APC faces real threat of losing Kaduna governorship with same faith ticket adding to their woes

NIGERIA'S ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is facing the real prospect of a humiliating defeat in Kaduna State this weekend as its decision go for a same faith governorship ticket could lead to a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) victory.


During the presidential elections on February 25, the PDP won overwhelmingly in Kaduna State, with their candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, scoring 554,360 votes. He beat Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the APC who got 399,293 votes to come second while the Labour Party’s Peter Obi polled 294,494 votes to claim third position.


With the PDP in the ascendancy and the APC fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for governorship and deputy governorship positions this weekend, the situation is looking precarious for the ruling party. Outgoing Governor Nasir El-Rufai is one of President Muhammadu Buhari's close confidants and is expected to play a key role in the forthcoming Tinubu administration.


A loss to the PDP on Saturday would be a personal humiliation for Governor El-Rufai as it would mean he could neither deliver his state in the presidential elections nor get an APC governor elected. Last weekend, the APC lost all of Kaduna State's three senatorial seats to the PDP and in the House of Representatives election, the PDP won 10 seats out of the state's 16 seats.


To make matters worse for Governor El-Rufai, no fewer than nine governorship candidates have endorsed the PDP's Isa Ashiru, as their consensus candidate. Under the platform of the Kaduna State Rescue and Rebuild Gubernatorial Candidates Forum, they claim that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC is a ploy to divide the state along religious lines.


These nine parties comprising of the Young Progressives Party, Action Alliance, Allied Peoples Movement, All People’s Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, National Rescue Movement, the Accord Party, ADP and the Zenith Labour Party, are all behind the PDP. Sani Yaya, the chairman of the forum and the YPP governorship candidate, said they decided to endorse the PDP candidate because he remained the best man for the job.


Senator Uba Sani, the APC governorship candidate is an El-Rufai protégé, who served as political adviser to the governor before being elected as the incumbent senator for Kaduna Central Senatorial District in 2019. He is up against the PDP and the Labour Party, whose candidate, Jonathan Asake, was the president of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union.