Suleiman Hunkuyi, the 2023 governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Kaduna State, has pledged to reinstate traditional rulers sacked by the current government if he wins.
Addressing a news conference on Saturday in Kaduna, however, Mr Hunkuyi said he would reinstate the village and district heads when he assumed office.
He said this was because of their critical roles in his government, which include maintaining harmony and ensuring community security.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration sacked 313 district heads and 4,453 village heads in June 2017 to restructure traditional chiefdoms in the state.
Part of the restructuring was to reduce the burden of a bloated payroll imposed on local government councils by the continued engagement of the district and village heads.
He added that the NNPP would also reverse the recent increase in school fees in state-owned tertiary institutions, stressing that public education institutions were not for profit.
He expressed concern over the more than N307 billion debt profile of the state, which he said could be higher with the continued devaluation of the naira against the dollar.
He said if successful at the poll, the NNPP government would reprioritise the state’s budget to address growing insecurity.
“We will engage communities to see how our villages can contribute to existing security architecture in the state to ensure the safety of lives and property.
“We will realign the budget to address insecurity, youth unemployment and increase investments in agriculture to create jobs and ensure food security,’’ he said.
Mr Hunkuyi expressed optimism that the NNPP would take over power in Kaduna State in 2023.
He explained that the party was conceived to address existing problems confronting the state and the country.
The governorship candidate said the party provides a platform for all-inclusive governance that would take residents of Kaduna State to a new horizon where all Nigerians live as one.
“Our party will ensure fair representation, particularly for people of southern Kaduna who have been marginalised over the years in the governance space and in terms of development projects.
“What NNPP stands for is all-inclusive governance that stands for each and every segment of the state,” he said.
The candidate said political space in Kaduna was widely open for NNPP to take over in 2023 because of the humane and all-inclusive leadership style of the party, which resonated with the people.
Source: People Gazette