The decision of relevant stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party in Kaduna State to present Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan as the party flag bearer for the second time simultaneously since 2015 is no doubt an expected choice that many believe, will yield the desired result for the state.
Alhaji Isa Ashiru’s poise, great personality and charisma which has contributed to his strength made the party repeatedly trust him as the right man to do the job.
He is known by many to be a good man, whose human and material management skills are proven and was also known to have created hundreds of jobs, groom local talents and a very proactive person in handling problems of any kind.
This explains his mission statement on his present gubernatorial quest, where he insists that all people must be given equal opportunities to attain their full potential through purposeful leadership.
However, contrary to the conclusion of some armchair analysts in the state and beyond, Hon. Isa Ashiru’s oratory prowess especially, in English language is satisfactory to say the least as was witnessed by all members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Kaduna state council when he was at their secretariat, to unveil his five point Agenda.
The PDP gubernatorial candidate, while at the Kaduna NUJ secretariat listed the Agenda to include, Security, Agriculture and Rural Transformation, Women and Youth Empowerment, Education, Science and Technology as well as Health and Social Welfare.
Talking on the Agenda, the gubernatorial hopeful re-emphasized that it was the responsibility of the government to provide security for it’s citizens as enshrined by the constitution hence, the need for government at all levels to do its utmost in tackling the problem.
He assured that if elected, his government will improve and energize the state security outfit, set security committees at the ward level, establish an active state wide vigilante outfit with support and supervision of the security agencies.
Ashiru Kudan underscores that his government within the first one hundred days in office when elected, will deploy the expertise of retired Military Generals, Police Chiefs, Religious and Traditional Leaders to holistically proffer lasting solutions to the problem of security in the state.
He promised to increase his support and cooperation to Security Agencies in the state and also strengthen interfaith mediation organisations, while the Traditional Institutions will be co opted into areas of peace maintenance, alternative dispute resolutions, community campaigns and sensitization among others.
On the issue of Agricultural transformation, the gubernatorial hopeful stressed that his administration will increase productivity in the sector and create more jobs for the teaming youths in the state.
Ashiru said they would resuscitate and strengthen the functional capacity of Kaduna Agricultural Development Project with relevant agencies and also make cooperatives key cornastone in their Agriculture policy if elected.
He also re-emphasized that at the state and the local government levels, fertilizer procurement and distribution will be done at subsidized rates, adding that practical steps will be taken to improve modern farming through mechanization.
In the area of Education, Alhaji Isa Ashiru reiterated that education was the backbone of any nation thereby assuring a downward review of high school fees in some of the institutions in the state.
He assured that a committee will be set to review the education system, and that people who cannot afford it must be given the opportunity because it is a social responsibility and they are duty bound to give people what is due to them, as no one is doing them any favors.
According to the PDP gubernatorial candidate, special attention will also be placed on science and technology in secondary and tertiary institutions while community participation in agriculture will be encouraged.
The candidate, while speaking on health and women empowerment, explained that his government will give attention to both Primary and Secondary Health Care and will also ensure adequate support to reduce poverty among women and youths respectively.
The gubernatorial hopeful lamented the high indebtedness the state was facing as a result of the loan taken to build infrastructure but promised to harness untapped mineral resources and other sources of revenues within the state to improve its internally generated revenue.
He said as a result of the loan taken, Kaduna is the second most indebted state in the country, promising not to over tax Kaduna residents while servicing the loan, but instead, use all judicious means to block all leakages.
He disclosed that Kaduna has more than 14 natural resources, and nickel which is the best natural resource in the world is also found in some parts of Kaduna, but unfortunately, just lying untapped.
Talking on the moribund textiles industries in the state, the gubernatorial hopeful assured that his government if elected will give high priority to it.
Alhaji Isah Ashiru’s quest to also uphold the thirty five percent affirmative action of women representation in government as provided by the PDP if he emerges as Governor is worthy and tells the calibre of man he is. He promised that women would be given the voice and platform they need to contribute their quota.
Unknown to many, Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan has been around since the return of democracy and is working tirelessly to ensure Kaduna State returns to the years of prosperity and dignity where everyone will be respected and not exploited, assuring that all regions in the state will be treated fairly.
The PDP gubernatorial candidate will no doubt as Governor activate possibilities in the state and justify the trust placed on him by his supporters, because he has the passion and compassion and the technical know-how to lead the state to the promised land.
At the center of politics is the people and their well being and every right thinking government must do everything possible to cater for, and provide the needed environment for its citizens to thrive.
And a critical segment of the society for any government worth its name is the weak, fragile and poor who need to be helped to get their feet on the first rung of the ladder of economic prosperity. With a poverty rate of over 50% , there is no gainsaying that Kaduna state needs a focused and compassionate leader at this point in time and the electorate will need to vote wisely in 2023.
Edward Auta is writing from Kaduna