Thursday, September 3

Group gives el-Rufai 48 hours to sack ‘wanted’ aide

A Kaduna-based human rights organisation, the Centrum Initiative For Development and Fundamental Rights Initiative, on Thursday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to sack his Special Adviser on Investment Promotion,, Jimmy Lawal.

The group alleged that the governor’s aide was on wanted list of the United State Government.

Executive Chairman and Director of Strategy of the CEDRA, Dr. John Danfulani, while addressing a press conference in Kaduna, said the governor should expect mass protest from civil society organisations after 48 hours if the special was not removed.

“That is if the governor fails to sack him,” he said.

He questioned the rationale behind el-Rufai appointing a man with alleged criminal records as his aide.

Danfulani claimed that when a person of Lawal’s character was allowed to work for the state, it will pain the All Progressives Congress’s administration in a bad light.

He said, “We will formally petition the governor on the need to sack a wanted man in his government. When that fails, we will be force to embark on a mass protest.”

At the press briefing, which was dominated by ex-governor Muktar Yero’s former commissioners, aides and the Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirants, the rights activist called on the governor to immediately sack Lawal, whom he claimed was “someone on US government’s wanted list”.

Meanwhile, the chairman also accused the governor of marginalisng the people of Southern Kaduna in the appointments of commissioners and other aides in the state.

He said el-Rufai’s appointments and retirement so far did not put ethno-religious composition of the state into consideration.

Danfulani argued that of the 13 commissioners appointed so far in the state, only four were Christians and the remaining nine were Moslems.

He added, “Of the remaining permanent secretaries in the state, only three are Christians. Of the most senior and key officers of his administration like Chief of Staff, Principal Private Secretary and Secretary to the State Government, none is a Christian and from Southern Kaduna.

“This lopsidedness in appointments is brewing hatred and further polarising a very volatile state like Kaduna that is known for its ethno-religious skirmishes.”

Efforts to reach the Special Assistant to governor El-Rufai on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan proved abortive as call to his cell phone indicated that it was switched-off while an sms was not returned.

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