The Emir of Kano, HRH, Aminu Ado Bayero yesterday, Thursday, June 16, 2023 told Nigerian women and young people to stop complaining and instead leverage their voting population to get elected into political offices.
The referred traditional father spoke through Councillor for Health, Kano Emirate Council, Dr Basheer Mohammed on the sideline of a one-day We-You-Pro dissemination and close-out meeting held at a hotel in Kano.
We-You-Pro is an Action Aid Nigeria campaign for the inclusion of women and young people in politics and governance processes. The 18 months duration project engaged 600 mentees in two States of Kaduna and Kano between September 2021 and March 2023.
According to him, “if women and young people failed to get what they want in politics it is their fault. This is because they have the power, the voting number which they can use to get what they want.
“If you add women and young people, they form more than 70 percent of the voting population. So if they decide to unite and form women and young people political pressure groups or even a political party, they can use either to decide who becomes what in Nigeria.
“No need to complain. All they need to do is to organise themselves and finance themselves. N100 or N50 contribution based on their number, they will raise campaign money to get what they want”, he added.
Director of Programmes, Action Aid Nigeria, Hajiya Suleiman Suwaiba DanKabo, who stood in for her Country Director, Ene Obi said her organisation has been in Kaduna and Kano States for close to two years for this project.
“It is a short project but the achievement is much. For example, political parties have shifted ground to allow women and young people to participate in politics.
“Again, we saw great perseverance in young people who tried to pick nomination forms and where they were denied, they moved to other parties. Several women have come out and they have participated in different spheres of engagement and that gives us happiness.
“Yes, the number of women who got elected in the 2023 elections is fewer when compared with the 2019 elections. However, the number of women that came out this time around is more.
“We need to do a reflection on why a lot of them did not get elected. I strongly believed that the general situation like voter apathy, and cash crunch also affected them.
“So, preparation should start early. Women and young persons should build their courage and maintain the momentum ahead of the next elections and hopefully, a lot of women and young people will be elected”, she opined.
Speaking on behalf of the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), Technical Advisor, Mr. Yemi Abodunrin said “we are a member of a consortium that led the We-You Pro. Our role was to support the project with the communication needs.
“After a stakeholders exercise in Kano, we developed a communication strategy on the need for women and young people to get engaged in politics. We are glad that one of the impacts of the project is the coming up of women and young people who ordinarily would not have been deeply involved in the electoral process”.
On her part, We-You Programme Coordinator I’m Kaduna State, Mrs. Hannatu Ahuwan who spoke through Programme and Communication Officer with Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women, Mr Femi Johnsonappreciated Action Aid Nigeria and UK Aid / FCDO for partnership for the success of the project.
According to Femi, his organisation was glad to be a part of the project as it aligned with its vision and mission statement which is geared towards creating awareness on fundamental human rights to women, youths and vulnerable persons.
“This project has indeed empowered women and youths and the achievements are deepening political changes in Nigeria. The gains of the We-You pro project are massive and should be sustained”, he added.