Easy victory likely for el Rufai in Kaduna

Yero vs El-Rufai

By Musa Garba

The historic Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone, with All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, emerging the President-elect. The polls have thrown the spanners in Kaduna State political equation. Many supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who have being caught now in the political lesser fever, are weighing the implications of voting the party which lost control at the centre.

It all stated like a joke, but reality has come to stay. Many did not believe the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, umbrella will crash in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections despite media prediction that the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, will emerge victorious in the rescheduled tensed polls.

The brave General Muhammadu Buhari has won the Presidency and President Goodluck Jonathan has conceded defeat, although PDP contestants are still counting their losses, APC is analysing its magic of successes as the opposition also lead in the Senate. Political observers opined that Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, popularly called ‘Dallatun Zazzau’ and his party, PDP are in serious dilemma following the outcome of the presidential elections, which did not favour President Jonathan.

Yero is facing APC gubernatorial candidate and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Nasir El-Rufai for the soul of Kaduna State come this Saturday.

The opposition APC won the presidential election in Kaduna, the home state of Vice President Namadi Sambo. Ironically, in build up to the March 28 elections, Vice President Sambo boasted of producing two million votes to President Jonathan, a promise that did not come to reality. Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, records showed that Kaduna State has a total of 3,361,793 registered voters, while only 1,746,031 voters were accredited to vote and 1,650,201 voters actually voted in the March 28 elections.

As announced by Kaduna State Presidential Election Collation officer, Prof Ja’afaru Makau Kaura, General Buhari, the APC presidential candidate polled 1,127,760 votes against President Jonathan of the PDP, who polled 484,085 votes.

Apart from presidential result, the APC also won two out of three senatorial seats in Kaduna State, leaving Southern Kaduna for the PDP. APC’s Suleiman Hunkuyi defeated incumbent senator and former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi to clinch the Northern senatorial seat with 447,917 to 136,197 votes. Shehu Sani of APC won the Kaduna Central senatorial seat after defeating Senator Mohammed Mukhtar Aruwa of the PDP with 468,964 to 168,241. Danjuma Laah of the PDP defeated APC’s Ishaku Shekarau to emerge winner of Southern Kaduna senatorial seat with 259,239 to 119,022.

The President-elect, General Buhari, had endorsed the gubernatorial aspiration of one-time Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Nasir El- Rufai. Buhari, during El-Rufai’s formal declaration to run for governor last year, had expressed confidence that the governorship candidate would provide good leadership for the state.

He said: “You are not doing El-Rufai a favour by voting for him, you are doing yourselves a favour. Buhari described Mr. El-Rufai as a “pragmatic and prudent manager of resources,” who would champion the rescue mission in Kaduna State and dispense justice fairly to everyone.

He stated: “I agreed to come here to raise El-Rufai’s hand as gubernatorial aspirant in Kaduna State because he is strong and fearless in carrying out his work.” Buhari said Kaduna is the heart of Northern Nigeria and many workers, serving and retired, made Kaduna their base and therefore people like the former FCT minister would be needed to manage public resources without turning it into their pockets.

“We need leaders that will use public resources and bring about development, let the poor get sound education, let there be security and good health care and most importantly peace and harmony irrespective religion and ethnicity, because of this, do vote him as your governor.” Meanwhile, Yero is still battling to save his political career. Yero lost his ward, local government and zone to APC in the March 28 elections.

It was said that his supporters voted and canvassed for Buhari in the last election. Our source gathered that Governor Yero’s supporters have commenced secret discussion with APC chieftains in the state with a promise to decamp after the election.

In the said posters being paraded in the said axis, Yero is paired with Buhari while Malam El-Rufai is axed with a red ink” A statement signed by El-Rufai’s campaign spokesman, Samuel Aruwan recently said security agents recently in Zaria and Sabon Gari local government areas of Kaduna State supervised and protected PDP hoodlums as they destroyed billboards and posters of Mallam El-Rufai. The statement reads in part: “Zaria axis is an APC stronghold, as demonstrated by the massive rallies the party held in Sabon-Gari and Zaria local governments.

El-Rufai added:”Since the campaign for the 2015 elections started, Yero has been preaching intolerance and indulging in violence. At the launch of his campaign on January 12, he announced that he had powers to stop El-Rufai from entering Kaduna or leaving his house, which he also threatened to demolish. The audio recording of that statement has gone viral.

“Again, the PDP government in Kaduna State and their commissioned campaigners are presently inciting citizens of Kaduna State on religious and ethnic lines against the candidature of El-Rufai. They are also engaging in series of mudslinging aimed at branding APC and its candidates as violent oriented personalities.

El-Rufai maintained: “The people of Kaduna State are clearly tired of an incompetent, wasteful government that has proved incapable of leading, performing or delivering public services” Another strategy of Yero is to romance with APC chieftains but Kaduna APC Campaign Council has told Governor Yero to stay off the homes of its members. The APC also cautioned the governor against wasting public resources and using religion as a tool of political persuasion.


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