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Published On: Tue, Oct 16th, 2018

Gladiators jostling for Buhari’s senatorial zone in Katsina

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By IkechukwuOkaforadi

The Katsina North senatorial election is arguably one of the hotbeds in the next year general elections, considering the caliber of aspirants who are gunning for the seat. This is in addition to the fact that the zone is where the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, comes from.
Prominent parties contesting to represent the zone in the Senate are: Accord (A), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
There is no doubt about the fact that the candidates of these parties, who have won the primary elections of their respective parties and are mobilizing for the general elections, have certainly proven their mettle in politics.
No one clear prediction can perfectly capture what will play out in the 2019 general election, particularly in this senatorial zone. Katsina North is acclaimed for its political vibrancy, just as it remains one of the areas that voting is certainly not based on political parties, but on the quality of representation.
Before now, there were complaints that the zone has been facing poor representation in the Senate, particularly towards the end of the 8th Senate, especially due to the ill health of the late senator who represented the zone at the beginning of the 8th assembly.
Recall that the late Senator Bukar Mustapha, who died after representing the zone for about three years, left a vacuum which was filled after a bye election was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in August this year.
APC won landslide in the election, but the short period within which the new senator, Ahmed Babba Kaita, will serve is obviously insufficient to enable him stamp himself in the heart of the people of Katsina North. This is because he has little time to work for his constituents.
To this end, one can argue that the battle for Katsina North will take place on a neutral ground, as the contenders certainly have comparative advantage over each other. In other words, none of the contestants should see himself as a bully over others, or see any as a Lilliputian.
The incumbent senator representing the zone cannot boast that victory is assured for him in the next year election, when the exposures and experiences of other contenders are juxtaposed with his. Senator Kaita, no doubt, might not have been able to execute any project in the zone as he just assumed office.
To buttress the fact that none of the contestants is a pushover, while senator Kaita may be basking in the fact that he is an incumbent senator, and have been in the House of Representatives for two tenures, the PDP candidate, Mani Nasarawa isa one time member of House of Representatives.
He had contested on the platform of PDP for the senatorial seat of the zone but lost then to late Senator Kanti Bello. He has equally stayed in the politics of the area for a while. This obviously is an advantage to him as he must be conversant with the political system there.
Also, the senatorial candidate of Accord, Mohammad Lawal Nalado, was a member of the House of Representatives in the third republic at a very young age of thirty. He has held vibrant positions in the political cycle, including being the chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), an umbrella of all registered political parties.
Hon. Nalado, who is the incumbent chairman of Accord party, has also held various positions in the public sector, which clearly makes him one aspirant who will not be pushed over in the contest.
He was also a Katsina delegate for the 2014 National Confab, which definitely points to his level of political exposure, especially to have been chosen to represent the State at the political conference.
Speaking to journalists on his chances of winning the senatorial seat, Nalado had said he has an edge over other aspirants, pointing out that he is simple and tolerant, more than other aspirants. According to him, he is experienced in quality representation, having been in the green chambers before.
Nalado said he is prepared like President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption, adding that despite serving in many public offices, he has never been found wanting in financial mismanagement.
He also said his tenure in the senate will be characterized by eloquent and pragmatic approach to issues that affect his constituents. He also vowed to attract infrastructures and initiate basic social amenities for the people of his senatorial zone.
Also, Hon. Mani Nasarawa is banking on the support of the immediate past Governor of the state, including other PDP stakeholders to secure victory in the next year’s election, but how far he can go with their support is yet to be seen, especially considering that the zone is President Buhari’s enclave.

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