The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Zamfara State are battle-ready over who controls the political soul of Zamfara politics in the forthcoming governorship and State Assembly elections on March 18, 2023.
The election remains unpredictable due to the fact that both parties are going into the epic contest very prepared and with confidence. And the ruling APC does not relegate the opposition party to the background due to the fact that PDP has massive supporters in the State.
The ruling APC is relying very much on the outcome of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections which heavily favoured the ruling party. But one cannot judge by that as many electorate merely await the governorship and State Assembly elections.
The PDP has enough support in the urban areas, while the ruling APC controls the rural areas where the government has been empowering women and youths.
Many political heavyweights in Zamfara politics like former Governor Ahmed Sani Yarima, for Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi, ex Governor Abdul Aziz Abubakar Yari, senator Dhabi Ya’u, among others are also in the ruling APC playing grassroots politics.
It is very obvious that senator Ahmad Sani Yarima, the first executive Governor of the State remains the doyen of Zamfara politics who brought notable politicians in the State to political limelight and the senator is the leader of APC in the State.
He has silenced the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and prevented the party from forming any government in the State since 1999 when Nigeria regained democracy from the military leadership. So it is believed that he will use his political permutations to stop PDP from achieving its aim.
But the Peoples Democratic Party relies mostly on urban support unlike the ruling APC. The PDP and its governorship candidate in the State, Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare are equally relying on sympathy votes.
This is coupled with the fact that most of its political heavyweights in the State are not ready to invest their money, leaving Dauda Lawal Dare as the only financier of the party. And that may seriously affect the party’s chances of clinching victory in the elections.
Judging by the presidential and national assembly elections indices, the APC seems to be in an advantage following its landslide victory in Zamfara West senatorial zone.
Though in Zamfara north senatorial zone, PDP clinched the Shinkafi/ Zurmi federal constituency seat, while APC won the Birinin Magaji/ Kaura Namoda federal constituency seat, the PDP could not win the senatorial seat.
The national assembly elections in the Zamfara central senatorial zone remain inconclusive. But the results so far announced by INEC indicated that PDP was having the upper hand in the zone.
However, nobody can read the minds of the electorates in the State in respect of the governorship and State Assembly elections which mean a lot to them.
Recall that the present Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Hon. Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya, who is a chieftain of the APC, lost to opposition PDP in his polling unit in Zurmi Local Government Area in the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections.