President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday noted that though he would continue to respect the Principle of Separation of Powers, he would not hesitate to use his constitutional powers to nip a situation with tendencies to sabotage security of Nigerians.
The President gave this hint while speaking to the Kano State governor, Alhaji Abdulahi Ganduje, on the disagreement he has with the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The Kano State governor had led a large entourage of Kano political elite, including some traditional rulers, but the Emir of Kano was conspicuously absent among the dignitaries.
It would be recalled that the governor and Kano paramount ruler had been at daggers drawn for a while, a situation that has led to steps that have been described as the state government trying to whittle down the influence and authority of the Emir of Kano.
However, reporting the exchanges between President Buhari and Governor Ganduje in a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President to the governor that though he had sworn to uphold the dictates of the Constitution, he still had grounds in the same Constitution to take actions when he realises that some other power plays might be threatening the peace and security of Nigerians are threatened.
“I know my role as the President of Nigeria. By the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Governor of Kano State has his own roles, once a matter is in the hands of the House of Assembly (like in Kano), the President has no constitutional right to interfere.
“I am here by the constitution, I swore by it, and I am going to stand by it. But let me tell you the bottomline of my understanding of the constitutional role is that peace and security of all Nigerians must be guaranteed, where the people are threatened, then I will use my constitutional powers”, the President said.
Speaking to the crowd of visitors, President Buhari advised the elected officials to live up to the promises they made to their constituents to justify the confidence reposed in them.
“I hope you are mindful of your promises to your constituencies. You went round and you promised your constituencies. I hope the promises you made are within the resources of your State. If you made promises outside your resources, it will be your problem because you are going to stand again in four years’ time. This is very important and it is important for our party.”
Governor Umar Ganduje who led the delegation, thanked the President for Federal Government projects in the State including: the Kano – Abuja road reconstruction; the modern railway from Kaduna to Kano, and from Kano to Niger Republic; the gas pipeline from Ajaokuta to Kaduna and from Kaduna to Kano; dualisation of Kano – Katsina highway; as well as the construction and equipping of new terminal wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
He also apprised the President of efforts of his government to make life better for Kano citizens especially in terms of security and education.
“We have done a lot in the area of security, even installing CCTV cameras in black spots and all major routes into Kano state. We also have a multi-purpose vehicle for monitoring, which has helped in arresting kidnappers and Boko Haram terrorists. We have also established an army training area.”
He said the State has also curtailed herdsmen/farmers clashes by establishing settlements.
On the disturbing phenomenon of out-of-school children, the governor said, “We used to have One Million out-of-school children but now we are down to about 400,000 on account of the new education policy which now makes schooling free and compulsory from basic to secondary school, complemented with free feeding, free uniforms and free instructional materials.”
He said his administration had also recruited 600 teachers to teach mathematics and English as well as 3,000 teachers for Almajiri schools that will be incorporated into the normal school system.
The governor also requested for Federal Government intervention in the completion of the Kano River Irrigation scheme; the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre; and desilting of the 24 dams in the State.