The bye-election conducted by the Independent National Electorate Commission (INEC) on Saturday, June 19, to fill in the vacuum created by the removal of former Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Shagali, on the ground of being absent from the house’s sittings, which violated the house rules has come and gone.
However, what surprised many political pundits is how the ruling party, the APC, which occupied the seat before, suffered a resounding defeat from the opposition PDP.
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Why did the PDP win the election? The opposition had carefully selected a qualified candidate who gave the ruling party the run for its money. This showed that presenting a credible candidate is a prerequisite to success.
The anti-masses policies being pursued by the state government under the leadership of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai must have contributed to the easy defeat of the party. Since his inception, the governor has been wielding the big stick on civil servants in the name of right-sizing. It is estimated, that over 60,000 staff were sacked and their benefits denied by the state government.
Added to this is the increase in tuition fees for students of the state’s high institutions by the state government. Now, a student who used to pay N26,000 as his/her tuition fees is being forced to pay 70,000 for the polytechnic while almost N200,000 for the state’s university.
The parents of these students, who were relieved of their jobs, must have used the opportunity to ensure they visited their anger against the ruling party’s candidate.
The defeat of the government candidate is a clear testimony that the scheduled August local government elections will be keenly contested by the opposition PDP. The victory of the PDP in the bye election will surely send a warning signal to the ruling party that the electorate is tired of its inhumane policies.
The Kaduna State APC should start preparing to vacate the state because their days are numbered. Nobody will risk voting them in the forthcoming LG election and 2023 general election.
Lawal Adamu Usman, Kaduna state.