With the shocking defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates during the National Assembly elections in Katsina State, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, seems to have emerged stronger in the State.
While the ruling APC failed to deliver Katsina to the newly elected president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, it won all the three senatorial seats and nine out of the 15 House of Representatives seats in the state.
The PDP campaign council at a press briefing recently blamed their defeat on vote buying, intimidation of their members, among other deals they claimed transpired during the 25 February elections.
Since the February 25 elections, the APC has been enjoying a lot of endorsements from some members of the PDP, NNPP and other political parties in the state. This was not the case earlier.
Last week, in what seems to be an alliance, a PDP Chieftain loyal to Katsina former Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema joined the ruling APC.
In the same vein, NNPP Deputy Governorship candidate, Muttaqha Rabe Darma and some party executives joined the ruling APC, declaring their support for Dr Dikko Radda; this is seen as a major boost for the ruling party.
With these developments, some political analysts now see the PDP as the underdog in the Katsina governorship and House of Assembly elections despite having the former Katsina SSG, Mustapha Inuwa with his cult following in their kitten.
Much, however, was not seen from the key players in the Katsina PDP campaign council as the results of the National Assembly elections revealed.
Both the Chairman and the Director General of the PDP campaign Council, Sen. Ibrahim Tsauri and Dr Mustapha Inuwa, respectively, lost in their polling units, wards and local government. It is also the same case with the state party Chairman, Lawal Magaji Bacci, among others.
Though, there are 13 political parties featuring candidates for the governorship elections, only APC and PDP is said to have genuine structures across the 34 LGAs of the state, narrowing the contest to Dr Dikko Umar Radda (APC) and Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke (PDP).
However, reports show that Dr Dikko Umar Radda of the APC enjoys the backing and support of more critical stakeholders than his counterpart, Senator Lado Danmarke of the PDP.
Dikko is also touted to be more educated, well exposed and more experienced administratively and politically.
Also working in favour of the APC candidate is the lingering crisis rocking the Katsina PDP which has two factions: the one loyal to former Governor Shema and those loyal to the party’s governorship candidate, Sen. Lado Danmarke.
Due to the unresolved differences, the Shema’s PDP camp only campaigned for the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who eventually won in the state.
The same scenario is expected to play out during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The embattled Acting Chairman of the Katsina PDP, Hon. Salisu Lawal Uli, who spoke to DAILY POST on the disposition of his camp concerning the March 19 elections said: “We cannot force ourselves on people who do not want to carry us along.”
This is an indication that Lado’s candidature does not have the blessings and support of the Shema-led PDP faction.
Also, considering the power of incumbency being enjoyed by the Katsina APC, in addition to the fact that it is the home of President Muhammadu Buhari, defeating APC in the governorship election may be likened to a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle.
However, despite having the upper hand, it is not yet uhuru for the ruling Katsina APC as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, claimed it has rectified all the issues that trailed the last elections.