From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Ahead of the lifting of the embargo on the 2023 election campaigns on Wednesday September 28, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) Mrs. Hannatu Ahuwan said her organisation in partnership with Partnership for Issue-Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN) supported by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL-FCDO) have successfully conducted a one-day (batch ‘B’) public policy dialogue with governorship candidates in Kaduna State.
The partners had last week through various citizens accountability mechanisms engaged for candidates (batch ‘A’) who were Hayatudeen Makarfi of People Redemption Party (PRP), Jonathan Asake of Labour Party (LP), Andrew Duya of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and John Ayuba who is the running mate to Isa Ashiru of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Those engaged this week (batch ‘B’) are Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Sen. Uba Sani of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Hon. Isa Ashiru of the People Democratic Party (PDP) who joined the dialogue via zoom as he was presently out of the country.
The Kaduna State Coordinator of We-You-Pro and Acting Executive Director of Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) Mrs. Hannatu Ahuwan remarked that her organisation in partnership with Partnership for Issue-Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN) supported by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL-FCDO) has jointly brought governorship candidates and the citizens together so they can be on the same page on their blueprint and development agenda.
According Hannatu, her organisation was a part of the engagement to advance the involvement of women and youth in the electoral process in Kaduna state adding that, the We-You -project, being implemented in partnership with Action Aid and funding support from FCDO was also galvanizing citizens-oriented governance.
“What we want to see is the political class and those in leadership positions working with the people, listening to the people, and addressing the people’s concerns and development aspirations.
“This dialogue is very critical such that when they eventually get into office, they will build on the understanding already established with the electorates to address their concerns,” she said.
Earlier, Lead Partners, PICaN, Mr. Yusuf Goje said the event which is the second in the series, was to deliberate on citizen groups agenda and candidates’ blueprint with a view to obtain development commitments in key sectors.
Goje, who presented the citizens’ demands, said that the issues cut across education, health, social protection, and other cross-cutting issues affecting persons with disabilities, market women, women, and youth groups among others.
On his part, State Team Lead, PERL Mr. Abel Adejor said his organisation was supporting the creation of platforms for party candidates and citizens to discuss and agree on collective issues of interest if elected.
“So, the meeting provides an opportunity for citizens to present their issues to the candidates for consideration in their manifestos for campaign and governance programmes”, he said.