July 20, 2024

$1.8bn Kano Rail: Ganduje’s Aide, Dawisu counters Emir Sanusi on Chinese loan claim


The former special adviser on Media to ex-Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, Salisu Yakasai, also known as Dawisu has refuted the allegation made by the 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi that he severally warned Ganduje against taking a proposed $1.8 billion China Loan to construct 75-kilometre Kano rail.

Dasiwu made this clarification on Wednesday through his official X handle.

His reaction comes as Emir Sanusi in a recent report explained why he tackled the 2015-2023 government under Ganduje in 2017 over the proposed $1.8bn rail project.

According to Emir Sanusi, he fell apart with Ganduje when he warned the then government against taking the loan because it would have plunged the state into a debt trap.

He added “I took the nuclear option of going public to stop it.

“Today if that loan had been taken, the government would not be able to even pay salaries. So, for these 30 per cent of educational budgets (that the Kano government allocates to the education sector), the money would not be there because it would be going to servicing debt. And look at the exchange rate today, N1,500 against the Dollar which means that the money would have become N3 trillion to build 75-kilometre of rail. In the end, I took the nuclear option of going public to stop it. That was the first time I almost lost my throne. But for me, if I had remained on the throne by keeping quiet for the next 40 years in a city where the government could not provide employment, education, healthcare, infrastructure and the like. it was not worth it”, he said.

However, Dasiwu said Emir Sanusi’s claim is not entirely accurate. He alleged that Emir Sanusi never advised Ganduje privately contrary to the claim.

“Gaskiya Sarki, this isn’t entirely accurate. An online newspaper was the 1st to report what Sarki Sanusi said at the Kaduna Investment Summit in 2017 on the Kano LightRail project. When I read the news I immediately decided to go to YouTube and watch the video, knowing fully well how these online click baits are, and I listened to SLS on Channels, mocking Ganduje for going to China to spend 1 month, looking for a loan to build a train which people will use to go for weddings and naming ceremonies, basically what he said.

“At about 12:15 am that same night, after the news about mocking Ganduje’s rail project had gone viral, SLS called me on the phone and started talking to me about how he was misquoted about the now viral news. Toh me I watched the video earlier and I knew exactly what he said and definitely, he wasn’t misquoted, but we kept talking on the phone for over 3hrs wallahi, basically trying to convince me to believe he was misquoted, and me, I couldn’t say it’s not true so I kept listening against my will cos it was so late and I needed to sleep.

“In the morning, when I got to work, whenever Ganduje came out from his residence to go to his office, I, the protocol, ADC, and Chief Detail were the 1st to see him. After I greeted him, I moved closer to him and said Sarki Sanusi called me last night Baba on the issue of his remarks about our light rail project, Ganduje asked me was the one who called him or if he was the one who called you. I said Wallahi he was the one that called Sir, he asked again what was misquoted by the press, and I said no Baba. He said, “But why will he do this to us? Why can’t he come to me personally and advise me if he feels it’s not a viable project?” He said kyale shi kawai. That’s how we ended the conversation there and went to work.

“Now to read here that SLS advised Ganduje multiple times against the project privately is untrue, his 1st comment about it was in Kaduna, publicly. I can also affirm that whenever SLS needs to see Ganduje, Ganduje always offers to go to the palace privately for the meeting, and sometimes SLS will offer to come over to the government house. So, to the best of my knowledge, Ganduje has always given SLS an open-door policy.

“Many have argued against the viability of the project, but let’s tell the story as it is without sugarcoating it”, he said.

Recall that Emir Sanusi was dethroned in 2020 by the Ganduje government before he was recently restated by the current government led by Abba Yusuf.



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