‘I Warned Them, Hour Of Reckoning Is Here’ — Shehu Sani Reacts To Kaduna’s $350m World Bank Loan

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Former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, says during the time he kicked against the $350 million World Bank loan request by the government of Kaduna State under Nasir El-Rufai, he was was insulted.

Recall that Uba Sani, Governor of the State, disclosed that the state is heavily indebted and unable to pay salaries owing to inherited debt.

Reacting to the Governor’s statement on the huge debt profile, Sani said if his advice had been heeded, Kaduna would not have found itself in the present predicament.

Sani and two other senators from Kaduna State — Suleiman Hunkuyi, a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Kaduna North Senatorial Zone; and Danjuma Laah of Peoples Democratic Party representing Kaduna South-Central Senatorial Zone — in 2018, rejected moves by El-Rufai to take a $350 million World Bank loan.

Sani and Hunkuyi eventually lost their bids for re-election and were replaced by Uba Sani and Suleiman Kwari who lobbied for the approval of the loan.

Eventually, the senate rejected the loan request by the Kaduna state government, following stiff opposition by the three senators from Kaduna state.

At the time, Sani was the chairman of the committee on local and foreign debt — the senate panel that rejected the loan.

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El-Rufai, while flagging off a campaign for local government elections in Kaduna in May 2018, angrily rained curses and insults on Sani, Hunkuyi and Laah for rejecting the loan and called on the people to “shave their beards and heads whenever they come to Kaduna.”

Despite the opposition, El-Rufai confirmed the approval of the loading in 2019, explaining that he had backed up the loan request with pictures of rundown schools.

“The hour of reckoning has come for every citizen of the state,” Sani said, in a chat with newsmen on Sunday.

“I was insulted for saying no to that loan. The hour of reckoning is here to every person in Kaduna state.

“Just like the way Lot (in the Bible) warned people, prophets of the past warned people, but they refused to hear and then you see pedition and affliction.

“In the same way, I warned the people of this state, but they were told that the money will bring paradise — land of milk and honey.

“Today, you can see the problems at hand as far as that loan was concerned.

“If you look at what I said about this state, there has never been any of my predictions that has not come to pass.

“Today the state is strangulated because of that money which we couldn’t pay.

“We borrowed $350 million when the naira was N400 to the dollar and we are going to pay when the naira is what it is today,” he added.

The socio-political commentator added that if people had heeded what he had said and “understood me and agreed with me, we couldn’t have been where we are today.”