Women, Youth forum pledge support for Jonathan in Kano
Although Kano State is one of the hotbeds of opposition in the politics of Nigeria, the state has some peculiarities that made it unpredictable for analysts living outside its borders and sometimes, these can also confuse those who are even active players in the state political field.
The peculiar nature of this strong All Progressive Congress (APC) state and the sophistication of its politics has opened the door for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through the activities of a number of women, youth and students groups, to have some level of influence in the polity.
These pro-PDP groups have provided a fertile ground for the party to flourish at this period of campaigns towards the March 28 presidential elections.
With these developments coming few days to the poll, the PDP has been mending fences and garnering support from sections of the society and this climaxed with the recent declaration of support for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s reelection bid by many women, farmers’ associations, students’ bodies and youth movements at a rally held in Kano.
The rally was attended by thousands of Jonathan supporters and convened by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Schools Agricultural Program, Baraka Sani.
According to Sani, “PDP remains the best party for the youth; therefore no progressive youth should be left behind. PDP remains the best party for women, farmers, housewives, traders, artisans and everyone that want to achieve success and contribute in Nigeria’s drive towards building a truly democratic nation devoid of rancor, bloodshed and confusion.”
To prove to the PDP supporters that the grand declaration was not a product of one day toil, coordination and commitment she disclosed that: “over the months, different bodies have under my coordination made passionate demands to have a safe and secure platform for which to announce and endorse their political choice, thereby exercising their constitutional rights.
“Therefore, my role as the conveyer today, is to provide the shade for every one of us to endorse our candidate and restate our faith in the administration of President Goodluck (Mainasara) Ebele Jonathan.”
Sani further told the participants to always ensure that language differences are not made the yardstick for understanding a good leader from a bad ruler, warning that, “Nigeria today is standing on the threshold of history, hanging loosely at the mercy of the choices we make or fail to make.
“Do we plunge back to the foot of all the tragedies of our recent past in the name of change? Or do we stand together in unity, transform our country in brotherhood, even though tongue and tribe may differ, and lead our people to the future as exemplified by Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the present administration?”
The presidential aide saluted the courage and patriotic posture of the participants and also charged Nigerians to work hard to be “counted on the side of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, having been satisfied that he remains a better manager of the affairs of our dear country for the sake of unity, consistency, compatibility, eligibility and collaboration towards a developed economy, that can stand global competition.”
A standing ovation greeted Sani when she listed some achievements recorded by Jonathan administration, which touched many areas like power, health, sports, economy, education, agriculture, infrastructure, justice system to anti-corruption and national security, among others.
Challenging APC’s condemnation of Jonathan administration Sani said, “In the last four or more years of the life of this administration, we have witnessed huge transformation in virtually all spheres of life through the implementation of policy programs that are beneficial to the development, growth and progress of our country.
“Under the agricultural transformation agenda of this government, so much has been done. In fact, the greatest so far, since Nigeria attained its independence, which resulted in moving Agriculture to a new level of Agriculture being a business and not a mere vocation.”
While debunking allegations that the Jonathan government was paying little attention to the development of the North, she said, “It is on record that no Nigerian leader has equaled the giant strides of this government in the pursuit of welfare and the well-being of our people. I make bold to say that from day one, the interests, values and sensibilities of the North have enjoyed a primacy of attention in this administration.”
In her condemnation of those manipulating religion to cause confusion in the polity she said, “from the religious point of view, the PDP government under the leadership of President Jonathan has shown huge respect for our faith and belief, including attending to issues that affect us as Muslims with speed and dispatch.”
One of the leading voices of women farmers in Kano, Balaraba Saad, urged women groups from other trades to join hands in supporting Jonathan in his re-election bid assuring that when re-elected the president would give more percentage of political positions to women in furtherance of affirmative action initiative.
According to her, “We want show to all Nigerians that we are pleased with all the gigantic efforts put by this administration in the areas of women development. We are also pleased with the way our representative at the federal level Baraka Sani is representing us.”