Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi and governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Kaduna State says he will reinstate traditional rulers sacked by the current government if he wins.
Recall that Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s has sacked 313 district heads and 4,453 village heads in June 2017 as part of restructuring of 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.
Addressing a news conference Saturday in Kaduna, however, Hunkuyi said he would reinstate the village and district heads the moment he got into office.
He said this was because of the critical roles they would play in his government which includes maintaining harmony and ensuring security in communities.
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 making.
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 that if successful at the poll, the NNPP government would reprioritize the state’s budget to address growing insecurity in the state.
“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.
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.
He said that the party will provide a platform for all-inclusive governance that would take residents of Kaduna State to a new horizon where all Nigerians live as one.
The candidate also told newsmen that NNPP’s agenda was based on fair play, inclusive and people-oriented governance without sectionalism on grounds of religion or ethnicity.
“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.
Hunkuyi added that the party would contest 54 political seats in Kaduna State from House of Assembly seats to House of Representatives, Senate, and the governorship seat.
He identified the seats as 34 state assembly seats, 16 House of Representatives seats, three Senatorial seats, and the governorship and deputy governorship seat.
The candidate said that 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.