The Kano State Elders Forum has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop Governor Abdullah Ganduje’s plan to borrow about N300bn from China for a light rail project in the state.
The group in a petition to Buhari accused Ganduje of planning to plug the state into needless indebtedness with the white elephant project, a liability several generations may find difficult to bear.
The forum asked the President and other concerned authorities to intervene to save Kano from multiple indebtedness beyond the current liability.
SaharaReporters gathered that the Kano light rail project was one of the major causes of the break down in relations between former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and Ganduje.
Sanusi had in an investment forum in 2017 castigated the rail project.
He said at the time, “At the end of the day, what do you benefit from it? Your citizen will ride on a train and when you ride on a train in Northern Nigeria, in a state like Kano or Katsina, where are you going to? You are not going to an industrial estate to work.
“You are not going to school? You are not going to the farm. You borrow money from China to invest in trains so that your citizens can ride on them and go for weddings and naming ceremonies.”
Meanwhile, a group of youths under the umbrella of Collation of Kano State Students, Youth Parliament and Youth Traders Association on Monday held a protest in support of the governor’s move to take the loan for the light rail project.
The group in a letter of solidarity signed by its Chairman, Rabiu Ibrahim, commended Ganduje for repositioning the state into an economic hub and tackling infrastructural deficit.
The letter reads, “With due respect and honour, we acknowledge your projects for the development of Kano State especially the light train project, Kano ultra modern market located at old Daula Hotel and street beautification with modern bridges such as Alhassan Dantata Bridge, Dengi underpass, Kofor mata Bridge, Katsina Road underpass.
"The main reason for our gathering is to condemn those who call themselves Kano elders while they have not contributed anything to the development of Kano State.”