…Pledges level-playing ground.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The emergence of four candidates from Southern Kaduna alone for the 2023 Gubernatorial Race should not be viewed negatively or generate any panic among indigenous members, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has observed.
Instead, the Union has attributed the increase in number of members in Kaduna governorship race to what it described as, “The logical outcome of the loud outcries for better leadership in general and the horrifying fallout from the el-Rufai maladministration in Kaduna State.
“It is also an expression of the yearnings for more political space, choice and opportunities as voter-confidence in mainstream parties are badly shaken. Southern Kaduna must keep abreast of evolving political trends, while plotting its way forward,” it stated.
SOKAPU made the assertions weekend, in a statement titled, ‘The position of SOKAPU on the emergence of four gubernatorial candidates from Southern Kaduna for the 2023 elections,’ and signed by the Union’s Acting President, Comrade Awemi Dio Maisamari.
The Union stated that, “It has become necessary to state its position on the increased interest of distinguished sons of Southern Kaduna to contest for the governorship of Kaduna State, come 2023. The increased interest is evidenced by the fact that four indigenes of the area have already emerged.”
SOKAPU made the statement, while congratulating the four indigenous individual candidates like Mr Timothy Adamu of the Action Alliance (AA), Rev Andrew Duya of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Sen. Caleb Zagi of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Hon. Jonathan Asake of the Labour Party (LP), respectively.
It, however, noted that the four candidates secured the nominations of their parties after no candidate of Southern Kaduna extraction was able to secure the nomination of any of the two major parties in the country, i.e., the APC and the PDP.
The Union expressed belief and, advised that, Southern Kaduna under SOKAPU should be unanimous now and going forward in making a very strong case for gubernatorial power shift or rotation in Kaduna State.
It also clarified members to note that every gubernatorial candidate is exercising his constitutional rights to vote and be voted for.
“SOKAPU respects these rights and maintains a position of neutrality between all of them. Therefore, we will give a level playing ground to all (including non-Southern Kaduna) candidates,” it stated.
The Union informed that, a SOKAPU Political Committee has been set up since April this year, and is saddled with the responsibility of making recommendations on the best political direction for Southern Kaduna, come 2023.
“This is part of the SOKAPU and Southern Kaduna internal mechanism for monitoring, analysing and addressing political issues. This will ensure that the concerns and interests of Southern Kaduna are properly taken care of as well as promote the equitable overall development of Kaduna State.
“Consequently, the 2023 elections in general and the Kaduna State gubernatorial elections in particular are being monitored closely. In view of this, SOKAPU members in particular and Southern Kaduna people in general are advised to remain calm as everything is being done to safeguard the genuine interests and aspirations of our people,” the statement further stressed.
It also added that, “The emergence of four gubernatorial candidates from Southern Kaduna should not be viewed only negatively, talk less of generating panic.
“This is the logical outcome of the loud outcries for better leadership in general and the horrifying fallout from the el-Rufai maladministration in Kaduna State. It is also an expression of the yearnings for more political space, choice and opportunities as voter confidence in mainstream parties is badly shaken. Southern Kaduna must keep abreast of evolving political trends, while plotting its way forward.
“Southern Kaduna will not be intimidated by subsisting unfair political arrangements. In spite of all odds, we must do everything necessary to fully utilize the obvious demographic advantages we have.
“Let us overcome scare mongers spreading fear among us to weaken our progressive resolve to pursue justice and equity at all times. Most especially, let us muster the courage and the will to take risks, eschew selfish or micro-interests and do the needful in the face of uncertainties. He who waits for certainty will wait forever.
“The stakes in the 2023 elections are particularly high. The competition is also fierce. But, we must keep the contest open, fair, decent and brotherly. By all means, we must not allow the ‘PhD’ (pull him down) syndrome to rear its ugly head. That is what SOKAPU demands from all political players and commentators,” it stated.
While thanking everyone and group stakeholders in Southern Kaduna for restraining themselves from making public comments so far, the Union also commended all those, who have bought into the principle of rotation with or power shift to Southern Kaduna.
It urged our ”egg-heads” to articulate seminal ideas and strategies to extricate Southern Kaduna from its disadvantaged position, and called on their people not to despair but keep faith and be committed to the struggle for a better tomorrow, saying, “Southern Kaduna must not disappoint itself, its friends and well-wishers at critical times like this.”