How Sambo lost Kaduna

THE NATION Newspaper

The last may not have been heard of the last National Assembly elections in Kaduna State. Accusing fingers are been pointed in different directions in the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in a bid to fix the leakages that led to the massive loss last Saturday. The Nation was informed by a highly placed source within the party and government that there is more to the party’s loss than meets the eye.

After the postponement of the election from April 2 to April 9, the Vice President practically relocated his office to Kaduna, holding series of meeting to avert possible defeat in the polls, especially in the Central zone. But the meetings had little impact on the outcome of the elections last Saturday. At the meetings, sources said that Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa were shocked to learn that the money released to mobilise party supporters was diverted to personal use by those who were supposed to coordinate in the state.

The source also said that the party made grave mistakes in the selection of candidates for the elections. According to him, “how do you explain a situation where the party chose husband and wife as candidates for the House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly? People are not stupid, you know. This counted against the party in a place like Sabon Gari”.

It was evident that the Buhari factor played out very well in the state especially in place like Kaduna metropolis and the Zaria area where the CPC made a clean sweep. Even though not much is known about the CPC senatorial candidate, Major General Mohammed Sale (rtd) who eventually emerged winner, it was evident that the PDP will have to work extra hard to win in the area or if possible, get the required one quarter of the votes cast in the area.

The same cannot be said of Southern part of the state where the PDP’s grip remains unbroken. From the results announced, it is also clear that other parties will have to work hard to unseat the PDP in the area.

The Nation investigations revealed that wrangling in the party has not died down, but rather deepened. This caused the party the House of Representatives seat in PDP strongholds like Igabi, Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas where the opposition has not done well since 1999. People from the zone are believed to be angry with the PDP-led government in the state on the ground that they have not been given adequate consideration in the current political dispensation. Prior to the elections, they had threatened to vote against the party if they are not given adequate assurance that they will adequately be compensated if the party forms government. They had demanded the position of Deputy Governor or at least, the Secretary to the state Government if they are to vote for the party. They made good their threat, giving their votes to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) instead.

The fate of the party in the remaining election hangs in the balance and unless the party is able to harmonise the contending forces within its fold, it may lose. This is so in view of the fact that the electorates in the state preferred to vote for parties in the last election rather than individuals.

For the Kaduna North senatorial district, the forces against former Governor Makarfi are said to be strong; but the party is not leaving anything to chance to ensure that it emerges winner in the election.

Newxt on the line is the presidential election. Can Sambo recover lost ground? He is seen as the symbol of the party in the satte. Now, he has lost all in the National Assembly election. He is directly on offer on Saturday. It is an uphill task to restrain CPC in other polls in Kaduna State.


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