By Saka Laaro, Ilorin.
Senatorial candidates of leading political parties for the Kwara Central senatorial district of Kwara state have identified high youth unemployment and prevailing poverty among challenges to tackle if elected to represent the area in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The candidates, who appeared on political debate programme of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin on Monday said that investment should be made on youth, who formed majority of population in the district.
Present at the programme include senatorial candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bolaji Abdulahi, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Dr. Ridwan Apaokagi and the Labour Party flag bearer, Mallam Umar Farouk Akanbi.
The politicians, who also lamented increasing rate of insecurity in some parts of the district, said they would encourage youth investment in agriculture practice and value chain to make youth productive.
According to the Labour Party’s candidate, he said that he would encourage revitalization of family vocation which he said the district is known for, eg local fabric weaving, pottery, etc, adding that it is one of the ways to empower youth, reduce unemployment and prevailing poverty.
Mallam Akanbi said he was contesting to improve legislation in the district, adding that quality legislation should be able to put government on its toes, represent people well, cause youth development and relate well with workers and youth.
Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi of the PDP, who commended leadership of the chapel for the initiative, said that the next general elections provides constituents the reset button to change the narratives of poor leadership in the country and course sustainable development in the district.
The PDP senatorial candidate said that a strong voice must represent Nigerians at the National Assembly due to present challenges in the area, adding that youth in the district should be encouraged to do science courses in order to boost economic development.
Dr. Ridwan Apaokagi of the SDP, a medical doctor, bemoaned present security challenge in Kwara Central senatorial district, such as kidnapping, armed robbery and cult clashes, saying that the situation had discouraged farming, business growth and peaceful coexistence.
He said that government should encourage community policing, equip security agencies to do more, while charging clerics to unite to fish out bad eggs among them.
Dr. Apaokagi, who said that credible people are being denied opportunity to participate in elective poll, said that he would encourage a law to make civil servants contest and go back to service if they fail.