Media trust debate: Kano voters optimistic with candidates’ manifestoes


Participants at the Media Trust debate for Kano State governorship candidates have expressed optimism that if the candidates will stick to the manifestoes they reeled out, the state would benefit from whoever emerges the winner of the March 11 governorship election.

They gave their views shortly after the debate on Saturday, where three of the four invited leading candidates reeled out their plans to address various issues if given the opportunity to govern the state.

The candidates that participated in the debate were Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bashir I. Bashir of the Labour Party (LP) and Mohammed Abacha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was absent.

Speaking with our reporters after the event, the chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in Kano, Dr Gwani Farouk Umar said, “The candidates appear to have a common understanding as there was no abuse. It was very diplomatic and they contributed a lot.”

He, however, said it would have been good if they individually shared their plans on security.

“We thank Media Trust for organising this debate. It was a very educative and fruitful exercise,” he added.

Also, a veteran communications scholar, Dr Abubakar Shehu Minjibir said, “All the three at the debate proved to be articulate and knowing what they were talking about.

“It is definitely a development. If we can be having debates like this, I think we would succeed in fielding or voting the right candidates in our elections.”

On his part, a renowned political analyst, Professor Kamilu Sani Fage said, “Everyone of the candidates has a programme, which if implemented, would help develop the state.

“To some extent, I am satisfied with their position on certain issues, like water, trade, commerce and agriculture, but I am not satisfied with the way and manner they talked about education. I think they didn’t give education the right priority it is supposed to have, especially given the fact that it is the engine of growth of every society. There is no country that is developed above education.”

Why we chose Kano, four candidates – Mikailu

The Group Executive Director, Digital and Editorial of Media Trust Group, Malam Naziru Mikailu, while delivering his welcome address, explained that the company decided to invite four candidates to its debate in Kano State because data showed that the parties the invitees represent were the ones leading nationally.

“There are four candidates in this debate, but we know that more than four are contesting this election. We do not mean to prevent anyone from reaching out to the people through this platform, but we settled for this number because of what data shows nationally.

“We have no other interest to protect but that of the public. The right to vote and be voted for as enshrined in the constitution must be respected, so we have the utmost regard for all the candidates in the election and could have brought everyone under a roof if we could. However, circumstances did not allow that,” Mikailu said.

On why Kano was chosen to host the programme he said, “The history of Media Trust is incomplete without our dear state. Many of our directors and stakeholders are from here. Our second largest office as a media company is in Kano. Many of our readers are in Kano, most of the active voters in Nigerian elections are in Kano. When Kano sneezes, Nigeria catches cold. Our country is incomplete without this great state. Therefore, I can guarantee that we made the right decision on our choice of Kano for this important event.”

The event, tagged, “Trust Nigeria 2023 Elections Debate,” was moderated by Dr Suleiman Suleiman, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trust and chairman, Editorial Board of the newspaper.

The management team of the company was led by the Group Executive Director, Finance & Corporate Services, Malam Nura Daura; the Chief Operating Officer of Trust Television, Ibrahim Shehu and the General Manager, Northern Operations, Abdullahi Mainasara. Alhaji Aminu Dangana, Director, Media Trust Group, was also in attendance.The candidates spoke on reasons they should be the next governor of the state, known for booming commercial activities. They also highlighted their policies on education, commerce, agriculture, water and sanitation, housing and infrastructural development, social policy.

I’m here to serve – Gawuna

The candidate of the APC, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, said he had the requisite experience to govern the state, saying, “With the experience I have gathered in both public and the political sector, where I rose from the position of a local government chairman to a deputy governor of Kano State, I am humble enough to say that I can govern the state. But I am here to serve the people of Kano State by their choice.”

Gawuna, who is also the deputy governor of the state and former commissioner for agriculture, however, said he would treat the agriculture sector differently from what the present government is doing if given the opportunity.

Free education not sustainable – Bashir

On his part, the candidate of the LP, Bashir I. Bashir, challenged the present administration’s free education policy, saying there is no way education can be free. He said what the government should rather invest in the sector, and at most, subsidise access to education for the masses.

He said the current free education policy in Kano had plunged the state’s schools into crisis of decadence, which further affected the future of children. But the candidate of the APC disagreed with him, saying free education is possible everywhere in the this ad

What I’ll do differently – Abacha

Mohammed Abacha, the candidate of the PDP, who said Kano was the most backward in terms of quality education in the country, promised that if elected, he would focus on reviving the educational sector to ensure a great future for the leaders of tomorrow.

On how he would generate revenue to run the government, Abacha said, “The important part is how to work outside the box. You have to create a value chain that gives you what you need. Our people are very good at commerce, but the truth is that we need to do something unique and beneficial for our people.”

Why I missed debate –  Yusuf

Meanwhile, Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the spokesperson of the NNPP candidate, has explained that his principal was absent at the debate because he had to travel out of the country Friday night.

“We were the first party that accepted this invitation, but unfortunately, my principal had an emergency meeting outside the country for two days. He needed to travel last night, and that was the reason he sent us here to apologise on his behalf,” he said.

Social media users want debate organised in Katsina, Jigawa, GombeMeanwhile, there have been comments for the debate to hold in other parts of the country.

Some social media users who followed the event requested that a similar one be organised in their respective states.

Didi Usman wrote, “Thank you very much Daily Trust, we look forward to hosting a similar debate among gubernatorial aspirants in my state, Jigawa. This is because we have been left behind in this regard.”

Mustapha Dan Abacha Fky, another Facebook user stated, “Thank you very much. We are waiting for such a thing to happen here in Gombe State.”

Aliyu Maggi also stated, “We want Daily Trust to organise the same event in my dear state, Katsina.”