By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
IN its drive to match its cardinal objective of strengthening the capacity of women and youths active participation in the process of governance in Sokoto state, the International Republican Institute(IRI) has deepened its support for the creation of advocacy groups to impact in service delivery.
The institute anchored by the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) is advancing the course of ensuring equal participation of marginalised groups in governance in the state through advocacy as part of its mandate of operating a field office in Sokoto state.
However, addressing newsmen in Sokoto Friday, the advocacy groups which comprised of CSOs, CBOs and representatives of political parties led by Maryam Ahmed Rufa’i of the CSO said political parties, traditional and religious leaders would be engaged for support to increase and widen the political and economic opportunities available to women and youth in the state.
Rufa’i explained that already, the views and opinions of the marginalised women and youths were sought on the impact of government policies on service delivery on their lives a well their level of participation in electoral and political process of the state government.
Accordingly, the advocacy groups urged women and youths to actively participate in the political party process, pointing out that it would create more understanding of party and governance process as well widen possible chances of been elected and appointed into political offices.
In the same vein, the group expressed its desire for more interventions from the state governor and political leaders towards addressing critical issues of exclusion and economic despondency among women and youth while it also sought for among others increase in number of in decision making positions, initiate and implement policies and programmes on education, health, security, water and sanitation with direct affection on women and youth.
Other aspects for attention include enforcement of laws protecting and promoting the rights of women and youths with disability, providing funds for mobilisation and capacity building activities for women and youths in the state through relevant ministries.
Also listed were increase empowerment schemes and vocational training opportunities for women and youths at LG level and support their election and appointment at LG level as well encourage and support the implementation of 35 per cent women and youths councillors in LGs.
The groups further applauded Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s resolute stand for appointing women an youths in different capacities as Commissioners and Special Advisers and Assistants in his first and second term in office.