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2023 election: Northern states Civil Society Networks rate INEC low



The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) performed below expectation in the last presidential and National Assembly elections across the country.

KANO FOCUS reports that they tasked the electoral umpire to brace up to the challenges and perform better during Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections in Nigeria.

The Conference regretted that most Nigerians were not satisfied after the conduct of February 25 elections by INEC.

Addressing Journalists at Tahir Guest Palace, Kano, Chairman of the Conference, Ambassador Ibrahim A. Waiya stated that, “the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on the 25th February by INEC has fallen short of the standard of all elections practices and ethics.”

According to him, “INEC has raised so much credibility question on its name and created doubt on the minds of Nigerians regarding INEC preparedness to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in Nigeria.”

He, however, expressed happiness that, “timely distribution of electoral materials especially to LGAs offices were really commendable. Quick responses to BVAS issues on the election day were also impressive. The Election was on a general assessment peaceful.

“The Nigerian security agencies like EFCC, DSS, NDLEA, NSCDC, Nigeria Police Force had performed wonderfully well in ensuring peaceful polls during presidential and national Assembly elections, and that they would continue with the work in the next elections.”

Waiya said it was unfortunate that, “the elections were highly polarized along religion and ethnicity.”

The Conference noted that, “compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2022 must be observed to ensure electoral credibility in Nigeria.

“Electoral offenders of any kind must be punished under the laws of the country to discourage others from perpetrating electoral offences again in Nigeria.

“Those found in the act of intimidating and suppressing voters at polling units must be made to face the wrath of the law no matter how highly placed they are.

“The impunity of the state governors during elections must be addressed to checkmate their overbearing interference in elections.

“It is imperative for INEC to review all evidence of electoral malpractices presented before the commission in the interest of peace and security as political party and party processes must be reformed to tackle issues of money bags and Godfatherism in Nigeria’s politics. Where the political parties fail to get it right, it is absolutely impossible for Nigeria to get its general election right.

“Issue-based campaigns must be encouraged rather than identity sentiment along religion and ethnicity

EFCC should continue with their good work to reduce the commercialization of the electoral process through vote buying and selling.”

Waiya regretted that, “the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections were poor, especially with the attitude of the commission to ditch result transmission from polling units across the country.

“This singular act has given room for suspicion of human interference and manipulation of results and could prune the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll.”

Further speaking during the Press Conference entitled: “The Conduct of Elections and the question of integrity,” Waiya said: “The 25th February, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections had keenly generated a lot of attention from within and outside the country.

“However, this may not be unconnected on how Nigeria is strategically positioned as the largest democracy in Africa.

“Many organizations both local and international had passionately observed the conduct of the elections, especially the local organizations who have been on ground and have been following the trend since the release of the elections timetable.

“Many civil society organizations had observed the conduct of the elections across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

“While in some states there were other complementary efforts such as hosting of the election situation room which were focused on data collation and analysis, as well as quick response mechanism to address emerging issues such as what was obtained in Kano State

“Although there were many assurances from the Independent National Electoral Commission before the conduct of the elections, on its preparedness to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

“Unfortunately, what was witnessed during the conduct of the presidential elections on the 25th Feb. fell below the high expectation of the Nigerians, who had have the high hope more than before, to witness a historic elections in the country. This could be evidently justified by the number of Nigerians that registered as voters numbering to more than eighty five million, all as eligible voters who could participate in the elections.

“It is however unfortunate that, the number of Nigerians that participated in the last elections of 25th Feb. were apparently not happy with the outcome of the elections especially as the elections were massively characterized by many irregularities. Although some of the shortcomings that marred the conduct of the elections, could be summarized into pre, during and post elections.

“The undemocratic tendencies played out during the pre-election phase, which bordered on lack of internal democracy in the political parties processes that produced the candidates of major parties, had an over spelling effects on the conduct of the general election.

“For instance, the commercialization of the party elections that produced candidates at the primaries, had institutionalized vote-buying which eventually translated and resurfaced in the general election. In addition to the above, the violence that also accompanied the campaign activities which were turned bloody in some states, such as Kano, and some other parts of the country.

“These ugly practices therefore transcended into mass electoral violence in a number of places during the presidential election.”

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How KaLMA boost learning outcomes in Kano state



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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Education: Stakeholders begin review of SBMC policy in Kano



SBMC leaders

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


Stakeholders in the education sector have commenced the review of Kano State School Based Management Policy (KNSBMP).

KANO FOCUS reports that the review was jointly facilitated by Professors Aisha Abdul Ismail and Suwaiba Ahmad.

The event which was conducted between 16th – 17th May, at Tahir Guest Palace was supported by Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE).

The stakeholders were selected from State ministry of education and its parastatals; state and local government leadership of SBMCs and representatives of Kano State Accountability Forum on Education (K-SAFE).

The two day event was also attended by a one time Permanent Secretary in the state ministry of education Alhaji Danlami Garba.

The workshop reviewed the existing policy to ensure that it is still relevant, effective and aligned with the educational goals and values of Kano state.

The stakeholders have proposed three layer leadership structure for SBMC in Kano consist of school, local government and state executives.

They also proposed the expansion of executives committee to include marginalised groups and security personnel to reflect emerging issues such as safeguarding and gender in schools.

The stakeholders would reconvene to adopt the reviewed SBMC policy after harmonisation of proposed amendments.

The School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) concept emerged in the late 1980s and was subsequently championed by the 1990s-global reform in education which, in turn prompted the institutionalization of the SBMC in Nigeria.

In 2005, the National Council on Education (NCE) at its 52nd session approved that all schools in the country should establish School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) to ensure that communities participate in the school decision-making process.

Kano State in 2010, developed its SBMC policy with the support of the UK-aid/DFID funded-Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) using a participatory approach that involved various stakeholders across the state.

KANO FOCUS reports that PLANE has supported Kano state government in reviewing several education laws and policies including teacher policy, gender policy among others.


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How gender stereotyping hampers girl child education in Jemagu town



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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