The battle to succeed Governor Aminu Bello Masari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Katsina state is taken another dimension, following the emergence of Senator Lado Danmarke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Dikko Umaru Radda of the APC as flag-bearers of their parties.
The interesting thing, before and during the primary was that, many people, especially those in the APC underrated Dikko Radda for making any impact, not to talk of picking the party’s ticket with 506 votes.
Another side of the gist was that no strong or prominent politicians stood by him before picking the ticket, except for the youths and women who rally around him to emerge victorious in the last primary.
Against the foregoing, it is surprising to arrive at how Dikko Radda was able to woo delegates to give him their mandates, hence why the battle to occupy the seat of power in Katsina was interested
For Senator Danmarke, it is believed that his financial muscle and political experience paved the way for his emergence, having contested the seat on different platforms from 2011 to date as well as 2019, the PDP candidate is confident of correcting past mistakes to give anybody for the seat a good fight.
Additionally, Senator Danmarke is said to have more goodwill from the masses due to his philanthropic gesture, which hitherto gave him victory at the primary with 700 votes, as someone with the capacity, economic strength and political will to govern the state.
Consequently, Senator Lado Danmarke’s pedigree made him gain unflinching support from a lot of households, especially those at the grassroots.
Unfortunately, the one time Senator, House of Representative member and Chairman of Kankara Local Government Area, lobbying into the race has given rise to excitement and uncertainty, becoming a tough contender with age and endurable economic track records
He has indeed contributed immensely to the growth and development of the state and PDP, which helped him become familiar with people, having the enthusiasm for winning the forthcoming gubernatorial contest in 2023.
Pundits are seeing Senator Danmarke as one candidate that has the required means to clinch the seat of Governor and rule the state, but one thing that would boost his chance to edge another contender will be his ability to unite all stakeholders and chieftains of the party, seeking support for a collective struggle.
The PDP”s governorship candidate has been over time supportive to the youths and women, making him an active politician with the unique potential to mobilize power blocs to his advantage.
Though, some analysts are of the view that he may find it difficult to win the 2023 gubernatorial poll because he is from the southern district of the state which produced the incumbent Governor Masari, who will complete his second term in office next year. However, if power rotation is something to go by, Senator Danmarke may likely miss this chance to govern the state.
Another controversial speculation ongoing in the state is the impression associating the PDP candidate with the renounced Katsina based businessman, Dahiru Bara’u Mangal, alleging that Senator Danmarke may pick his running mate from Katsina town and a close relation to Mangul that would lead them to victory.
Explaining further that the impression may not work for him, simply because electorates are becoming tired of the businessman involved in the state politics, giving instance to what happened at the recent APC guber primary where his anointed aspirant, Abbas Masanawa failed to pick the APC ticket.
While some other proportions also believed it may work in his favour, giving to the business mogul’s (Mangal) financial strength and popularity; citing the role he played that brought Governor Aminu Masari to power in 2015 is evident to the reality of what would happen in 2023.
There is no doubt that Alhaji Mangal is still relevant as far as the political permutation of the state is concerned and if the rumours making the rounds of the alleged support to the PDP candidate are true, Senator Danmarke will laugh the best at the end.
Essentially, Dikko Radda is also a serious prospect that stands a better chance of winning the governorship seat of the state, especially with his recent outstanding display at the APC guber primary where he edged-out bigwigs and chieftains of the party, shocking pundits who are now seeing him as the man to succeed Governor Massri in 2023.
Being a former Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Radda, has been a politician, entrepreneur, teacher and banker with wide administrative experience at the local, and state and Federal Government levels for many years.
He also has the overwhelming support of both women and youths who have severely enjoyed a lot of his kind gestures from the social services he is rendering to the “Gwagware Foundation.”
There is no qualm, his social intervention programmes have indeed impacted tremendously in the lives of thousands of vulnerable households, youth and women who have been equipped with various skills and funds to earn a living. This philanthropic display has reckoned him as a man of the people, politically grounded and prepared for the race.
But analysts believed that Dr Radda’s first move of extending hands of fellowship to other aspirants that lost out in the election he emerged victorious, has started to strengthen his ambition and acceptance in the state for a formidable struggle to win the race
Being the flag bearer of the ruling party that has the support of the Government and APC members, he is undoubtedly an unstoppable candidate as far as the Katsina governorship tussle is concerned, especially with Governor Aminu Bello Masari who seized power from the PDP in 2015 to become the leader of the party in the home State of President Muhammadu Buhari, would not by any means afford to relinquish power to the opposition PDP, hence would do all within his reached to support Radda to victory for continuity.
Though some pundits are alleging that the current government’s performance in the state may hinder his election in the 2023 poll, pinpointing some key infrastructural areas that the APC-led administration has performed below average compared to what former Governor Shehu Shama did when he was in office under the PDP platform.
According to them, the people are becoming wiser daily as the nation goes deep into political struggles, measuring the benefits enjoyed by every dispensation while in office before giving out their mandates to the party.
However, the recent Local Government election in the state is a clear indication of the protest votes that may go to the opposition party to truncate the ruling party, unless something is done properly to strengthen the weaknesses of the party and rectify its mistakes to gain the people’s backing.
Another aspect that analysts are also thinking may narrow his chance to victory was taking the APV guber candidate, Radda to meet President Mohammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja recently, their impression implied that President Buhari’s popularity and acceptability has been declined and doing that would not add any value to the Radda candidature instead reduce it due to the hardship caused by the rising security challenges under the watch of Buhari.
But be as it may, anxieties and apprehension are growing in the state especially given to scenarios of all the aspirants who lost in their respective governorship primaries, and decided to collapse their interest to support flag bears of their party. While permutation is continuous, candidates are strategizing the best way forward to clinch power in 2023.