The 2023 general elections in Nigeria saw the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) emerge victorious in the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Expectations are high for President-elect, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to form a competent, balanced and inclusive cabinet that rewards APC stakeholders across Nigeria commensurate to their individual contributions and loyalty.
My focus is on the North West region of the country and the prospects of cabinet, board and other appointments in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government, especially for stakeholders in Katsina State who contributed immensely to the emergence of Tinubu as the president–elect.
In politics, the North West region of Nigeria is where we have a heavy concentration of voters which is the main focus of every presidential candidate as they contend for the coveted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The region is made up of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states and of these seven states, Katsina, Kano and Kaduna are considered the most critical in strategic political planning due to their population, political viability and geographical centrality.
Political observers expect Tinubu to give viable appointments to Katsina, Kaduna and Kano commensurate to their unflinching loyalty and huge political investments in the Tinubu project right from the primaries leading up to the just concluded Presidential, National Assembly, gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections.
Heavy rainfall threatens wheat farming in Katsina
Presidential poll: Why Tinubu lost in Katsina – Gov-elect
The APC in Katsina State came out of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections with flying colours due to the able leadership of the state governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari.
Although APC lost Katsina State in the presidential election to the PDP with a very slim margin of 6,758 votes due to anti-party activities of well-disguised moles in the party, Masari led the party to an impressive victory in the National Assembly elections by winning three senatorial seats and nine out of 15 House of Representatives seats.
In contrast during the presidential election, APC in Kano State came a distant second to the NNPP with a margin of 479,938 votes, while NNPP swept 17 of the 23 House of Representatives seats in the state.
Similarly, in Kaduna State, the PDP won the presidential election with a wide margin of 155,067 votes, while sweeping all three senatorial seats and 10 of the 16 House of Representatives seats, leaving the APC with only four seats and LP with two seats in the House of Representatives.
It is on record that Governor Aminu Bello Masari was one of the few governors in the North who supported the rotation of the presidency to the South and in particular Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In addition, Masari’s strategic decision to focus on campaigning in Katsina State rather than accompanying the president–elect around the country during the campaigns paid off greatly for the APC during the 2023 general elections.
By staying close to home and cultivating his influence and relevance in the state, he was able to effectively mobilise voters and turn out a massive number of votes for the gubernatorial candidate now governor-elect in Katsina State, Dr Dikko Radda.
The impressive margin of victory of over 373,000 votes by APC/Radda team over Sen. Yakubu Lado of the PDP is a testament to the commitment and hard work by Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
Despite facing many last-minute challenges, he was able to prevail and secure a clear victory which ranks as one of the highest margins of victory during the just-concluded gubernatorial elections nationwide.
Governor Masari’s political acumen and ability to deliver results for the party in Katsina State demonstrates the importance of having strong, effective leaders that can connect with people and deliver tangible results. It is clear that his presence and influence were critical in turning Katsina State into a stronghold for the APC and his role in the success should not be underestimated.
These achievements were recorded despite the unpopular naira redesign policy of the federal government.
Katsina State’s contribution to the Tinubu presidency cannot be overemphasised. Therefore, the state deserves the offer of first refusal in the ongoing horse-trading for political appointments behind closed doors in Abuja and Lagos. As they say, to whom much is given, much is expected.
The incoming Tinubu administration should be meticulous in identifying and rewarding stakeholders from Katsina State on the basis of contributions and political value. Every variable should be put on the table to share rewards based on performance.
Mamman is the Chairman APC Stakeholders, Rimi LGA, Katsina State
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