The Sabon-Gari by-election that was recently conducted to fill the position which was declared vacant by the Kaduna State House of Assembly brought a lot of lessons to the parties involved: the APC as a ruling party, the PDP as the strongest opposition party, other opposition parties, and the electorate.
For the APC as a ruling party particularly in Kaduna State, in recent times, we have witnessed different confrontations between the state government and the citizens leading to situations that negatively affect the political chances of the party in 2023 unless if things are not repositioned.
Many people, including those supporting the party, believe that government’s actions are anti-people. These include the hike in school fees for state university students, the insecurity bedeviling the state and the sacking of its workers.
The election outcome is a message to the APC as the ruling party in the state. It is a message which tells the party to go back to the drawing board.
The governor is doing so great when it comes to infrastructure, still, that is not a license to overstretch people with his policies which are mostly outrageous. There is a need for him to be flexible as being flexible does not mean that he is weak but see it as a leadership quality.
For the PDP as an opposition party, I say congratulations for winning the election. However, the party shouldn’t rejoice yet unless it is ready to correct its past errors. They were at one point stronger than the APC.
The party had misused its chance and never again could it gain the same quantum of support it had enjoyed in the past though one couldn’t tell. Let the party put its house in order, do things differently and we will see what unfolds come 2023.
For other opposition parties, it’s time to leverage and gain the support of the electorate. Prove to the electorate that you could do it and handle things better; fine tune your manifesto, get involved in the political activities of the country, support the current government and its policies where necessary and criticise it where necessary too.
In the recently conducted by-election in Sabon-Gari, there were 128,051 eligible voters and only 17,131 which is 13.43 percent of the votes were recorded. APC had 7,404, PDP which won the election only had 9,113 while other parties combined had 428. The margin of the lead was 1,709.
Literally, this is a very clear message to other opposition parties because out of the total number of eligible voters which was 128,051, only 17,131 votes cast which means that there were more than 100,000 eligible voters that didn’t come out to vote. This is a chance for other opposition parties to come up with strategy, convince the voters that if they’re angry with APC and PDP then they should vote for them to change the situation.
For the electorate, I pray we become more educated by the day.
Buhari A. Sa’ee can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org