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Fresh political feud erupts between Kwankwaso and Ganduje

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Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

A fresh political feud was erupted between governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his former boss Rabiu Kwankwaso.

KANO FOCUS reports that the new crisis started on Sunday when Kwankwaso said Ganduje lost his reelection bid in 2019 but powerful forces imposed him on the state.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Kwankwaso described the alleged imposition on Kano residents as the “worst crime in a democracy”.

The former governor said many have realised their mistake and are ready for real change in the state in 2023.

“This country is fully aware that Ganduje lost the election in 2019 in Kano, but the powers that be ensured that they imposed him on the majority,” he said.

“They imposed the will of the minority on the majority which is the worst crime in a democracy. I think everybody is paying the price now. I think some of them are trying to correct their mistakes now after the maximum damage made to the state. It is very unfortunate that many people could not see what the masses were seeing.

“There were reasons he would not have been allowed to contest in 2019, but the powers that be at the time insisted that he should continue. The masses decided to do what the leaders couldn’t do. They still came out to use power at that time and those of us who believe in peace didn’t want to start a crisis in Kano.”

The former minister said there are many young people joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 polls.

“Instead of us being weak, they are the ones getting weaker. Every day, we have people, the masses crossing to our side. Many of them who were below 18 years of age during the last elections, but are now of age, are coming to register with us,” he said.

Kwankwaso said direct primary mode is more democratic but governors do not want it because their power will be curtailed.

“After practicing the indirect primary, I can easily compare and say the direct one is more democratic and better than the indirect,” he said.

“One thing that I believe is that the governors and other powerful people will never want to approve a direct primary because the power will get out of the government houses and land in the hands of the voters and members of the party.

“So, they will never want it.”

Ganduje fires back

In a swift reaction, the Kano State government has dismissed a claim by the former governor that Ganduje did not win the 2019 gubernatorial election but imposed on the people by powerful forces.

The Commissioner for Information, Kano State, Muhammad Garba, in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Ganduje won election not imposed, KNSG dares Kwankwaso,’ refuted the claim, saying that Kwankwaso managed “a well-organised election rigging network, particularly in the metropolitan local governments, where youth, mostly without even voters’ card were engaged to perpetrate the act.”

According to Garba, “It was vividly clear that barely hours into the voting, most of the ballot boxes were said to have been stuffed, only for the Independent National Electoral Commission to discover that either card readers were not used or the voters are not captured in its data and therefore had to cancel the results from many centres and declared the election inconclusive.”

He noted that it was unfortunate that as a leader who was severally involved in the election process, Kwankwaso is still contesting the result of an election conducted by a statutory body and upheld by courts of law.

The commissioner said, recently, Kwankwaso was in the media cautioning his followers against unguarded utterances but ended up making incendiary rhetoric unbecoming a person of his calibre.

He said the interview Kwankwaso granted Sunday PUNCH in which he “attempted to rubbish the Ganduje administration” has done him more harm than good which completely negates the spirit of genuine peace and reconciliation he preached to his followers in the last few days to avoid derailing.

Garba stated that Kwankwaso should have thanked Ganduje for completing many of the projects he abandoned, saying that the people of Kano are paying the price for the unparalleled policy of continuity that saw the completion of many projects in the last six years in the state.

He enumerated the projects to include “Aminu Dantata Flyover, Yahaya Gusau Road and Prince Audu Underpass, Five-kilometre roads in Dawakin Tofa, Ungogo, Warawa, Rano and Tofa local governments; Mahmoud Salga Road, Jaba-Rimin Kebe Road, Independent Power Project at Tiga and Challawa Dams, among many others.”

On education, which was the centrepiece of the Kwankwaso administration, the commissioner noted that as far as education is concerned, the Ganduje administration has done more, including payment of burden of over N15bn backlog scholarships to needy students overseas left by the Kwankwaso administration.

He said that N3.5bn had been paid for students in Sudan; N4.5bn for Cyprus; N384m for those in France, while it is paying students in Egypt and India.

Garba said, in addition to implementing the Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education, the Ganduje administration has carried out massive infrastructure development in all its tertiary institutions and accreditation of many courses they offer.

He, therefore, assured Nigerians that despite the agitation for reconciliation that is ongoing among party leaders, the Ganduje administration would accordingly react to any attempt to downplay “the achievements it has recorded and will not be distracted from carrying on with the responsibility for which it was elected into office.”

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How KaLMA boost learning outcomes in Kano state

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Students in classroom

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Kano Maths and Literacy Accelerator (KaLMA) has boosted learning outcomes in 181 schools across Wudil and Dawakin Tofa local government areas.

KANO FOCUS reports that between January and August 2021, when in-person teaching resumed, the number of primary school children with foundational skills in Hausa and maths grew by 18 per cent, and in English by 11 per cent.

The programme’s impact on lower-level skills was even more significant, rising by 37 per cent in Hausa, 36 per cent in maths, and 39 per cent in English.

Students in classroom

The programme has already reached over 37,000 children and 1,200 teachers. Plans are now in place to extend its impact to 450 schools and 3,000 more teachers in five other government areas of Kano.

Some of the parents said they are impressed with the way they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in the communities.’

They revealed that “Children were not reading in our schools, but they are doing so now in schools with the coming of KaLMA.”

Teacher in classroom

KaLMA is supporting children in Kano state, to build the foundational and language skills they need to succeed.

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, KaLMA is a partnership between the British Council, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, the Ministry of Education, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa.

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How gender stereotyping hampers girl child education in Jemagu town

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The trauma of not being able to get husbands after higher education has continued to discourage many parents in Jemagu from sending their girls to school, most especially as their boys hardly go beyond secondary school.

