The Vice-Chancellor Bayero University Kano, BUK, in collaboration with organizing partners, which include Stallion Times and Non-Governmental Organizations held a 2023 town hall meeting with Gubernatorial Candidates in Kano. Other partners are CITAD, PERL, ARTV, NUJ, Kano Focus, Rahma Radio and Television, Kano Charter, FOMWAN, Hasken Kano, Freedom 99.5 FM, CAGSI, Express 90.3 FM, United State Institute of Peace, Nawoj, Charity and Vulnerable Support Initiative, KASTU, and Gashash Foundation.
This is the fourth of such events, though, the previous three episodes (2011, 2015, and 2019) were debates organized for the gubernatorial candidates in the state.
For 2023, the town hall meeting with twelve of the outstanding candidates vying for the governorship position was conducted on Saturday at the Sa’adu Zungur Auditorium, Mambayya House, Gwammaja, Kano. Another session with six other governorship candidates will be held on Sunday at the same venue.
The town hall meeting is an avenue for all participating gubernatorial candidates to showcase their blueprints and entertain questions from citizens in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In attendance were candidates from four political parties which include Sani Ibrahim of the Allied People’s Movement, (APM), Eng. Bashir Ishaq of Labor Party, (LP) Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP) was represented by Bar. Haruna Isa Dederi, a member representing Karaye and Rogo Federal Constituency and the State Secretary of the NNPP Campaign Directorate, and Alh. Nuhu Isa of the Zenith Labor Party (ZLP) was represented by Sanusi Ahmad.
Maijama’a Adamu of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Kano, and Aishatu Sule, a former Director of the Abubakar Rimi Television (ARtv) moderated the event stating the rules governing the town hall meeting.
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor, BUK, Prof. Sagir Abbas, represented by Prof. Abdullahi Sule Kano, Deputy Vice-Chancellor on Research and Development, said: “This is a peaceful meeting among the contestants and people of Kano State.”
However, Prof. Kano, talking on issues around education, health, unemployment, and others, tasked candidates to work diligently towards embracing democratic rules and shun plutocracy, a system of government of the rich for the rich.
Presenting his blueprint, Eng. Bashir Ishaq of LP revealed that “in the past 7 years of the present administration, Kano State Government has spent over N569 billion on building roads, bridges and flyovers, over N121 billion on Education, over N33 billion on Agriculture and over N113 billion on health but the Education, Agriculture, and Health only benefited 4.7% of the budget, these are pitfalls as these sectors are given less priority.”
“My government will strengthen Education, Agriculture, Health, unemployment, youth development and also tackle the issue of electricity, if elected as the Governor of Kano State,” he said.
Sani Ibrahim of the APM said his government will scrutinize and strengthen security by integrating people at the grassroots level to tackle the challenges of insecurity.
He revealed that his administration will work to see development in the whole of Kano state, a reason for which his blueprint has SWHEEP (School, Water, Health, Education, Electricity, and Power) as the main priority areas.
He added that: “We will implement local government autonomy and also supervise them.
“My government if elected will restructure the Tsangaya system of education, Western Education, curtail drug abuse and trafficking, put measures in place to tackle the menace of rape, and also create job opportunities for the ever-growing population of young people.”
“We will strengthen food security, enforce taxes to generate internal revenue, provide quality health care, youth development and education.”
The representative of the NNPP’s candidate read out the 13 points agenda of his party which includes; access to quality Education, Agriculture, infrastructural development, youth and sports development, environmental control, and management as well as industrialization and commerce.”
He said the NNPP gubernatorial candidate will change the face of Kano State and develop a functional state system.
The high point of the town hall meeting was the questions and answer session by participants who cut across different walks of life.