Governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, has explained that he put his children in public schools in fulfi lment of his campaign promises to people of the state. Two of Masari’s children are reportedly in Family Support Secondary School, Katsina.
Th e governor also said the ongoing judicial trial of his predecessor, Ibrahim Shema, over certain alleged misdemeanours was not personal. He made the clarifications when he hosted members of the Standing Committee of the Nigeria Guild of Editors at the weekend in Katsina. Addressing his guests, the governor said, “those of us living in Katsina promised during our campaign to enrol our children in public schools and a[lso use public health institutions. I decided that my children and those of my commissioners must attend public institutions so that other children will benefit, and they (the commissioners) will bring their influence to bear on the school.
“When we came, we undertook a census of children of school age in every household and we had a rough estimate of one million. However, there were no classrooms to match the figure. At that time, there were at least 76 pupils per class (both primary and secondary schools), in about 5,700 plus of classrooms and 10,000 teachers, while a conservative sum of N48billion” was needed to sort out the mess.
The governor recalled how most of the classrooms built by the State Universal Basic Education Board collapsed under two years of construction, saying that was not acceptable to his administration. Describing education as the pride of a Katsina man, Masari claimed that “the northern pride started here, anybody who represented Nigeria from the Northern Nigeria started here. “Between 1999 and 2013, 258,000 from Katsina state sat for WAEC, only 28,000 passed including English and Mathematics, and 58,000 passed NECO. Our plan for education is for 20-30 years.
Why did Lagos, up till Kogi, have 80 percent, and Katsina , Sokoto and others here have 20 percent?” On his relationship with former Governor Shema, Masari said it was not personal but rather issue-based. While recalling that as governorelect, elders within the state invited the two of them on the need for peaceful transition, “and I gave them my words that If Shema says he purchased this paper for N100,000 or N1million , I will never ask him.
” Th e governor who was not ready to go into further details of what transpired at the said meeting, said “we are only asking for money taken in cash from the bank, we are not probing contract. So, my friend, I don’t have anything personal against Shema. I am not taking land giving out by Shema.
In fact, I returned over 300 plots of land to the owners. “EFCC is asking for owners of the houses and nobody is coming up. Anyway, we will meet in court. I repeat, nothing personal against him. I don’t have a personal relationship with him to the extent of having something against him.”