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How Defection Will Shape Outcome Of 2019 Polls In Kaduna

There is no doubt that the outcome of the general elections in 2019 will come with lots of surprises as to who emerge winners and under what political platform.In this analysis, ISAIAHBENJAMIN examines the factors that may favour certain candidates and their political parties

For 16 years, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the dominant political party not only in the country but also in Kaduna State.

This was so until 2015 when the political equation changed in favour of a political merger that brought about the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling power. It is however worthy of note that most of those that contributed immensely towards ensuring that the PDP achieved that feat of the ruling party in Kaduna State also defected to the the APC and that gave it a further boost that guarantteed her victory in 2015.

Some of the political heavy weights in the PDP then in Kaduna that defected to the APC prior to the 2015 general elections included Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, Hon. Isah Ashiru, Ambassador Sule Buba, a former PDP state Chairman Alhaji Yaro Makama along several others.

These persons helped the party greatly to emerge victorious in 2015 elections. Senator Hunkuyi became a Senator on the APC platform, Honourable Ashiru contested the primaries for governorship on the APC platform but lost to the incumbent governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai who also served as Minister of FCT on the platform of PDP at some point. So, in Kaduna, only the PDP and APC were the parties to recknon with until things began to fall apart for both parties who started losing membership to emerging or known political parties in the state.

Shortly after the APC became the ruling party in the country and Kaduna state in particularly, most of those who played one role or the other bagan to make demands to the government of the day perhaps as reward for their contributions, but while some may have had their demands met, others did not and this suddenly gave part to the APC Akida and the Kaduna Restoration Group (KRG) from the APC. And just before you know it, most of those who left the PDP for the APC started returning back to the PDP or those originally in the merger parties that formed the APC defecting to other political parties. In specific terms, the Congress for Progresive Change (CPC) Candidate one of the party that merged to form APC.

Alhaji Haruna Sa’eed Kajuru left the party for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and is now the governorship candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election for Kaduna State. Honourable Ashiru who also defected from PDP and contested the governorship primaries with Malam el-Rufai on the platform of the APC also defected back to the PDP and today is the PDP governorship candidate also to slug it out with the incumbent governor. Senator Hunkuyi who is viewed as political jugganut in the state and seen to have contributedin no small measures to the emergence of the incumbent governor also started having running battles with the governor and became a major player in the factional APC that emerged in the state.

His attempt to form a factional party of APC in the state caused him the demolition of his one storey building which e donated as the factional Secretariat. When it became obvious that he could not win the battle with the chief security officer of the state, he also threw in the battle and returned back PDP, the party he had attempted severally to becoming its governorship candidate but not successful. Again, he felt he was better situated to pick the governorship candidate of the PDP in a primary that no fewer than eight aspirants contested, unfortunately, Hon.

Ashiru beat him to it as he emerged second, but as it stands, he may be giving the Senatorial ticket to return back to the red chambers to represent the northern senatorial district who he represents now on the PDP platform. Also, the likes of Alhaji Makama and Ambassador Buba also defected back to the PDP giving different reasons for their defection among which is the allegations of ‘high handedness’ of the governor. The APC Akida and KRG also at a press conference announced their withdrawal from the APC and as it stands today, many of them have gone into different political parties.

For instance, the head of the APC Akida then Dr. Maitamaki Tom Maiyashi defected to the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and is now the state Chairman. Again, the Senator representing Kaduna Central on the platform of the APC, Senator Shehu Sani also had running battle with the governor apparently for reasons best known to them, while Senator Sani feels that the governor embacks on anti people policies and was not carrying party members along except for some very few, the governor on his part felt the Senator was against  him because some of his requests were not meant and for his desire to want to unseat him come 2019 as the governor. The Senator inspire of this and the obvious facts that the governor had made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that the Senator don’t return back to the Senate in 2019 remained in the party until very recently when the Governor’s political adviser name was submitted as the senatorial candidate for  Kaduna central on the platform of the APC.

When he discovered that all his efforts did not yield the required results, he honourably threw in the towel and decided to leave the party to the PRP which he said has always been his home. He got the ticket to also contest the Senatorial seat for Kaduna central on the PRP. In view of the detections, it is no longer news that as it stands today, the APC has no senator from  Kaduna state on her platform,  while  Senators Hunkuyi and Danjuma Laah are of the PDP, Senator Sani is now of the PRP, this development certainly is not a plus to the ruling APC party in the State. The governorship candidate of the SDP, Alhaji Sa’eed is certainly not a push over in the gubernatorial election, if the votes he pulled  under the CPC in 2011 in an election keenly contested against an incumbent late sir Patrick Yakowa of blessed memory of the PDP is anything to go by.

Another  factor which might it very difficult for the two major parties in the state to have their ways easily particularly for the governatorial election is the emergence of the former managing director of the Unity Bank, Alhaji Falalu Bello though the National Chairman of PRP but also as the governorship candidate of the party for Kaduna State. He is a man that is very much loved in the state but whether or not it will translate to voting him into power as the governor of the state, only time Will tell. The other governorship candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Polycarp Gankon is also a familiar name haven conested for the same position on the same platform in 2011.

In the present circumstance in the face of defection from one political party to another in the State, with the ruling APC being the worst hit,  it will be very difficult to call which of the party will have her way convincingly in the general elections come  2019. As it is now, voting on the basis of individual candidate’s antecedent rather than party will play a major role in the coming elections.For many political pundits in the state, the combination of many heavy political players in the PDP might give the party an edge over other political parties, while others say are of the view that the ruling party APC with federal might and good will enjoyed by President Muhammadu Buhari in the state might also helped the incumbent governor a victory. For now, the election could go any way and in whichever party’s favour as will be decided by the electorates in the State.

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