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;saulawa67@gmail.com
@ www.katsinacitynews.com

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