By; DEKERA NICHOLAS, Kaduna
The dream of building a new Southern Kaduna will be a myriad if the issue of safety and security, arising from terrorism that has been unleashed on the communities by enemies, are not tackled, the Senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and son of the late Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Rijo Shekari, has revealed.
Shekari who made the revelation in Kafanchan during the launching of his campaign for the Senate Seat of Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, in Kaduna State, promised to build a new southern Kaduna if voted into office, saying he has a clear roadmap to achieve the dream when he gets to the Senate.
“But that dream cannot be achieved, first and foremost, if we don’t tackle the issue of our safety and security arising from the terrorism that has been unleashed on our communities by our enemies.
“On this, I have laid down a clear roadmap towards achieving that when I get to the Senate. My resolve is to tackle the issue from the roots, and it will include legislation for effective border control. With over a thousand illegal entry points into Nigeria, there is no control over those who sneak into the country and unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
“I will also ensure that we resettle and compensate all victims of such violence. I will lobby and fight for all forms of assistance to return our traumatised and displaced communities to normalcy, because we cannot claim to share same destiny when we are carefree about the unfortunate condition of others which caused by no fault of theirs,” he added.
He lamented dilapidated federal roads in Southern Kaduna and also decried the small budgetary allocation to the zone each year, vowing to correct the imbalance when elected.
He spoke on maternal and child mortality rate and regretted that Kaduna State has one of the highest.
He promised to make available an experienced midwife nurse in each of the 87 wards to ensure adequate attention is given to women, during pregnancy and child birth.
He spoke on a range of issues and assured the people of Southern Kaduna that he would be a Senator they can easily access and rely on
“I will never let you down, if you give me your votes,” he said to the ululation and approving cheers of the crowd”, he stated.
Rijo, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, United Kingdom, and a Commonwealth Scholar told the crowd that, “God has endowed Southern Kaduna with more than enough of natural and human resources. Southern Kaduna is just looking for a leader that has the creativity, the determination, resources and connection to create an economic revolution that will shock the country.
“For the love of my fatherland, and for the fact that I have these qualities, I have heed to the call to assume that leadership and God with us, we shall build a new Southern Kaduna of our dream when you vote me into the Senate,” he said
Speaking earlier, the Deputy National Chairman of the SDP, Dr. Abdul Ishaq explained why the SDP has the white stallion as its symbol.
“We stand for strength, loyalty, efficiency, sincerity and beauty. We shall trample over all brooms and umbrellas,” he assured the happy crowd.
“Rijo Shekari, is already a distinguished young man. He is one of the finest, articulate, honest, very intelligent and hardworking young man I have ever met.
“He is not only self-made, he has so much passion for developing other young men, especially from among his people, the great people of Southern Kaduna.
“And these are the qualities of persons that SDP parades across the country. As I speak to you, there is no political party that is not jittery about the SPD. We are sure of whom we are parading. But we must show that Southern Kaduna has the best of its Senatorial candidates in SDP,” he assured the crowd.
Many watchers of politics in Kaduna state want to agree that Rijo Shekari may likely pull a stunt on the dominant political party, PDP, in the area for a number of reasons:
They feel that the current Senator, Sen. Danjuma Laah, has been so self-assured that he hardly thinks of campaigning for his re-election after securing candidature in a bitter rivalry between himself and Hon. Adams Jagaba.
“He is now over confident, whereas Rijo is adroitly working to swing public confidence to him,” an observer told our correspondent.
“Again, the SDP is new in Southern Kaduna and does not have intra-party animosity with aggrieved members silently working to undermine their candidates in the coming general elections. There are a lot of aggrieved PDP members who would rather work for the emergence of Rijo than see the return Sen of Laah to the Senate,” the source added.
And, indeed, the PDP has foisted a lot of unpopular candidates on the voters of Southern Kaduna through subtle imposition of aspirants by local elites and outright buying of delegates by rich but lacklustre aspirants.
“A lot of PDP members who worked for La’ah felt that though he might have done relatively well, he had nonetheless dumped them after getting the seat.
They are still unhappy. Many of them are the real foots soldiers of local politics in Southern Kaduna. And they are in a silent alliance with the SDP. We know this,” another source added.
But it is easy to see that the youths who drive the voting process remain the engine room of Rijo. While acknowledging what Laah may have done relatively well for Southern Kaduna, they insist that Rijo would do much more if given the opportunity.
They derided La’ah’s poor English and uncoordinated speech, saying Southern Kaduna is too enlightened and advanced for such a person to represent them.