Kaduna LG polls: Namadi’s heavy cross
The ruling PDP had reason for cheer from the outcome of the recent LG elections in Kaduna State . But for the party”s most prominent member and the nation”s number two citizen, Vice President Namadi Sambo, it was another humiliating case of a prophet not being honoured at home .
By Luka Binniyat
It was perhaps convenient for Vice-President Namadi Sambo to be out of Kaduna , his political base and out of the country during penultimate weekend”s local government elections. The election again went according to pattern when the nation’s number two citizen failed to deliver his booth, ward and local government to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which incidentally rules the state and the country.
What was bad news for Sambo was, however, not totally unpleasant for the PDP which reasserted its dominance of the state with a sweeping victory of all but one of the 23 local government councils in the state.
The exception was Kaduna North where Sambo is registered to vote which was overwhelmingly won by the CPC. According to the results released by the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, KSIEC, the PDP won 22 of the chairmanship positions and 255 councillor positions.
The CPC came next with one chairmanship and 15 councillors while the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) trailed last with 3 Councillors.
Only 10 parties fielded candidates for the poll into the 23 LGCs. 53 contestants vied for the LGC chairmanship positions while 578 candidates vied for councillorship position in the 263 wards of the State.
Announcement of results
The announcement of the results on Sunday evening was trailed with drama.
The Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, KSIEC it seemed, had been reluctant to announce the result of the election for whatever reason forcing CPC supporters to lay siege to the headquarters of the commission located along Sokoto Road in the heart of Kaduna throughout Monday.
By night with the anxious party supporters hesitating to leave, the chairman of KSIEC, Mrs. Hannatu Binyat was forced to announce the results.
The announcement of the results was followed with protests the following day in Zaria where CPC which had won past elections in the area alleged rigging of the elections.
About three thousand CPC supporters from Zaria , Sabon Gari, Soba and Ikara peacefully demonstrated against the result at the Emir of Zazzau palace last Monday. They were reassured by the Emir who asked them to channel their protests to the appropriate authorities.
The protest by the CPC compelled the National Coordinator of the Independent Election Monitoring Group (IEMG) Barr. Festus Okoye to urge for peace as he asked the protesters to bear in mind the tenuous security situation in Kaduna and the country as a whole.
The protest of the CPC nonetheless, the results were endorsed by the Accredited Domestic Election Observes of Kaduna LGC Elections.
The group at a press conference addressed by its Chairman, Comrade Danjuma Sarki last Monday praised the process and outcome of the elections. He was supported by Comrade Ali Abacha of the Northern Patriotic Front (NPF) and Comrade Romanus Azubuike in his assertions.
The CPC party Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Yaro-Cocacola, however, strongly demurred.
Addressing gloomy CPC loyalists last Tuesday in Kaduna , he fumed that the party would contest the results declared by KSIEC.
“We reject the elections result in respect of Zaria , Sabo-Gari and Ikara Local Governments””
“There were also irregularities in Kudan, Makarfi, Lere, Giwa, and Igabi Local Government Areas”, he said. The question in the mind of some then was that the CPC which reigned almost supreme throughout Kaduna State just one year ago was now restraining itself to only seven local government areas.
It would be recalled that the CPC after the 2011 general produced 15 members of the 33 seats of the State House of Assembly, 7 of the 15 Kaduna State members of the House of Representatives, and one of the three Kaduna senators.
On his part, Kaduna state chairman of the PDP Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, while welcoming the results, upbraided the CPC to be sportsmanlike in its conduct.
“In Kaduna North, CPC won, how and why? Simply because their candidates were the best in the eyes of voters, and the people decided. Do we now argue that they rigged the elections? In their enclaves of 2011 elections, we argue that they used all kinds of intimidation, people doubted us.
The Chairman”s assertion inevitably brought focus on the party”s loss of Kaduna North, the base of the vice-president.
Remarkably, the PDP chairmanship candidate in Kaduna North, Alhaji Bala Gogo is the godson of Vice-President Sambo was trashed by the CPC”s candidate, Samaila Suleiman.
The defeat is seemingly turning into a culture for the vice-president who not only lost in his Gabarau Polling unit and his Kabala Doki ward, his PDP suffered an all round defeat in Kaduna North LGC capturing all the 12 wards in the Local Government Area.
The story was the same during the 2011 general elections when the PDP lost to the CPC in the presidential, gubernatorial, National Assembly and state assembly elections in Sambo”s Gabarau Unit 5 polling unit, his Kabala Doki ward and Kaduna North LGA.