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Women and youths are agents of development - Sokoto stakeholders

Women and youths are agents of development - Sokoto stakeholders

As part of efforts to increase women and youth political participation in Sokoto State, Yiaga Africa paid advocacy visits to traditional rulers as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state to discuss opportunities for partnership and how to leverage their offices to encourage more women and youth political participation in the state.

At the palace of the Sa’in Kilgori of Sokoto, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Jabbi Kilgori lauded powerful women in the world, and expressed hope that more women in Sokoto will challenge the status quo. 

[caption id="attachment_3852" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Sa'in Kilgori of Sokoto, HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Jabbi Kilgori making a point during the visit.[/caption]

“Madam Amina Mohammed, at the United Nations, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and many other women are proof of what change women can do if given the right opportunities. It is not enough that we have these women representing us out there. We need more of such women within the state and all across the country,” he stated. 

[caption id="attachment_3851" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Yiaga Africa team with the Sa'in Kilgori of Sokoto, HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Jabbi Kilgori[/caption]

At the palace of the Sarkin Ya’kin Gagi, HRH Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi, the traditional ruler lamented the high cost of politics in Nigeria, and how it makes it impossible for women and youths to participate. He recommended compulsory education for the girl-child and adequate sensitization of everyone in communities to change their mindsets on women education.

[caption id="attachment_3854" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Sarkin Ya'kin Gagi, HRH Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi receiving materials on women and youth political participation from Yiaga Africa's Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu[/caption]

He also expressed dissatisfaction with the tendency of the youths to engage in drug abuse, but assured Yiaga Africa that arrowheads like him will continue to provide guidance for the youths in the community. 

“Due to the religious nature of the Sokoto people, they are more willing to listen to us traditional rulers. We do not take our roles as custodians of the culture lightly, therefore we will continue to be there for the youths, to help them become empowered for leadership,” he concluded. 

[caption id="attachment_3853" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Yiaga Africa team with the Sarkin Ya'kin Gagi, HRH Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi[/caption]

Yiaga Africa also paid a visit to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Malam Sadiq Abubakar Musa who recognized the work of Yiaga Africa in voter education and mobilization as well as election observation across the country, but stated that more needed to be done. 

[caption id="attachment_3855" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The INEC REC Sokoto State, Malam Sadiq Abubakar Musa with Yiaga Africa's Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu[/caption]

“The youths are impatient. Power cannot get to them if they continue to let themselves be used as political thugs. The violence and insecurity afflicting the nation is largely perpetrated by the youths. The future belongs to them, but they need to sit up,” he said.

On the 2023 general elections, he expressed his frustration over the proceedings leading to the election. “One of the biggest challenges to our elections in Nigeria is getting citizens to register, collect their voter’s cards and be willing to come out and vote. The misinformation that spreads regarding the exercise is appalling, therefore Yiaga Africa must never give up,” he pleaded. 

[caption id="attachment_3856" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Group photograph of the Yiaga Africa team with the INEC REC Sokoto State and his management staff[/caption]

The Yiaga Africa team was led by the organization's Director of Programs, Cynthia Mbamalu praised the efforts of the stakeholders towards women and youths inclusion in politics, and pledged Yiaga Africa's unwavering commitment to providing support and partnership as needed.

About

Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.