of dispute resolution and communal cooperation.
5. It has pleased Almighty Allah to enable us celebrate Eid el Fitr. Again, we give thanks for this. We know that citizens in some of our communities fasted and worshiped amidst lingering fears and anxiety about their security. The Kaduna State Government continues to do everything it can to mobilise and support the federal security agencies to defeat the terrorists and criminals that menace our people. It is an obligation that we have treated with the utmost seriousness since our very first day in office back in 2015. You will recall that my first official action as governor on 29 May 2015 was to summon an emergency meeting of the State Security Council which held on 30 May 2015, with the specific purpose of identifying the security threats across the state and finding answers to address them.
6. One outcome of that meeting was the decision to collaborate with the governors of the other states in the North-west and Niger State to fund a joint military operation to clear the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest swathes in the Birnin Gwari axis of cattle rustlers hibernating in the ranges that cover Niger, Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara States. While this action decimated the criminals, it is a matter for regret that the necessary follow up operations were not sustained by the security agencies. Seven years later, we remain convinced that comprehensive, simultaneous military and security operation in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Plateau and Niger states is vital to stopping the terrorists and reasserting the authority of the Nigerian state in the ungoverned spaces.
7. We created a specialised Ministry of Internal Security, and we continue to support the federal security agencies with logistics and other resources. We are engaging the highest echelons of government and the security structure on resolute action to protect the lives, liberty and livelihoods of our people. The criminal elements are being assisted by a network of informants in many of our communities. We call on the traditional institution to mobilise their networks to expose these informants and support the security forces with local intelligence.
8. This farming season, I wish to appeal to our people to farm massively wherever they can, to feed their families and the society at large. We are aware that in some places, farmers have been attacked, abducted, or even killed while working their fields. While that is being tackled, it is important that we should all get involved in farming. That is a concrete way to reduce hunger and food price inflation.
9. Your Highness, the political processes to select candidates for the 2023 general elections have started. We call on our people to participate vigorously in this democratic process, and to make it a peaceful exercise in the freedom of choice. It is important to the integrity of the process, and to the safety of citizens that everyone should conduct themselves with respect for law and order. We appeal for responsible behaviour and decent utterances all through the push and pull of political competition.
10. Your Highness, we cannot expect sustained development without a properly educated citizenry. That is why we have introduced free and compulsory education for the first 12 year of schooling. Despite removing the financial hurdle to education and imposing a lawful obligation to send all children to school, we are still contending with a significant number of out of school children and the persistence of street begging. We urge the Zazzau Emirate Council to join us in instilling in parents the importance of sending children to school and compliance with the law against street begging. We also need the support of our communities to nudge our youths away from drugs and to expose those dealing in these deadly substances.
11. I wish to once again thank you for this visit. We have just 12 months left to complete our tenure in Kaduna State. I assure you that we will end as strongly as we started. We are determined to complete the projects of our urban renewal programme and leave physical infrastructure, human capital development, governance reforms, internally generated revenues and investments much better than we met them.
12. God Bless Zazzau Emirate. God Bless Kaduna State. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you for listening.
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