..The debate was stopped at several intervals to appeal to supporters of the candidates who were chanting their names to be silent.
By Mohammed Lere
Tracereporters –The candidates of the three leading political parties in Kaduna on Wednesday during a debate organised by the BBC Hausa Service discussed their plans for the state if elected governor of the state in March.
The candidates who tussled with one another during the debate held at the Kaduna State University Auditorium, were the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Uba Sani, the candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Isah Ashiru, and the candidate of the new Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) Suleiman Hunkuyi.
Jonathan Asake of the Labour Party and Sani Shaaban of the African Democratic Party (ADP)who was earlier scheduled to attend the event were absent.
The candidates were asked about how they plan to solve the security challenges in the state, improve the provision of healthcare and tackle poverty.
The debate, which is the second in a series of governorship debates across northern Nigeria, witnessed a large turnout of supporters of the political parties.
The debate was stopped at several intervals to appeal to supporters of the candidates who were chanting their names to be silent.
Mr Sani of the APC said if elected, he will continue the good work of the incumbent governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
“I will continue from where the present governor stopped. I believed in the achievement recorded so far and the only good thing I will do for the people of Kaduna state is to continue the good work started.
“I will improve on school enrolment for our children, I will prioritize agriculture and skill acquisitions and also pay attention to women and vulnerable people.
Mr Ashiru of the PDP said he would introduce a distinct style of learning in all primary and secondary schools in the state.
“If elected, I will design a system where schools will introduce skill acquisition for children. A child will graduate with a skill right from primary school.
The candidates spoke on how to tackle insecurity in the state and improve healthcare delivery and unify the state.
The PDP candidate, Mr Ashiru, said “I will take healthcare delivery to communities. First, I will build three diagnostic centres in the three senatorial districts of the state. People should know what is wrong with them before taking medication.
“I will prioritise the employment of doctors and nurses and will be sent to the local communities to attend to our people at local levels.
Mr Sani of the APC while applauding governor El-Rufa’I’s effort on healthcare delivery in the state, said he would continue from where the government has stopped.
“What El-Rufai met was a disaster. With the state having less than 40 doctors to treat all citizens of the state, he employed additional doctors. The state has well over 400 doctors now and I will improve on it.
Mr Hunkuyi of the NNPP spent most of his time criticising the policies of the government of Mr El-Rufai. He promised to reverse all policies started by the outgoing administration, if elected.
The debate ended with a vote of thanks from all the three contestants while calling on citizens of the state to vote wisely for their preferred candidate.
Some attendees who spoke said they were excited about the policies proposed by their preferred candidates.
“This debate has exposed the candidates to the people. People have heard them and the choice remains ours.’ Hassan Mohammed Said.
“For me, I think there will be an election in Kaduna in March. I mean a very tough one. It will not be one-way traffic, as the APC always thinks it is. The other parties will give everyone a good bite. I think the PDP candidate did well more than the other candidates.” Lauratu Iliya
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