By; MIKE ODEH JAMES
Tension is mounting within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna as uncertainty sets in.
Last week, a high court sitting in Kaduna on pre-election matters nullified the Peoples Democratic Party’s primary election for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
The primary produced Mr. Lawal Adamu Usman popularly known as Mr. LA as the candidate for the PDP in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
Immediately after the PDP senatorial primary, Usman Ibrahim also called Sardaunan Badarawa who was the runner up, and one other member of the PDP who disagreed with the result of the primary and petitioned the PDP at the national level.
Surprisingly, the party at the national level set up a rerun committee following the petition by Sardauna Bardarawa immediately after the initial primary election, automatically invalidating the primary in Kaduna.
Chieftains of the party at both the national and state levels, instead of taking advantage of internal mechanism and settling the issue amicably, allowed it to fester leading to the present court case. Analysts are of the opinion that the PDP is once again boxing itself into a tight corner.
According to Ahmadu Usman Yusuf, a political analyst, the nullification of the Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone primary would cause a setback for PDP.
Yusuf further enunciated how Mr LA endeared himself to the masses in Kaduna.
“Before the coming of Lawal Adamu Usman into the PDP, the Sardaunan Badarawa and many other decamped from the party and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). However, Mr.LA took the burden of sustaining the PDP.
“In 2019, Lawal Adamu Usman rejuvenated the PDP from an ailing party into a winning party as it actually won the Kaduna Central Zone, but was cheated out of victory due to the power of incumbency.
“Despite losing out at the court, Mr .LA did not abandon the PDP and the people of the state, he doled out a whooping N100,000,000 to the three senatorial districts in the state. These cash was meant to help the poorest of the poor in the society.
“Mr. LA further endeared himself and the PDP to the people of the state when he set up a fund to cater for all indigent students in higher institutions, who could not afford the new tuition introduced by the APC-led administration.
” Many parents breathed a sigh of relief from the burden of paying school fees which was through Usman’s philanthropic gestures.
For these, Kaduna people are eternally grateful to him.
It would therefore, be disastrous for LA to be replaced now.
“For Mr. Ovyeh Ishaya, an indigene of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna, it is only Lawal Adamu Usman that resonates within our community. When others left the party and were supporting the APC against the people, only Mr. LA stood for us. If he is removed now, we may have no option but to vote against the PDP,” he added.
Many political observers have argued along the lines of Ovyeh Ishaya that Mr LA stood for the party and the people of Kaduna South when the Sardaunan Badarawa was in APC. They argued that Sardaunan Badarawa shouldn’t have been allowed into the party and given waiver to contest the primary few months into the contest.
Alhaji Abdulrahman Baki went ahead to state that the entrance of Sardaunan Badarawa into the PDP was the grand plot of the ruling party at the state to cause confusion ahead of the 2023 general election.
He said, “The Sardaunan Bardarawa is a close confidant of Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai and he has been his right hand man. The moment he came back to the PDP, I knew that he was on a mission to destroy the internal cohesion of the party so as to prevent Mr. Lawal Adamu Usman from defeating the APC candidate.
He blamed the PDP officials at the state level for allowing Sardunan Badarawa into the PDP without proper checks.
“The moment Sardunan Badarawa was allowed into the party, I knew there would be trouble and I blamed the party officials for it.
For Johnson Usman, money and greed on the part of the party officials contributed to the mess.
“That’s what’s killing the PDP particularly in the state, new entrants with money can do away with people who have kept faith and stood for the party, even when it wasn’t fashionable to do so. All you need to do as a new entrant is to buy cars and share or just bankroll personal bills of those calling the shots in the party, that’s all.
He further added that, “Mr LA has paid his dues for the party, particularly in Kaduna Central District and I am sufficiently convinced he will prevail at the end.
The ultimate aim of both contenders is to see that each emerges as the candidate of PDP for the Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone.
However, many observers believe that with the absence of Senators Shehu Sani and Uba Sani, Mr. LA would easily beat the APC candidate.
However, that cannot be said of Ibrahim, who has not contested an election, nor has been very active in the political space in Kaduna.
It is therefore, only pertinent to warn that the PDP in Kaduna maybe committing a political suicide if the Senatorial ticket of Kaduna Central is denied Mr. LA.
MIKE ODEH JAMES is a Kaduna based journalist and public commentator