The dynamics of 2019 politics has started in Kano State in spite of the fact that the contest is about two years away. And in this light, many cards are already on the table. One of such cards is the notion of “Four- Plus- Four”, which represents a metaphor for the incumbent administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to remain in office beyond 2019.
Proponents of this notion, who are largely among the ruling political elite, are not unmindful of the plurality of political values in the state and the quality of opposition against their aspiration.
They recognize that unlike in 2015, when they rode on an easy and largely uncontested ride to the Government House in the state, the 2019 scenario presents a different, dense and unpredictable cast.
They acknowledged the rivalry poised by the Kwakwassiyya tendency and the potency and virility of the threat.
Yet, they have an abiding faith in their performance and in their ability to overcome the circumstances, no matter the potency of their adversaries and their historical grip on the politics of the state.
In this light, they are working on a couple of strategies to scale over whatever opposition that may come their way in the quest to accomplish and objectify the notion of “Four Plus Four”.
Observers have since recognized a deliberate culture of feminism in the state. This experience, which is gaining popularity by the day, invariably scales up the position of women, and makes them a vital component of the ‘Gandujain’ politics.
While not disregarding any other group in the state, the Ganduje administration has undoubtedly sought the heart of women in the state, lobbied them in a way that no previous administration had done in the state.
To be fair, the role of women in Kano politics has never been lost to imagination. It is true that right from the days of political matriarchs such as Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Hajia Asabe Reza, Hajia Rabi Mato and up to the present times of Hajia Najatu Ibrahim and Hajia Baraka Sani, Kano women have been heroines in their own political rights. They have been a voice that has melted into the huge bellies of the famed political radicalism of the ancient and historical city.
With their huge numerical value, estimated in millions and far higher in number than their male counterparts, whoever wins their hearts, no doubt wins the day. That is apart from the fact that they play a strategic role as opinion moulders in their respective families, swinging political options in favour of their preferred candidates in some ways.
This may have informed the position of the administration to reserve a special place for them in the scheme of things in the state today. The administration of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has not been pretentious about its feminist posturing.
From inception, it has associated with them, a result of which it appointed no fewer than three women Commissioners into the state executive council. This is aside the fact that the administration had thought it wise to appoint several women as Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants in the state.
Recently, there has been an explosion of women empowerment initiatives and programmes in the state. A few are worth emphasizing. Not too long, the state government said it was ready to offer employment to over 1000 women National Certificate of Education(NCE) graduates, who would teach in the various public schools in the state.
To match words with action, the governor, few days ago, directed these applicants to proceed to their respective local government areas for verification ahead of their enlistment.
But that is not all. Something previously unthinkable in a conservative setting as Kano is about to happen. The government has indicated its resolve to send out a set of youthful women for training in auto mechanics as well as in its related areas. According to the governor, the beneficiaries would be trained alongside their male counterparts at Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Training Center in Kaduna.
The governor explained that the training was part of his administration’s strategies to expose the women to requisite skills necessary for them to be self -employed, and be in a position to afford a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their families.
He recalled that about two weeks ago, the state government recruited many female persons among its new tax officers adding that his administration has initiated various empowerment programmes for various categories of women in the state since he assumed office.
“Women empowerment helps women to stand on their own, become independent and also to earn for their family which stimulates the economy”, he stated.
According to the governor, “to empower a woman means to reduce poverty. Sometimes, the money earned by the husband is not sufficient to meet the demands of the family. The added earnings of women help the family to address the issue of poverty”.