By Musa Simon Reef
Today, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to elect its governorship flag bearer at the Kaduna Trade Fair, with Hon. Isa Ashiru and Sen. Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi as frontline aspirants. Curiously, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai is also being anointed as flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Murtala Square, after he successfully muzzled potential threats to his re-election ticket What happens today and what follows after these primaries in both parties will determine what happens in 2019.
Interestingly, out of the many aspirants that are aspiring for the PDP governorship ticket, two candidates, Ashiru and Hunkuyi, seem set to carry the day. Considering the maturity that the aspirants have brought into the campaign, one must not fail to commend them. So far, the PDP aspirants have survived the external ploy by retrogressive elements to set them against themselves.
2019 will not be same with 2015. In the last election that saw the emergence of el-Rufai as governor, every effort was deployed by all to end the previous administration. Few months to the next polls, we need no one to tell us that a grave mistake was committed. It is a tragedy of monumental proportion that since the APC assumed the reins of power in 2015, despair and hopelessness have taken over the lives of Kaduna citizens. Flooding, joblessness, retrenchment and cascading disillusionment, among others, have become our daily bread.
We cannot hope to survive the future if we do not galvanise efforts at ending the administration of el-Rufai that has squarely failed on all fronts. Those who elected the APC in Kaduna in 2015 are aware that nothing less than a regime change in Kaduna is desirable. Kaduna people must be told that defeating the APC in 2019 is not a walk in the park. What is needed to defeat the APC is total mobilisation of Kaduna citizens to stand up with a resounding disposition to vote out the APC in 2019. Anything less than this is not enough for Kaduna state.
For the PDP, there is hope that their frontline aspirants are no novices in politics. Hon Ashiru is a reputed politician who is not only humble, but also versed in the art of politics. Unlike politicians who seem to know it all, Ashiru believes in consultation and carrying everyone along. This is not the first time he is throwing his hat in the ring. He did same in 2015. The Kudan-born politician has not only been a lawmaker at the Kaduna State House of Assembly, he was also a member of the House of Representatives. He is eminently qualified to oversee the affairs of the state if he ends up in Sir Kashim House.
For Sen Hunkuyi, he is not a stranger to the quest to govern the state. As a member of the National Assembly, he stood up against the failures of the el-Rufai government to ‘Make Kaduna Great Again.’ Relationship between Hunkuyi and el-Rufai got sour to the point his (Hunkuyi) house was demolished. Considering the humiliation he has suffered from the APC-led Government he helped installed in 2015, it is comforting that the Senator is one of the inspiring figures leading in the fight to end the nightmare of the el-Rufai government.
Whatever happens today, politicians from the PDP should never cave in to the deceit of elements struggling for the continuation of the present government through sowing seed of discord. We need a firm hand that is patriotic in words and deeds. We are tired of government that specialises in artistic impressions as achievements and working against the welfare of the masses.
The delegate system throws a lot of uncertainties. But whoever emerges as the PDP candidate today stands the chance of ending the horror of an administration that has not only pauperized the people but entrenched hopelessness as its overriding vision.
No matter what happens, PDP seems set to be the political albatross of the APC in Kaduna in 2019. Whoever emerges as the PDP candidate, even outside these frontline candidates, has a capacity to deliver a damaging upset on the APC. We only hope that the PDP, after the primaries, will continue to be united in its avowed resolve to throw the el-Rufai government into the dustbin of history. Whoever emerges as the candidate of the PDP, should play the humble role and galvanise others to defeat the present administration in order to save Kaduna citizens of future pains and humiliation.