Kaduna women protest, petition Senate over delay in approving $350 loan application
Hundreds of women yesterday protested in Kaduna to the Senate over the delay in approving the $350 million foreign loan being sought by the state government.
The protesters who thronged the Ahmadu Bello Way, Muhammadu Buhari Way and other major streets of Kaduna, sent a petition to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki through the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali for a quick intervention in the matter.
They are worried about the delay in approving the loan by the state government, which is being srutinised by the Senate Committee on Domestic and Foreign Debts headed by Senator Shehu Sani.
The Coalition of Kaduna Women Group, under the aegis of the International Women and Youths Revival Initiative (IWYRI) led the protest, which saw hundreds of the demonstrators carrying placards.
The petition revealed that the wife of the state governor, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai and wives of the Deputy Governor and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) were among the patrons of the group.
Others are Hafsat Uba Sani, Zainab Bashir and the All Progressives Congress (APC) women leaders in the state.
In the petition, Convener of the protest, Lanti Waziri said: “We are deeply disturbed by the seeming politicisation of the loan processing and approval on the part of the Senate in the case of Kaduna State.”
Waziri, who delivered the protesters’ memo to the House of Assembly members, said: “We do not think it is appropriate to slow down the approval at this point in the history of the country and Kaduna State in particular.
“We are disturbed to note that while the committee has endorsed the applications of other states of the federation, Kaduna State appears to have been abandoned. This, we believe, is unhealthy for democracy, which supports equal opportunities for all.”
They, therefore, urged the Saraki to prevail on the committee to do the needful, adding that Kaduna State should have been the first beneficiary of the loan if the committee had considered the loan request early enough.
Meanwhile, an Operation Yaki van that was escorting prisoners from a court hearing fired shots into the air to scare the protesting women away when they almost blocked the way.
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