I will be accountable – Sha’aban
From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Ahead of March 11 governorship election in Kaduna State, civil society groups working on health, education, agriculture, social protection, youth and women, persons with disability, budget, governance among others have drilled the Candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Alhaji Sani Mahmood Sha’aban for about 2 hours 30 minutes on his plan for the state if elected the next governor.
The Partnership for Issues-Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), Legal Awareness for Nigeria Women (LAWN) with support of ActionAid Nigeria and Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL/FCDO) are facilitating the one-on-one hybrid policy dialogue with governorship candidates in the state after two joint series earlier held in different locations and times.
During the engagement, the ADP flagbearer in the state, Sha’aban, promised to be accountable to God and all groups of people in the state if he emerges the winner.
“I have been persistent and determined to govern Kaduna State so I can help the people in the State to have a first-hand experience of what good governance is.
“People have been asking me to come and lead them and that was what happened in 2007 when I was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives.
“I am a successful economist. I will make sure people collect their pensions and entitlements as often as they are due for them.
“Even when the current administration may have done well in some areas, there are angles where human capital development has been forgotten that need precision intervention. For example, you have roads, but there are no people to ply those roads because many of them are jobless.
“Economic activities are killed. We need to create small medium-scale industries because they are the key driver of the economy. We will create means of livelihood, and employment opportunities for our teeming youths coming out from school every year.
“So, our administration will stand firm on consolidation of the existing good developments, innovation, and confirming what needs to be confirmed instead of probing.
“I will govern Kaduna under the fear of God knowing that even hereafter, whatever I do, God above is seeing me even when humans are not. Where I’m not supposed to keep what is not mine, where I suppose to pay Paul what belongs to Paul and Peter what belongs to Peter.
“Let me add that, I have also been involved in several nongovernmental organisations because I believe in human capital development and that whatever I have should go to the less privileged.
“I believe in the sincerity of purpose, commitment, and accountability. I don’t witchhunt people. I don’t believe in putting tears in the eyes of anybody. I don’t believe in making a family of anyone sad.
“My greatest excitement and happiness will be to see that the day I will be walking out from that office, people are weeping for me not to go and I tell them I must go because my time is up.
Earlier, Acting Executive Director, LANW, Mrs. Hannatu Ahuwan, described the engagement as a new dawn in political space in the State saying, “for us, it is a good thing that political candidates are availing themselves to be engaged by the citizens.
“It shows that our democracy is growing and our politicians are beginning to have a sense of engaging with the people which will help them to inform the development in governance they will want to present to the people.
“We pray this type of engagement continues even after the election. We also hope that issues around health, education, human development, infrastructure, empowerment the civil society have considered useful to help the state would be given top priority if you win the race”.
The moderator and Lead, PICaN in the State, Mr. Yusuf Goje said, one of the objectives of the hybrid dialogue was to provide an interactive platform for candidates to publicly present the content and context of their blueprints beyond rhetoric to specifics.
Goje added that civil society groups have gone beyond the idea of politicians just telling them something like ”I will do this I will do that”. Citizens want to know about the blueprint these political office seekers have developed beforehand because citizens are now better informed and asking their prospective and substantive political representatives relevant questions that can lead to good governance.