HOW NOT TO JOKE WITH 1.5 MILLION VOTES

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By Bishir Gambo, PhD

Anybody who thinks a no-deal with Katsina State will be inconsequential in the overall
presidential election outcome should do a factual cross-examination of the voter temporal
turn-over and indulge in a comparative analysis with other States in the Northern region.
Katsina State has long been recognized as a political influencer by the massive power of
the overwhelming votes it casts to winning presidential candidates. It is interesting to note
that 1,193,397 voters turned out in 1999 for the election, 1,653,161 cast their votes in
2003, and 1,609,598 participated in the presidential election in 2011. Similarly, in the 2015
presidential election, 1,449,426 excluding rejected votes were recorded while in 2019
1,628,865 voters lined up and cast their votes during the same elections.

Thus, it has never been a coincidence for the winning candidate or party to have a wider
margin in each presidential election. The margin of the numeric values turnover has
proven enough to cover shortfalls for winning presidential candidates in certain North-
Eastern and the North-Western States since 1999. No State in Northern Nigeria had and
maintained this kind of proven reliability since 1999.
Thus, the quest for this conception spins around eliciting the attention of those concerned
with issues of transition and power arrangements of 2023. Educing the attention of the
APC leadership becomes timely and will help overcome negotiation myopia; avoiding a
situation where the party leadership or its presidential candidate fails to see their
advantage in front of them. The pursuit for Katsina is further centered on the dire need for
the national leadership of the ruling party to recognize the power of numbers in
determining the success of the party’s presidential candidate and position itself to
adequately compensate the State in power permutation as the trudge to 2023
commences. It is the firm belief in Katsina State that the newly elected national leadership
of the APC is not a Czaristic platform but rather a democratic podium that is impartial and
just.
The ruling party and its 2023 candidate should see the case of Katsina State as a
straightforward case as there exists potential common ground of agreement. It is not
proposing any sentiment, radicalism, influence, and other cleavages in seeking
settlement, patronage, or a deal in the power deal. It is putting forward the fundamental requirement of winning the election. The votes are germane and frontal in discussing the
future of the State in the power arrangement. Within the Northern block, it is apparent that
Katsina has the highest potential to realize its will from the power of its votes, even against
the resistance of twisted egotistical elites.
The ruling party and its likely presidential candidate should be concerned with what type
of political arrangement will generate basic political order, overwhelming votes, and
stability. Thus, undertaking the anatomy of political settlement in the context of
contribution in votes suggest that State building is far from a set of technical formulas but
highly a convenient political process that recognizes the power of numbers.
Katsina State, a political hub of votes knows what it wants. It will brace itself and maintain
its position during the transition agreements. Any failure to enter into an agreement with
it in the context of a power-sharing arrangement is analogous to catching a tiger by the
tail. Rationally the ruling parties’ candidate will not take lightly the over 1.5 million votes
in an election imminent at such a desperate time in the nation’s history.
Bishir Gambo, PhD writes in from Saulawa Quarters Katsina

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