Kaduna State is a sub-national that is truly a microcosm of the whole; Nigeria that is. Its picture and features are perfect parts of the bigger ones that always give the full meanings of the socio-cultural, religious, political and all the other realities that have continued to define the entire country.
It is, additionally, a geo-political expression that has undergone fundamental structural, demographic and political/administrative changes to which all the components of its population—natives, settlers, visitors—have substantially responded. Almost all the challenges that have become the main characteristics of the political and governance processes in Kaduna State are direct products of the remarkable changes that have taken place in the State.
Either as one of the two administrative headquarters of the defunct Sokoto Caliphate; the other being Gwandu in the present Kebbi State, or as the headquarters of the former Northern Region or as the capital of the North-Central State and now Kaduna State, it has been a model entity to which all the other ones have always looked up. Kaduna State or Kaduna Capital City or Kaduna Town is more than just a geographical expression, but also a physical space that holds lofty promises for members of diverse communities who have been destined to live and work together for their common good.
Rich history, location, huge human population, big size, heterogeneity and heavy natural endowments are clear identities that have made Kaduna State outstanding and therefore attractive to all Nigerians. It is a place towards which seekers of peace and fortunes from all the other states freely gravitated and finally settled.
Kaduna State had, until now that it has slipped into the hands of some strange elements whose leadership styles are extremely unconventional and consequently began a slide into crisis, been a conducive environment for a peaceful co-existence among peoples of diverse backgrounds and the pursuit of legitimate businesses for the possible attainment of personal and collective goals. More such goals than could be ascertained were achieved because the successive governments were both reasonably sensitive to the basic needs of the people and openly mindful of the position of Kaduna as a model State.
It is therefore the arrival of the agents of division on the political scene and their subsequent emergence as leaders more than half a decade ago that marked the beginning of the noticeable disorientation over which the concerned people of the State and many other Nigerians are bitterly complaining. Since 2015 when they came with their agenda of the manipulation of the people’s sentiments which has been their basic instrument of politics, most foundations of peaceful co-existence began to weaken.
The painful deterioration of inter-relationships amongst communities as well as sharp decline of people’s fortunes and welfare caused by the poor design and improper implementation of policies is now the biggest challenge for the people of Kaduna State. There is an obviously a rising concern over the severe insecurity and unprecedented level of poverty, which have already formed the basis of the on-going search for a viable alternative to the existing governance structures and processes
The failure of the government formed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to meet the basic requirements of the electorate in Kaduna State continuously necessitates the consideration of the option that has already been thrown up by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Right Honourable Isa Mohammed Ashiru as the Gubernatorial Candidate and Dr John Markus Ayuba as the Gubernatorial Running Mate. The duo are a ticket that can fly because it seeks to address all the genuine concerns of the people about peace, security and development to which the APC government has continued to pay service.
It is, interestingly, a ticket that has clearly proven its potency, considering the fast-growing support for it. There has been a recognition of the fact that the two of them on the ticket have the required knowledge of the state, political experience, patriotism and capacity for service delivery that are the real attractions in political contestants.
While Ashiru, as a Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the Kaduna State House of Assembly (1999-2007) and later Deputy Chairman of a similar committee in the Federal House of Representatives (2007-2015), is a tested grassroots politician who facilitated the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Kaduna State and entire Nigerians, Ayuba stands out as a management expert whose backgrounds as a former university lecturer, banker and commissioner in Kaduna State have made him the right material for the slot. Each one of them is, in fact, a perfect partner of the other in whom the PDP and the electorate have a sufficient confidence.
As the contest for the governorship thickens, there is the a corresponding growing belief that Ashiru and Ayuba are the real agents that can champion the restoration of sanity to governance and morality to politics. The more they unbundle their packages for Kaduna State and its peoples, the stronger the confidence in them and the clearer the possibility of their eventual success.
- Gimi is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State PDP gubernatorial candidate