2023: The battle for the soul of Katsina State
Katsina state has been one of the luckiest states in Nigeria since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, it has been one focused leadership to the other ,katsina was raised to enviable position amongst her peers by the combined efforts of Late president Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, from Infrastructure to Education to affordable and accessible health care system , Katsina was blazing the trail at least by Nigerian Standards. The last six years of Governor Aminu Bello Masari would easily come off as the worst in the recent history of the state, Governance and by extension Government seems to have come to a standstill since 2015, the situation in Katsina is so glaringly bad that charlatans like Shehu Mahadi who ordinarily should have no voice moral right to challenge anyone on issues of corruption or perceived corruption suddenly found their voices , that is how low governance sunk in Katsina, the disconnect between the Governor and the Governed has been widening at a much glaring rate than expected while those at the helm of affairs appear to be more lost than the people they swore to protect . Listening to Governor Masari last week asking his unarmed Katsinawa to resist invasion of armed bandits I couldn’t help but wonder if the man would not have been better off cooling off in retirement, he came across as a man than putting rather than governing a state, one cannot help buy wonder how a man whom many had so much trust and faith in was able to squander such goodwill in less than 2 terms, the administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari is helplessly waiting for 2023 to pack its belongings out of the Katsina State Government house having glaringly failed by all standards, his failure has left a very large Vacuum of leadership in Katsina state that is why katsina state is about the only state in Nigerian where active campaigns for the soul of Katsina in 2023 has begun earnestly we shall attempt to place the leading contenders under our microscope
The current Secretary to the Government of Katsina state, the man politicians love to hate, the 6 foot plus heavily built tough talking Politician is the man politicians in Katsina love to hate, he is seen as the clog in wheel of the smooth running of the Government in Katsina state, he is hated because of his insistence on due process and uncompromising nature many have opined that without the SSG politicians in Katsina would have had a field day with the treasury of Katsina state Government, he has his experience going for him having served as Commissioner and SSG in the administration of Late president Umaru Musa Yar’adua, his previous experience and reputation however could serve as his greatest undoing as it has been rumoured that it was his knack for dipping is hands into the coffers of Government for personal use that led to his fallout with them Governor Umaru Musa Yar’adua and his eventual elimination from the kitchen cabinet of the former president.
The serving Deputy Governor of katsina state like most serving Number two’s is romoured to be nursing the ambition to succeed his boss, underground campaigns have began earnestly , little is know about him in the political turf in Katsina and might not have the strength or financial muscle to compete with other Contenders, his loyalty to the Governor might however count in his Favour should the Governor decide to throw his weight behind his deputy.
Senator Hadi Sirika
The current Minister of Aviation is also rumored to be eyeing the top job in Katsina, he is believed to have the ears of the president and by extension the party at the National Level also in his Favour is the unwritten zoning agreement , the Gubernatorial seat is expected to return to the Daura zone where he hails from, should that happen he will have less people to contend with an might get an easy pass.
Muttaqha Rabe Darma
A very popular name in the state and very much loved by all and sundry, Muttaqha Rabe. A philanthropist and currently the President, Pleasant Library and Book Club in Katsina State.
He is believed to be among the few so called ‘Yar’adua Boys whom were nurtured and trained into politics by the Late former Governor of Katsina State and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He is a stunt PDP supporter who vowed never to leave the party.
His major set back may be his not being in the good book of the current leadership of the party in Katsina State.
Senator Baba Kaita
Very popular amongst the youths , he also has his eyes on the coveted seat in katsina , and could also potentially benefit from the Zoning arrangement , his stellar performance at the National Assembly could also count for him.
Umar Abdullahi Tsauri
Popularly knows as Tata by his supporters, Alhaji Umar Tsauri is well known for his philanthropic gestures, very popular among women and youths for his various poverty eradication and youth empowerment initiatives, he has contested and lost on two occasions, coming third in 2015 under APGA, his street credibility is not in doubt in Katsina but he is very unpopular amongst the elites, a retired civil servant and former PDP member who left after clashing with Former Governor Shema, Tata is rumoured to have fallen out with the present Governor or at least not among the Governor’s favorite people , it is almost certain he will not be enjoying the support of the party structure at the state level unless their hands are forced , it is left to be seen of his popularity with the masses will be enough to clinch him the ticket in 2023.
Ahmed Musa Dangiwa
The present Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank, vied unsuccessfully for the governorship of katsina in 2015, he was compensated with the Mortgage Bank top job in, he is a bridge between the Abuja based katsina politicians and the katsina based politicians, it remains to be seen how far he can go in 2023, he is also from Daura Zone.
Seasoned and serial contester is expected to make another show in 2023, he is of the people’s Democratic Party.
The former chief of Staff to the Governor is also a distant contender , he was initially romoured to be warming the katsina south senatorial seat for Masari who would take over from him in 2023, but with Masari’s recent announcement of his retirement from politics in 2023 that romour has been put to rest.
As the gladiators square up for a bare fist free for all fight in 2023, it would be interesting to see how things pan out eventually.
Umar Ismaila Abdulkadir wrote from Kaduna , Nigeria.