Nigeria: Race to Kashim Ibrahim House – Inside the Battle for 2023 Kaduna Governorship

The 2023 governorship election in Kaduna State North West, Nigeria guarantees to be the foremost eager inside the state’s latest political records.

The March 11 governorship election in Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria, can be the keenest in latest instances.

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Kaduna is amongst the 28 states the place governorship elections will maintain on that date. According to the figures INEC launched lately, the state has about 4.3 million registered voters.

The state is strategic due to the fact it’s viewed the political capital of the North. It was as soon as the capital of Northern area, which has been cut up into 19 states. As a end result, curiosity in its inside politics unfold far past its boundaries.

Since it was created in 1967, Kaduna has had 20 governors, 9 of them democratically elected whilst the others had been army officers. Katsina State was a part of Kaduna State till 1987 when it was cut up by the army administration of President Ibrahim Babangida.

Since 1999, Kaduna has been dominated by 5 elected governors.


The 1999 election was easy. Nigeria had simply returned to democracy after a protracted army rule. Many individuals had been not involved inside the rising dispensation on the time and consequently paid little or no interest to the transition inside the state.

Ahmed Makarfi grew to be the primary governor of the state inside the Fourth Republic with an awesome victory inside the election. He was elected beneath the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 and re-elected in 2003.

Remarkably, in 2003, his shut political ally, Suleiman Hunkuyi, decamped to the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and contested towards his former boss, however misplaced.


In 2007, Namadi Sambo was elected as governor. He was the anointed candidate of the outgoing governor, Mr Makarfi.

About three years into his tenure, Mr Sambo was appointed vice chairman following the demise, in May 2010, of President Umaru Yar’Adua and the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy, as president.


Mr Sambo was succeeded by his deputy, Patrick Yakowa, who went forward to win the 2011 governorship election.

Mr Yakowa, from Southern Kaduna, beat his closest opponent, Haruna Saeed of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), to retain the situation.

Mr Yakowa is the sole Christian amongst the governors which have led the state since 1999. However, he died in a aircraft crash in December 2012 and Ramalan Yero, his deputy, was promoted to the topmost political situation inside the state.


Mr Yero, additionally of the PDP as his predecessors, was defeated convincingly by Nasir El-Rufai inside the 2015 governorship election. Mr Yero had spent a touch over two years as governor on the time of his defeat.

Mr El-Rufai was elected the governor beneath the All Progressive Party (APC). His administration got here with adjustments and controversies. He is a person cherished and hated by many in Kaduna State.

His administration renewed and expanded the state’s Infrastructure and is viewed {one of the} most profitable governors inside the state’s records in phrases of infrastructure. But many, in particular Christians inside the state, see him as a divisive chief.


The state was sharply divided alongside ethnic and spiritual traces.

Until the 2019 election, the state had an unwritten custom that if the governor is a Muslim, the deputy can be a Christian and vice-versa.

However, that 12 months, Mr El-Rufai, a Muslim, broke that custom when he picked a Muslim girl, Hadiza Balarabe, as his working mate and subsequently deputy governor. Between 2015 and 2019, Bala Bantex, a Christian, had served as his deputy.


How the candidates stand

The stage is now set support election as Mr El-Rufai concludes his second time period in workplace on 29 May.

The 2023 governorship contest guarantees to be difficult and fierce. A complete of 17 candidates have been cleared for the election with 4 of them viewed main contenders. The pinnacle candidates aren’t leaving some thing to probability of their quest to safe the aid of the individuals of the state.

The APC has Uba Sani, a serving senator, because it candidate whilst Isah Ashiru is the flag bearer of the PDP. The different main contenders are Jonathan Asake of the Labour Party (LP) and Mr Hunkuyi of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP).

Analysts and eager watchers of political improvement in Kaduna State, notwithstanding, consider it is going to be a two-horse race between Messrs Sani and Ashiru.

Uba Sani

It is a widely-held view that Mr Sani will trip on the achievements of the incumbent, Mr El-Rufai, a fellow APC member, to energy. However, it’s not going to be a simple trip. He will need to battle with these aggrieved with the insurance policies of the outgoing governor.

Many individuals in Kaduna consider Mr El-Rufai was harsh in his transformation agenda inside the state. Many individuals misplaced their technique of livelihood as a result of demolition of homes and market remodelling inside the state.

Also, some are of the view that the authorities’s improvement tasks had been not unfold throughout the state as they’re outstanding in just three main cities, specifically Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan. The nearby communities had been uncared for. That possibly is the purpose that at each and every marketing campaign gathering, Mr Sani guarantees the individuals continuity with warning.

What could, notwithstanding, matter for the Kaduna Central senator is his promise that he would reverse a number of the controversial insurance policies of the governor, if elected, such because the sack of some conventional rulers.

Mr Sani is likewise stated to have a large struggle chest for the electoral contest, all of which make him the candidate to beat on 11 March.

Isah Ashiru

Mr Ashiru isn’t new to the Kaduna gubernatorial contest. In 2019, because the candidate of the PDP, he misplaced to Mr El-Rufai. This time, he has vowed to crush Mr Sani, Mr El-Rufai ‘s anointed candidate.

Mr Ashiru appears to benefit from the aid of many of the individuals who are indignant with the APC authorities inside the state.

A grassroots politician since 1999, he understands the issues of the individuals, in particular these dwelling in villages and the hinterland. This, he believes, offers him the benefit.

Mr Ashiru stated he would evaluate the insurance policies of Mr El-Rufai’s authorities, hold these he considers good and throw away the others.

Hunkuyi, Asake

On their components, Messrs Hunkuyi of the NNPP and Jonathan Asake of the LP are perceived by many as spoilers inside the race. None of them has began severe campaigning past mounting posters and displaying some presence inside the social media. Their things to do show up to be beneficial to the PDP candidate.

Although Mr Hunkuyi is a grassroots politician, he’s not believed to have the vital funds to mount a severe problem. Also, his get together, NNPP, is comparatively new and unpopular inside the state.

Mr Asake is pretty famous in Southern Kaduna the place he has been a neighborhood chief. However, individuals of the area frequently voted for the PDP and Mr Asake’s recognition could not change that. Also, little is thought about him inside the greater populous northern a part of the state.

What the individuals say

Hassan Lawal, a political analyst and commentator in Kaduna, believes the election shall be keenly contested due to the fact it would not be influenced by the incumbency aspect.

“I believe what the people want is what will come to them in the forthcoming governorship election. You know it will be a new government and the advantage of incumbency is not there, so I think Kaduna people are determined,” he informed PREMIUM TIMES.

Hawwa Magani, yet another resident, shares the view, saying the election goes to be a hard one, in particular due to the fact each Mr El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari aren’t on the poll.

“This time around, we will have a fierce election. I say this because the incumbent governor is not going to be on the Ballot and even Buhari,” he stated. “People are not so keen on the continuity slogan of the APC candidate. They want a change of party and style of governance. So it will be a big fight.”

Another resident, Umar Mamman, stated ” Yes El-Rufai did well in the state. Some people feel he should have someone like Uba Sani to consolidate all the achievements. I won’t say he will win, but he is more likely.”

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