President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that he was constrained by the constitution to intervene in the dispute between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Emir of Kano, Mr Muhammadu Sanusi 11.
But the President also said that he swore to uphold the peace and security of the people of Nigeria and that where the people are threatened, he will use his constitutional powers.
Speaking when he received the governor and newly elected legislators on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, from Kano State, Mr Buhari assured that the separation of powers between the Federal Government and the states notwithstanding, he has enough grounds in the constitution to ensure that the security of Nigerians is not compromised.
In his remarks on the dispute between the Emir of Kano and Governor of the state, the President said: “I know my role as 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 bottom-line 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.”
Buhari, according to the statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, advised the elected officials to live up to the promises they made to their constituents to justify the confidence reposed in them.
He said, “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.”
Mr 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.
He said “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 working on the 24 dams in the State.