The Kwara North Advocacy Group (KNAG) has called for increased political participation by the Kwara North people ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group, led by it’s convener, Comrade Jibrin Abubakar Jiyade, made the call during a media parley with the Association of Kwara State Online Media Practitioners (ASKOMP).
According to Jiyade, the group was born out of the need to advocate for the fair inclusion of Kwara North and its people in the governance system of both Kwara State and at the Federal level.
“More than anything, the group has taken upon itself to champion political participation of our people in order to actualize the desire for progressive growth and development of Kwara North, this is through the process of democratic governance, enlightenment, education and solidarity,” Jiyade said.
He explained, “As you may know, Kwara North is a senatorial zone in Kwara State which covers Five (5) Local Governments of Baruten, Edu, Kaiama, Moro and Patigi with about 1.2 Million people. Despite the huge population density, the region has been at the back seat not minding its huge potential in Agriculture that has been the strength of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. The other two senatorial districts have had a fair share of the bargain at the detriment of Kwara North.
“The obvious backwardness of the entire district has largely been blamed on the elites of the other two political districts who according to available statistics control the critical decision making positions and resource of the state leaving Kwara North out of the scheme of things as it concerns and affects the people.
“Again, the failure of the people of Kwara North to speak loudly and act accordingly to chart a united front have also been blamed for the systematic marginalization of the region, particularly in inclusion in governance.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999, Kwara North Senatorial district has not had a shot at the governorship seat. This is not because the district does not parade eminently qualified persons but the people on their part have accepted the position of second class citizens foisted on them in their own State. This perhaps come as no surprise to you, you already have an illustration of how things are in the State since 1999.”
Jiyade added, “Gentlemen of the press, Kwara North did not assume the discouraging position it found itself today in one day, neither will it attain the ideal position within the same space. However, by some well-crafted strategic working of our group, we hope not just to bridge this gap and deficit but move the region substantially and quickly to assume her pride of place in the emerging redistribution and power balancing within our state of harmony”.
He highlighted the work-plan of KNAG to include:
- Championing the Advocacy for the emergence of a Kwara Northerner as Kwara state Governor in 2023.
- Audit of current level of political involvement of local content from our catchment area of northern senatorial district. By this, search light will be beamed on the current political office holding pattern to determine how active Kwara North is in the present scheme of things and make a strong case for findings and subsequent development in that regards.
- By effectively mapping the political space and level of involvement will increase advocating and enabling viable platforms that can aid the recognition and choice of more talents from the region. By seeking political participation of Kwara Northerners in politics, we will also be working to remove all identifiable impediments. One of the many ways we hope to go about this is through massive awareness campaign for Voters registration, political participation and sensitization of voters using all the medias and other legal available means.
- We hope to erase the perception of the north being a people to care for without necessarily requiring their input. Issues of policy making and their implementation as it affects the region at all levels of government, are issues that will preoccupy KNAG. Available opportunities from the state and federal governments will effectively be domesticated through education and enlightenment to mobilize popular participation. This is aside from making a case for the region on similar issues on wider platforms for desired results.
The group said it would seek support of the people from the other two zones (Kwara South and Central) to drive home its vision.
“Our task is such that requires understanding from the politicians most especially the political gladiators in the state, and we trust that majority of them would follow the path of fairness,” Jiyade noted.