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2023: Group sensitises Kano CSO’s on voting credible candidates

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Nasiru Yusuf

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, an advocacy group advocating for Good Governance and total liberation of the Nigerian masses “The Nigeria Agenda” has reaffirmed Commitment in enlightening Nigerians importance of choosing a leader who has Nigerians at Heart.

KANO FOCUS reports that The Nigeria Agenda comprises members of various political parties, civil society organisations, students, trade unions and community-based organisations.

The Chief Advocate of ‘The Nigeria Agenda’, Niyi Akinsiju appealed to Nigerians to elect credible candidates who have the capacity to take the country to promise land irrespective of their religion, ethnicity or geographical location.

Mr. Niyi Akinsiju

Akinsaju made the call during the inauguration of the movement in Kano and interactive session with the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs who are saddled with responsibility to step down the project to the grassroots.

Akinsaju said, “there is a need to band together in conscientious vertical and horizontal solidarity, the more than 280 different tongues-ethnic groupings, divided along the two mainstream religions, must transform into active leadership recruitment officers, conscious of their rights, duties and responsibilities as Nigerian citizens and made potentates in the democratic space by jettisoning base appeals to primordial differences. And, as a collective, demand of leaders, the requirements of social progression, economic growth, security of lives and properties at all tiers of government. And to that extent, emplace leadership that will ensure inclusiveness, transparency in government, and integrity in the business of governance rather than those that will excuse abysmal performance or criminality in the conduct of government on the smokescreen of ethnicity and religious persecution.

“This translates to making political leaders answerable for their deeds in office to the citizens; to ensure compliance by leaders to ethos of equity, equality, right of access to material assets, to justice, and to the enjoyment of unhindered peaceful existence anywhere we may find ourselves within the Nigerian geographical space without let or hinderance.

“These are the pillars on which the The Nigeria Agenda is pivoted, and to which we invite you to review and adopt, and to join us to amplify and propagate across Nigeria, conscious of our Nigerianess”.

He added that, “But as we aspire for greater economic returns and ennobling social conditions, the significance of recruiting the right kind of leadership at all tiers of governance to facilitate these is crucial. This is where the Kano political paradigm that I had romaticised earlier, applies; the recognition of our inherent and growing unity as a people because of our shared history and experiences, and the need to galvanize the capability to make leaders responsible and answerable to the people by acting and thinking beyond cleavages of our differences in the recruitment, evaluation and monitoring of the performances of political leaders.

“The Talakawa of Kano were able to transcend primordial sentiments by bonding around the virtues and attributes of their commonalities to achieving political ascendancy through  solidarity of a single mindedness to dominate the political space for the good of the people.

“Indeed, the choice of Kano is the outcome of a rationalisation that was premised, not only on the city’s central positioning in Nigeria’s Northwest geopolitical zone, but more significantly, because of its robust history of citizens’ engagements made manifest in the historical sublimity of the Talakawa political culture and tradition that still define the politics of the city and to a large extent, the politics of the State in contemporary times.

“Thus, while citizens, especially of the social and economic category perjoratively described as commoners, in other states of the Nigerian federation, in bemoaned their burden of existence and listless fate under a political system materially dominated by an elite minority, which is usually driven by narrow self interest that mostly bothered on selfish expropriation of collective patrimony, the Kano commoners, the Talakawa, had long ago found and aggregated a common social, economic and political identity and purpose in their numbers. And, earlier than any citizens’ movement anywhere in the country, made commitments to not only the contest for democratic power, but to, by concrete class action, insist on making the people the centre of both government and governance working through the covenant inherent in the Sawaba Declaration of Principles of 1951.

“This inaugural advocacy of The Nigeria Agenda is held here, in Kano city, in deference to this precocious act of political self enablement and activation, consumated about 71 years ago under Mallam Aminu Kano, the teacher, whose boundless humanism inspired a mass based peoples ideological movement and a political trend that is still a reference item in the simplicity of its context and at the same, its conceptual sophistication which helped the ordinary people overcome spurious divisions in their ranks. And, in honour of those patriots that have continued to propagate and sustain the ethos of that era.

“Whilst Kano’s political and ideological pedigrees provide a strong ground to host this advocacy, we equally find an alluring proposition in the testimonials of the political activism of its political history, which continues to evolve through contemporary times, as a paradigm of adaptation for The Nigeria Agenda,” Akinsiju however stated.

Others who spoke at the occasion include former Adamawa state commissioner of information Ahmed Sajoh, Chairman Council of Ulama, Kano State Shiekh Ibrahim Khalil and factional Chairman of All progressive Congress APC Kano Chapter Ahmadu  Haruna Zago represented by Idris Haruna Zago.

Shiekh Ibrahim Khalil

The group have also paid homage to Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero where Bashir Muhammad Dankadai (Dan Kadan Kano) hosted them on behalf of the monarch.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the project will be extended to all six geopolitical zones.

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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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