Democracy counts: On blessed numbers
By Bishir Kodago katsina
@ katsina city news
The conventional political strategy seems to suggest that the voting power of a given polity to a
much greater extent determines explicably the political patronage it receives in power-sharing
arrangements. In Nigeria, the concept of power-sharing has generally been adopted to address the
demands of inclusivity and fears of the inherently heterogeneous polity as well as concretizing the
dyadic relationship between the Northern and Southern divides.
Between these dyadic blocks and within their delineations constant indicators must be addressed
to bring about the realization of power-sharing concepts and arrangements. This is because
grouping all the blocks under a single framework of analysis risk the danger of unfairness,
dissension, and a tilt in voters’ sympathy. Furthermore, even between and within the blocks, some
entities have proven to be major determinants of the overall outcome of general elections in
particular the presidential elections.
There is now an epic quest as we move to create a more dignified democracy and adapt to the ever-
changing demands that each new generation places on its democratic institutions. The quest for
Katsina is 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 as well as
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 national leadership of the APC is not a
Czaristic platform but rather a democratic podium that is impartial and just.
It is an indisputable fact that the numbers in a democracy are one of democracy’s core normative
commitments to power-sharing arrangements. Thus, in taking a cursory look at the Katsina State
Presidential elections results from 1999 to date, one notes the historical trend has always been that
the victorious candidate or party won by an overwhelming margin, exceeding expectation
consistently. It is clear that even in Northern Nigeria, Katsina State has been able to solidify its
hold on the party systems and maintained the strategic links between political actors and voters.
This political matrix hitherto determined and will continue to decide to a great extent the votes
turn-over for the ruling party’s presidential candidate in the State.
Remarkably, the total votes cast for each presidential election in Katsina State have been on an
average of 1.5 million votes. It has never been a coincidence for the winning candidate or party to
have a wider margin in each of the elections. The margin of the numeric values turn-over 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 has had and maintained this
kind of proven reliability since 1999.
Principally candidates played and will continue to play a major role in presidential elections in
Katsina State. Secondly, Katsina State is such a conservative block, however, during every
presidential election, the voters were willing to overlook party defects because of their need to
align with the national rhythm. Thus, even within the Northern block Katsina State unlike any
other State has been established to be a foremost game-changer in our national politics.
Pundits attuned to the historical perspective of Katsina politics have always highlighted that the
declining intensity of ideological differences across parties in the State may have encouraged the
entirety of votes cast to be directed to a candidate and a party. As a cradle of power and an
ecosystem of political czars, it has always provided a dais for equilibrium in promoting a
partnership model in political patronage. Katsina’s political ecosystem’s strategic votes were never
by accident but a deliberate push to help candidates win, without any scare of battle and hence
underpinning loyalty. Thus, with such unprecedented historical presidential elections output
Katsina should be accorded a place in the consummation of strategic partnership between the
dyadic blocks of the country.
Some regional urgings may surface regarding the seemingly continued patronage of Katsina State
in the Country’s top power hub. The fact remains that President Buhari was simply elected among
other factors as a nationalist not for the sake of patronizing a regional enclave or sub-structured
entity. Thus, he was by credentials not a product of power-sharing or any other regional political
entente cordiale. Late Yar’adua’s candidature was a product of the latent concatenation scheme of
president Obasanjo to transference power to the Northern block. In essence, none of these gestures
of “excellency” were deliberately conferred on Katsina State as a political entity by the power of
its votes. It is a lazy lampooning argument to keep Katsina away from the table of power-sharing
discussions because of these attainments.
Seemingly the agitations across the Northern States for selection as Northern representation seem
to be growing beyond logic. Politics is about numeric value yield. With the new national political
perspective, the deportment of certain States to use social media propaganda to enliven their
chances of consideration in power arrangement, and the fear of possible skewed patronage that
may cause loss of colossal votes, the need for circumspection by the ruling party as the 2023 power
permutation evolves becomes indispensable. While individual aspirations are within the realm of
the right of citizens but such rights must be accompanied by the manifest capacity to help fill the
basket of essential votes. Fortunately, even the over-ambitious Northern cream of the crop along
with hedonistic individuals cannot dispel the fact that without the Buhari sanctification, their hold
on the ruling party and the votaries will wither beyond redemption. It will be a political absurdity,
and a confused gamble to rely on such States and individuals to give the essential overwhelming
votes to the APC in 2023.
Thus, the ruling party must not engage in the risky business of prioritizing States based on
individuals or desperate political heads. Since the system we are operating is not an absolutist
system the ruling party leadership must be regularly confronted and charged to do the right thing.
The right thing implicitly should be that the relationship between Katsina State and the leadership
be encircled in the gamut of mutualism, with both parties benefitting. Katsina State will not
shillyshally in its traditionally prime undertaking of giving the looked-for votes to the party’s
presidential candidate as long as it is politically acceptably recognized in the ensuing power
arrangement of 2023.
Bishir Kodago writes in from Filin Samji quarters Katsina.katsina state email;email@example.com