By Philip Yatai

Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) governorship candidate in Kaduna state, says his party will reinstate all traditional rulers sacked by the current government if he wins the 2023 elections.

Hunkuyi stated this during a media parley with Southern Kaduna Journalists Forum in Kaduna on Saturday, recalling that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai government had in June 2017 sacked 313 district heads and 4,453 village heads.

El-Rifai had explained that the measure was part of restructuring of the traditional chiefdoms to reduce the burden of a bloated payroll imposed on the local government councils.

Hunkuyi, however, told journalists that he would reinstate them if elected because of the critical role they would play in his government which includes maintaining harmony and ensuring security in communities.

He also said that the NNPP would equally reverse the recent increment of school fees in the state-owned tertiary institutions, stressing that public education institutions were not profit ventures.

He expressed concern over the over 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 suspend the state budget and reprioritise it to address the growing insecurity in the state.

“We will engage communities to see how our villages can contribute to the 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 the agriculture sector to create jobs and ensure food security,” he said.

Hunkuyi expressed optimism that the party would take over political power in the 2023 General Elections in the state.

He explained that the party was conceived to address the existing problems confronting the state and the country.

He said that the party provides a platform for an all-inclusive governance that would take residents of Kaduna state to a new horizon where all Nigerians live as one.

He said that the agenda of the NNPP 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 the 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.

He said that party would contest 54 political seats in Kaduna state from the 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.

Earlier, the Chairman of the group, Mr Ango Bally, said that the media parley was organised to hear from the candidate what he would do differently, if elected to office.

Bally also said that meeting was also for the flagbearer to tell the electorates his plans for the people of the state and what the party has for Nigerians.

This, according to him, will help the electorates to make informed decisions come 2023.

“The platform is open to all political parties and their candidates to tell the electorates their plans as part of efforts to keep the electorates well informed,” he said.