As political activities towards the 2015 general elections begin to unfold, gladiators from all parts of the country are oiling their machineries with a view to capturing power.
In Katsina state, political activities are already on the rise, as various camps are aligning and re-aligning, in readiness for the big political battle by 2015.
It is clear in Katsina state that the dominant political parties are Peoples Democratic Move (PDM), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The 2015 political scenario in the state will be very interesting, as the PDM has Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke as its major pillar, while the APC has former Head of State and the Presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari as its godfather and the PDP enjoying the power of incumbency by providing the sitting governor, Alhaji Shehu Shema.
Prior to this development, political pundits have viewed the political struggle for the soul of the state as a straight fight between the PDP and the APC. But a cursory look at the politics of the state would reveal that the hitherto little known Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has made an in road into the politics of the state.
The success so far recorded in making the PDM a factor in the state politics could be solely attributed to the political sagacity of Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke. He started his political career as a councillor in his Kankara local government, before eventually becoming the chairman of the local council in 1999.
In 2003, Danmarke was elected as a member of the National Assembly, representing Kankara-Faskari –Sabuwa Federal Constituency and in 2007, he was elected a Senator representing Southern-Katsina state in the senate.
His major success came in 2011 when at a point he prove bookmakers wrong by emergin the governorship candidate of the defunct CPC in the stage. Though the slot was later given to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari, his refusal to support him obviously led to the defeat of the CPC at the election.
Analysts postulate that any political arrangement in the state that ignores the Danmarke factor is doing so at its own peril. Danmarke is from the popular Danmarke political family which for long played a dominant role in Katsina politics. He was trained in the art of grassroots political mobilization by his father and it was seen as a major factor in his numerous political escapades.
His type of political mobilization, political watchers have pointed out, include a face-to-face contact with the downtrodden masses at the grass root and forming a reliable and loyal political structure.
It was observed that shortly after resolving to join the PDM, Danmarke collapsed his political structure into the PDM. Some few months later, it became obvious to all that in terms of visibility, the PDM is dominating the political environment. Political observers say there is no town in Katsina state where one will not witness the ever-growing influence of PDM.
It was only recently that the PDM received over 5, 000 supporters in Daura local government area. Last week, the PDM made a major in-road in the southern zone, where thousands of people left the PDP and APC to join the party.
A new strategy in the art of political mobilisation was initiated by Danmarke, as he now move under the cover of the night to visit politicians and other stakeholders to woo their support for his fast-growing party in the state. Feelers from his political camp indicate that not just politicians out of government, but even those serving the government were meeting with him to build and broaden a new political base in the state.
As other political parties in the state are fighting over who will be what, the PDM has successfully conducted its membership’s registration drive. It is clear that the PDM is enjoying the political altercations in other parties as the party is receiving new members.
As a testimony to PDM’s growing influence in Katsina state, the party has offices in all towns and villages across the 34 local governments of the state.
A recent membership registration exercise of the party shows that the PDM has over a million supporters in the party. It is with this that Danmarke wishes to build on his 60 percent support base which he pulled out of the defunct CPC. Similarly the party has former executives of the defunct CPC as its major backers.
The PDM in the state is being led by the former chairman of the CPC, Dr. Yusha’u Armaya’u, former Speaker of the defunct Kaduna state House of Assembly, Barrister Mamman Abubakar Danmusa, Senator Abdu ‘Yandoma among host of others.
With this development, political struggle meant to produce the next governor of the state promises to be interesting. It is a political fight that will not be dominated by the old political horses. The PDM has gradually carved for itself a political niche which would play active roles in shaping the political future of the state come 2015.