The lesson from Sabon Gari bye election

The bye-election conducted by Independent National Electorate Commission (INEC) on Saturday, June 19, to fill the vacuum created by the removal of former speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Shagali, on the ground of being absent from house sittings in contravention of the house rules has come and gone.

What surprised many political spectators or pundits is how the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which occupied the seat before, suffered a resounding defeat from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since its defeat, many lessons have been learnt from the bye election. The opposition PDP had carefully selected qualified candidate who gave the ruling party a run for its money. This indicates presenting a credible candidate is prerequisite to success in an election. Instructively, the PDP has never faltered in doing just this.
The anti-masses policies being implemented by the Kaduna state government under the leadership of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai must have largely contributed to the easy defeat of the party. Since his inception, Governor El-Rufai has been wielding the big stick on the civil servants in the name of right sizing. It is estimated that over 60,000 staff were outrightly sacked and their benefits denied them by the state government.

Added to the baggage of woes is the increase of tuition fees in the state’s higher institutions by the state government. Now, a student who used to pay N26,000 as his/her tuition fees is being forced to pay N70,000 for polytechnic and 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 vent their anger against the ruling party’s candidate.
The resounding defeat of the government’s candidate is a clear testimony that the scheduled August local government elections will be keenly contested by the opposition PDP. The victory of PDP in the bye election will surely send a warning signal to the ruling party that the electorate are tired with their 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 local government election and in the 2023 general elections.

Lawal Adamu Usman,