2019 ELECTIONS AND THE SOUTHERN KADUNA PERSPECTIVE

By Habila Isah Kayit

In some few weeks from now the entire political atmosphere will soon change with intense meetings and consultations by politicians and political parties across the nation in search for the soul of 2019 flag bearers or better still parties’ representatives. Regions, Socio-Cultural Organisations, interest groups among others will also make concerted efforts to canvass for their interest. There will be alignment and realignment, betrayal, conspiracies and a lot of intrigues as the days go by.

It is a common practice and is acceptable everywhere in the world.

The unveiling political happenings for the past two years with the All Progressive Congress (APC) spearing the activities of governance are quite revealing. These will also inform the major decisions to be taken by electorates. The leadership style of His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai will be challenged, essentially as it relates to his number one and most important constitutional responsibility which is protection of lives and properties. His vindictive style of governance, inapt distribution of projects and one sided appointments as it concerns the Southern Kaduna region.

For some of us who worked tirelessly for Governor Nasir El- Rufai to emerge are disappointed. We stood by him based on his exposure in governance and his achievement as the then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and were expecting to see a total transformation and coordination from him. Instead, he became a sectional leader; self centred and vindictive of those who dare criticize his leadership style. This can be seen in the number of arrests of innocent and patriotic citizens. These revelations made a lot of people who voted this present government because of their perceived inapt leadership of HE Dr Ramalan Yero the then governor of the state to apologize to their teaming supporters.

It is quite disturbing that the APC members from the southern Kaduna extraction have no strong voice to draw the attention of the government in its operations. No wonder they can’t challenge the skewed appointments, imbalance distributions of projects, vindictive arrest of citizens who criticize the government of Governor Nasir El-Rufai for his unwillingness to address security challenges in Southern Kaduna and non inclusiveness in governance among others. Interestingly, some few APC chieftains who are benefiting from the government of the day have sheepishly taken a stand with the state irrespective of its unkind and witch-hunting style of leadership for political gains.

In line with the above, I dare say the status quo must change. In politics, there is no permanent enemy rather invariable interest. Why will Southern Kaduna be divided along party affiliation? Why can’t we figure out an agenda for the region? There is strength in unity as such; our adversaries will always strive to divide us. Who says we cannot produce a governor again? Suffice to say, 2019 elections is going to be an acid test for the Southern Kaduna people. In the face of constant attacks, total attempt to wipe out the entire Southern Kaduna people, our representatives most especially at the state assembly level were mute and unconcerned about the challenges confronting the region. Therefore, I also expect a complete assessment of aspirants who will represent our interest from federal, state and local governments. However, just like every Politician from other parts of the country, our politicians cannot be fully trusted. Therefore, for us to make a radical transformation in our polity, the youth must return to their villages and influence the change we are yearning for. I am forced to ask rhetoric questions: What influence do you have in your polling unit? How patriotic are you to the emancipation of your community?

We have the power to change whatever political calculation and insinuations of fielding Muslim/Muslim ticket, Muslim/Christian from Kaduna North and of course the malicious narration of 70/30 percent Muslims/ Christian population by the governor in his interview with a television station. This can be done through massive registration and participation in population census and elections. Our population must be translated into political capital as such the Community Development Associations (CDAs) and our places of worship have a vital role to play in the voters’ education/re-orientation campaign. Our political class must take elections issues seriously. I expect every well meaning Son/Daughter to move to the grass root and if possible champion this noble course of liberating our people from our oppressors.

The social media has created a veritable platform for the youth and elite alike to interact. This has further help in tackling issues that contravene our collective existence. Beyond the social media commentary, what else can we do? I am not totally condemning the uses of the social media to make our demands known but will that translate to votes? Now that continuous voters’ registration and transfer of voting centre is on what are we doing as a people to orientate our lots? I challenge the Southern Kaduna people residing in Kaduna central to vie for political positions in 2019. I also challenge SOKAPU and CDAs to take voters education and population census seriously.

Together, we can achieve the Southern Kaduna of our dream.Shalom.

Kayit is the National Youth Leader,
Bajju Youth Development Association

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