Why Ashiru, Kaduna state PDP candidate, already stands defeated

Finally, it’s a done deal. Senator Uba Sani, as widely expected, has decisively won the Kaduna state governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He will be flying the party’s flag in the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state. 

His main opponent will be Isa Ashiru Kudan, the serial governorship aspirant, who as expected, clinched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial ticket. Kudan, in the opinion of the PDP stakeholders, remains the best of the lot that included Shehu Sani and others.

In 2015, Isa Ashiru Kudan contested against Nasir El-Rufai for the APC governorship ticket and was roundly defeated in the primaries. By 2019, typical of the average Nigerian desperate politician, Ashiru had “decamped” to the PDP, propelled by a vaulting ambition that’s unfortunately not matched by any vision or capacity.

The problem with Ashiru Kudan is that he just wants to be a governor because it’s the fashionable thing in Nigeria for most young men with too much money to do, if they are not marrying more wives. Sadly for him, he came at a very wrong time in history, when the bar of governance has been raised far beyond his competence. How on earth can Ashiru want to be governor of Kaduna state, after the superlative performance of the cerebral Nasir El-Rufai who, with hard work, succeeded in rescuing the state from the doldrums, into which it was pushed by the unmitigated disaster called Ramallan Yero?

Kaduna state people, after the poor performance of governor Ramallan Yero, are not in a hurry to experience another catastrophe, which Isa Ashiru clearly represents, given his lack of experience and well-known zero capacity for hard work.

But going by the warm embrace of Isa Ashiru Kudan, by some Southern Kaduna elite, the zone might, once again, and most unfortunately, shoot itself in the foot in the 2023 elections. It beats the imagination why an educated people would always prefer the fraternity of the likes of Danjuma Laah and Ashiru, astoundingly lacking in capacity and barely literate to represent them in the Senate and to lead a state like Kaduna. Thankfully, Laah was handed a well-deserved defeat in the Senate primaries by Sunday Marshal Katung. In the general elections, they should equally reject Ashiru. 

It will be sad, if some Southern Kaduna elite downplay or see some key factors like motivation, strategic reasoning, effective communication, planning, knowledge and the appetite for learning, in providing effective leadership,in the 21st century as unimportant.

The unpleasant truth is that Ashiru doesn’t motivate most members of the PDP, talk less of non-party members. Most of those milling around him see him as a puppet that can be manipulated. And are only enthusiastic about his governorship misadventure, to the extent that they see the possibility of taking advantage of his proven inadequacies and lack of understanding of the workings of government, to run and ruin the state. While Isa Ashiru Kudan, on his part, has his closely guided motive.

One area that Ashiru would always excell in, is in “power dressing”. He would definitely match Yero in flamboyance. And like Yero, he would have been an ineffectual leader, not alive to his duties.

The derision of Danjuma Laah, by supporters of Sunday Marshal Katung, over his poor representation of the zone at the Senate, led to his defeat. Without doubt, Laah was the weakest link in the remarkable performance by members of the National Assembly from Kaduna state, in the 9th assembly. But those who overwhelmingly rejected Senator Laah, can’t in good conscience support Ashiru, whose two terms as member of the House of Representatives were equally disastrous, to become governor of Kaduna state. It just doesn’t add up. Ashiru, like Laah, must be rejected by all voters in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District who wish to see continuous progress in the state.

Kudan’s poor outing in the National Assembly wasn’t just because of his low literacy level. After all, Hon. Muhammad Gudaji Danbaffa Kazaure makes superb contributions during deliberations in the House of Representatives, despite his lack of flowing English, because he has a vision. Isa Ashiru belongs to an elite club of members who never moved or sponsored a bill throughout their time in the National Assembly. 

Supporters of Ashiru, who insist that he can conduct the business of government in Hausa, miss the point. And that is that Ashiru tragically lacks vision. His case is so bad that even when his handlers write speeches for him, he scandalously fails to read them. 

Governance is a serious business. Kaduna state has moved beyond the capacity of Isa Ashiru Kudan. He will be lost understanding the El-Rufai footprints, not to talk of following it, unlike Uba Sani, who was part of the design and implementation. Uba Sani has equally showed a good grasp of the critical issues that confront the state. 

It’s important to reassure Nigerians that Uba Sani will strive to match and surpass the achievements of his mentor and friend, El-Rufai. He understands the complexities  of running a government in the 21st century and the burden of leadership. More importantly, he is mentally prepared. He has seen El-Rufai, his mentor age, from working hard, day and night to turn around Kaduna state. Uba has shown the capacity to harness the human and material resources to solidify the achievements of El-Rufai. 

Uba Sani will serve with total commitment. He will be a compassionate and caring leader, just and decisive. Uba understands the urgency for the people to achieve their full potential.

The enthusiasm for the Uba Sani candidacy, which cuts across party lines, is a welcome development, because it is not just a reflection of the trust in his capacity to provide leadership, but a testimony of the millions of lives that he has touched. 

In the coming weeks and months, we expect all manners of falsehoods and salacious lies around the person of Senator Uba Sani. It’s the nature of politics for politicians and their supporters to smear other candidates and peddle falsehoods. Though the truth eventually prevails, it’s always at a cost. It’s important for voters to be wary of those whose stock in trade is campaign of calumny.Musa writes from Kaduna