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2023: Yiaga Africa hosts young Northern Candidates in Kano



Nasiru Yusuf




About 150 young candidates contesting for political offices in northern Nigeria converged in Kano state for the Yiaga Africa and NotTooYoungToRun convergence 4.0.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Convergence 4.0 is a capacity-building event aimed at training young candidates on the tenets of leadership and governance.

Speaking at the occasion the Development Director of the British High Commission, Christopher Pycroft, has tasked young Nigerians to join politics as their role in political leadership and governance generally is hugely important for Nigeria’s development and democracy.

Mr Christopher Pycroft,

Mr Pycroft explained that “Your active participation as young people is critical to the quality and outcomes of Nigeria’s democratic engagement and progress.”

Adding that “Nigeria is a young country with an average age of its population is just over 17. But young people are too often excluded from Nigeria’s political processes, left without a voice, without influence”

“Inclusive political participation is crucial to building stable and peaceful societies, and to building an effective social contract that establishes the relationship between the state and its citizens“ He added.

Cross section of participants

The Development Director described the passing of the “Not Too Young To Run” Bill as a major milestone.

“It was followed by a clear increase in the number of young candidates and elected officials at the last general election”

“From 5.1 percent of elected officials in 2015 to 6.6 percent in 2019, a modest increase, but an important trend.” he applauded

He explained that despite recording 76 percent of newly registered youths since the last general elections.

Cross section of participants

Adding that, yet at the 2019 general elections, only 46 percent of young people turned out to vote at the Presidential and National Assembly elections

“YIAGA Africa’s assessment shows a decline in young candidature from 2019 to 2023.” he pointed

Mr Pycroft stressed that young women are being further left behind in the push to strengthen youth political participation in Nigeria as women accounted for less than 5 percent of elected officials in the 2019 general elections.

“Nevertheless, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment to youth and women’s participation by organizations such as YIAGA Africa and other partners in the room” he said.

The Development Director revealed that the UK has been a long-term strategic supporter of Nigeria’s democratic journey.

Cross section of participants

Adding that “we believe that peaceful, transparent and credible polls in 2023 are fundamental to consolidating the gains of Nigeria’s democratic journey.”

The Development Director pledged that the British High Commission will continue to support and work with YIAGA Africa and its partners to secure a more inclusive and strong democracy.

Cross section of participants

Earlier, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo vowed to mobilize support for young politicians vying for elective offices especially those who have competency, character and capacity to address the underdevelopment challenge facing the nation.

Itodo, said the participants were drawn from the northern parts of the country and were mentored and exposed to understanding the electoral law, INEC guidelines, technical resources, leadership skills, and political communication among others to prepare them ahead of 2023 general elections.

Mr Samson Itodo

He said that the aim of the movement is to create awareness on the need to enlighten the youth to summon courage to replace the expired politicians who constituted themselves to the progress of youths in the country.

He noted that the population of the country was dominated by young people but they were not having chance of being elected into governance of this country, a situation that the Yiaga Africa is selling to the youth to wake them up from slumber.

According to him, the political leaders in this country were in minority going by the huge population of the youth in the country.

He however noted that the call is yielding result because for now, “we have elected members between 25 years and 39 who ran offices in 2019 and won their elections.

“Today, over 48 percent of candidates presented by political parties for 2023 elections are young people.”

In his presentation Deputy General Editor of Daily Trust Newspaper Abdulaziz Abdulaziz identified some obstacles that poses seeious challenge to young candidates in including lack of inexperience and resources to favourably compete with veterans politicians.

Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

He therefore advised them to leverage on effective political communication to stand out of the crowd.

“With veterans and moneybags, some of whom have been in the game since the return to democracy in 1999, the space is very competitive. The young aspirant, often by default the person with the least political experience and financial muscle, would have to be ingenious.

“You need to market yourself and your vision directly and aggressively to the electorate. You are your number one

marketer. In marketing yourself, the first and most important issue is defining your vision or message. You need to be clear and definitive about this,” Mr Abdulaziz advised.

He stressed that “To achieve preferability in the minds of the voters. You need to communicate, effectively, in order to stand out from the crowd. You therefore need to reach out the voters as aggressively as you can.”

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Abba Kabir Yusuf urges ‘victory trekkers’ to cancel plans, seeks prayers



Aminu Abdullahi 


The Kano State Governor-elect, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has urged his supporters and members of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) to embark on prayers for ingenuity and guidance for his leadership towards delivering the dividends of democracy.

KANO FOCUS reports that this is contained in a statement in Kano on Wednesday by Spokesperson of governor-elect Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa.

The prayers, Yusuf said, are sufficient as a show of solidarity and celebration of his victory at the polls on Saturday and not miles of trek by some of his enthusiasts in some quarters especially given the state of insecurity with banditry, kidnapping and terrorism threatening peaceful movement of people and goods across the length and breadth of the country.

Yusuf also pledged commitment to improved infrastructure and good welfare for the aged, civil servants and private sector among others in the state.

“The incoming Kano State Government will be committed to a greater future of the people with security, health, education, economic, infrastructure and good welfare for aged, civil servants and private sector among others”, he said.

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Gawuna, APC reject Kano governorship election, ask INEC to declare exercise inconclusive



Aminu Abdullahi

All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in the last Saturday gubernatorial election, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna on Tuesday rejected the declaration of Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party NNPP as the winner of the poll in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that Gawuna in his first public appearance after the poll, spoke during a press conference by the party in the state capital.

The Deputy Governor who admitted that power comes from Almighty Allah, however said he aligned with the positions of the party which among others gave INEC 7 days ultimatum to declared the governorship poll inconclusive.

Gawuna who was in the company of party leaders, said it was astonishing that with the same election, 16 of the House of Assembly elections held same day and same conditions were declared inconclusive by INEC.

Meanwhile, the APC in Kano has rejected the announcement of Abba Kabir Yusif of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as winner of the just concluded governorship election in Kano calling for immediate review of the election result by the electoral umpire within seven days.

The APC chairman, who was represented by the party’s legal adviser, Abdul Adamu Fagge insists that the election should be declared inconclusive because the cancelled votes were greater than the margin between the first and the second parties of NNPP and APC respectively as provided by the Electoral Act.

Fagge said that there was no way the election could be declared conclusive with over 270,000 votes cancelled which a margin shows is bigger than the winner’s votes.

The party also drew attention to the cancellation of sixteen House of Assembly elections in the state, sighting violence as the reason, while the same votes were considered in collating the governorship election.

It expressed dismay saying the two elections took place same day, same time, same places and under the same circumstances.

Fagge said, “based on section 65 of the Electoral Laws 2022, we have written to INEC to revisit and cancel the hasty, wrong and selfish declaration of the NNPP as winner of the elections, and declared the conduct inconclusive”.

He said they have since written to INEC to within seven days revisit the elections based on the provisions of the Electoral laws and declare it Inconclusive.

The Legal Adviser  explained that INEC Returning Officer, acted not on the only basis of the provisions of laws.

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Kano govt lifts dawn to dusk curfew



Abdullahi Ganduje

Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

The Kano State Government has lifted the dawn-to-dusk curfew imposed in the state.

KANO FOCUS  reports that the state government on Monday imposed the curfew with a view to avoiding a breakdown of law and order.

The order followed tensions generated from the collation of results of the governorship and state Assembly elections.

The state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Muhammad Garba, made the announcement lifting the curfew in a statement issued on Monday night.

He said the decision to lift the curfew followed a careful review of the situation and the relative calm throughout the state.

The commissioner called on commercial banks, public servants and the people in the state to continue their normal activities.

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