Analysis of Kaduna State Governorship Election and the Influence of Religion and Local Politics

Analysis of Kaduna State Governorship Election and the Influence of Religion and Local Politics

The results of the Kaduna State presidential election held on March 25th, 2023, have given members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a sense of optimism for winning the governorship election on March 18th, 2023.

However, they seem to have overlooked that governorship elections are local affairs and that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Uba Sani, a native of Kaduna State, cannot be considered an outsider. Meanwhile, the APC has relied on religion as a weapon, unlike the PDP’s “power-must-remain-in-the-North” campaign to defeat the APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the north, especially Kaduna State.

The northern governors, including Nasir El-Rufai, who has faced opposition for his belief that power must shift to the South, deserve praise for preventing any future accusations of betraying the South-West political zone. Before 2015, both zones never related politically, which made the 2023 elections a significant test for the alliance.

The similarities between the Bauchi State 2019 election results and the Kaduna State 2023 election results provide a convincing argument for the victory of the APC candidate, Senator Uba Sani. While President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by a wide margin in Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate, won against the incumbent Abubakar Mohammed. The voters in Bauchi State showed their preference for Buhari as president but trusted Bala Mohammed as a better choice for the governor of their state.

The PDP is worried because Uba Sani is expected to win decisively, as local elections are won based on personal achievements and track records. Uba Sani’s achievements as the senator representing Kaduna Central District are impressive, especially his N4 billion engineering complex at the state university. He is also well-liked across party lines for his humanitarian activities through his Uba Sani Foundation. These qualities are lacking in Isa Ashiru, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, causing some PDP members, such as Professor Matho Dogara, to reject him and support Uba Sani.

The PDP’s religious campaign against the APC’s Muslim/Muslim ticket is predicted to benefit Uba Sani, as it has angered many Muslims, including PDP members, who see the campaign against the Muslim/Muslim ticket as an attack on their faith. The campaign has made some voters who were initially going to vote against the APC change their position. Audio and text messages urging Christians to vote for the PDP candidate and the attack on the Labour Party candidate’s campaign train have continued to work in favor of the APC.

The religious dimension of the governorship election was predictable, and it is unfortunate that it has taken this direction.

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