KANO FOCUS reports that in Jemagu town Warawa Local Government Area of Kano State, girls hardly go beyond secondary school because they would find it very difficult to marry as their men don’t usually go for those who go beyond that level.

Men in Jemagu believe that girls who go beyond secondary school would have experienced some social life that would make them very difficult to control. Residents said their children’s education, especially the girls, began and ended in Jemagu primary and secondary schools.

Babangida Adamu is among the men in Jemagu who believe that it is not proper to marry a girl who has gone beyond secondary school. He added that girls who acquire higher education would not like to marry men who have no formal education.

Babangida Adamu

“The truth is that any woman who acquired higher education would not like to marry a man with lower education. I will also not marry a girl who has university degree because I do not have a degree. This is why most men will not like to marry girls with higher education,” Adamu said.

A 25-year-old Khadija Muhammad Jemagu, who recently obtained a diploma in Marketing from the Kano State Polytechnic but does not have government job or husband, said she had resorted to helping a non-governmental organisation to promote girl-child education in her community. She believes there is the need to intensify awareness among parents on the importance of girl-child education.

According to Khadija, many people have told her that since she has chosen western education, it would be difficult for any man in her village to come close to her because the men believe that she is wiser than any man that may be willing to marry her since most of them do not have more than secondary education.

“Even before I finished my diploma, many people would go about saying that since my father had chosen to send us to school, they would see who would come and marry us. And for several years I have been living like this because in this our village, no man has ever come to me with marriage proposal, simply because I have a diploma,” she said.

Jemagu primary school

But despite this belief in Jemagu, some girls like Hussaina Muhammad are still trying to obtain a certificate on education, but there is no man within the community willing to marry her at the moment. She, however, insists that her educational ambition is a priority.

But Hussaina believes she can still get a husband within or outside her community provided she becomes well educated. She vowed that insult and discrimination from men within her village would not discourage her ambition.

“After secondary school, I started my National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme here in Warawa, but you know the belief our people. They see us as prostitutes; therefore, no one will come to offer his hand in marriage to us. But I will not be discouraged because I believe that whenever it is time for me to marry, God will definitely bring a husband for me,” she said.

Zainab Makera was able to get married after secondary school. She wants to proceed but is faced with a difficult choice – to further her education or stay with her husband. She said she had been trying to convince her husband to allow her continue but she was told that if she really wanted to continue with her education, she had to get divorced.

Zainab Makera

Meanwhile, few women who were able to convince their husbands to allow them proceed beyond secondary school “are constantly being rejected by community members,” said Hussaina.

According to education authorities in Warawa Local Government, this belief is not the only problem affecting girl-child education in Jemagu.

Lack of commitment by parents, especially mothers, may have worsened the situation over the years.

“There are several reasons why girls don’t go to school frequently; few of them have to do with the attitude of their parents, especially women who often sent their female children for hawking and other domestic works that stop them from attending classes,” said Munnir Muhammad, an education secretary in Warawa.

On the issue of girls not being able to get husbands after attending higher institution at Jemagu, Munnir believes that the problem is not only in Jemagu or Warawa Local Government.

“It is a general societal problem in northern Nigeria, where men, especially those with formal education usually reject women with higher education. Additionally, the government is working with parents-teachers associations, mothers associations and other relevant stakeholders to improve girl-child education in Warawa Local Government.”

Jemagu town, Warawa local government area

Meanwhile, residents said apart from poverty among the local community, lack of awareness by government authorities and poor education infrastructure, the problem of water supply in Jemagu village is forcing many children, especially girls, to skip school because they have to travel long distance to fetch water for the house. But government authorities assured that the problem of water supply in this village would soon be a thing of the past.

While recognising the threat of rejecting girls beyond secondary school as a major problem affecting girl-child education in the area, the caretaker chairman of Warawa Local Government, Lamido Sanusi, acknowledged that the problem of water is another major issue at Jemagu village. He said their ambition was to ensure that every girl-child is educated from primary school to university level without any form of discrimination across all villages and towns of Warawa Local Government.

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Hajj 2024: Kano asks NAHCON to reverse BTA issuance via card

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Director General of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Lamin Rabi’u Danbappa has described as unjustified, the decision of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to pay part of the Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, for this year’s Hajj via payment card.

KANO FOCUS reports that the DG made the call at a meeting to discuss the issue pertaining the BTA at he board’s headquarters on Thursday.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had issues a directive to state pilgrims boards pilgrims to pay $200 BTA in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible by the pilgrims via card in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement by the board’s spokesman, Suleman Abdullahi Dederi, Danbappa pointed out that “many pilgrims come from rural areas and may not be familiar with using cards to access their funds in Saudi Arabia.”

Danbappa therefore called on the NAHCON to reconsider this decision, noting that “it imposes additional hardships on the pilgrims, who are already facing challenges due to the high Hajj fare this year.

“The Director General emphasized that requiring pilgrims to use cards in Saudi Arabia could lead to numerous problems during the Hajj exercises.

“He stressed that the BTA is intended to assist pilgrims and should not be a cause of confusion or difficulty,” the statement reads in part.

He urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the BTA is provided in a manner that genuinely assists the pilgrims, without complicating their experience.

The statement added that the Chairman Board of Directors of the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan, led the meeting to discuss the issue pertaining to the BTA.

Lawan stated that the board had recently received a directive from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria regarding the BTA process.

According to the directive, pilgrims will receive only $200 in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible via card in Saudi Arabia.

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