Governorship Polls: Southern Kaduna People Will Vote PDP – Group

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File photo - L-R: Former Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, Senator, Ahmed Makarfi, PDP gubernatorial candidate, Hon. Isa Ashiru and his running mate during the Gubernatorial campaign rally at Zangon Kataf Local Government in Kaduna ahead of 2019 general election. Photo; BASHIR BELLO

By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna

The Southern Kaduna People through a group, Southern Kaduna Autochthones Community Development Association Forum has said they will vote the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly election.

“The Southern Kaduna people through the Community Development Associations forum, CDAs, have met and decided to support the PDP in the governorship election and State House of Assembly election, and we stand by this resolution,”Dr. Zuwaqhu K. A. Bonat, chairman of the forum said in a statement.

A group, Coalition of Southrn Kaduna Nationalists had last week said that the Southern Kaduna People may dump PDP in the governorship and State House of Assembly election if PDP chieftains in the northern part of the state fail to explain why they could not deliver the area to the party in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The statement added, “No one has asked Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his faceless young men to negotiate on behalf of Southern Kaduna. Their boast that they have the “capacity to turn our votes elsewhere overnight” is an empty one, and refers only to their own individual votes, and not those of the people of Southern Kaduna.

“We reject, renounce and denounce any attempts by anyone to cause confusion amongst our people. Those who have oppressed and suppressed us in the last four years, and are still arresting our people, and promising to further “deal with” us, cannot change overnight.

“The Southern Kaduna people through the CDAs forum, have met and decided to support the PDP in the governorship election and state assembly election, and we stand by this resolution. We ask the people of Southern Kaduna to ignore Magaji and his so-called “coalition” and to treat them as detractors. We should not empower those who have done us grievous harm, and continue to do and subject us to dehumanisation.”

The chairman stated, “If Yusuf Gandu Magaji is complaining about Kaduna State, then he and his group are merely being mischievous because we all know why the elections turned out the way they did.

“In Southern Kaduna election observers have reported that in several local government areas, Wards  and many Polling Units votes cast were deliberately and illegally cancelled at local government collation centres. Voting materials were in short supply in many PUs. Card readers malfunctioned. Voting started late in many places. There were deliberate disruptions of elections, which were used as excuses to cancel the votes.

“All these happened where the PDP was winning or had the most support. Why is Yusuf Gandu not concerned about this great disenfranchisement?

“It has been reported in many areas of Northern Kaduna that card readers were not used, but were enforced in Southern Kaduna. Why is Yusuf Gandu not complaining about these double standards by INEC?

“Can Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his sponsors explain to us why the votes supposedly won by the PDP in four LGAs in Ikara, Kubau, Kudan and Makarfi the same number with just minor variations? Who decided to allocate about 14,000 votes to the PDP in each of these local government areas?

“From Yusuf Gandu Magaji’s press statement we quote:
“There should be good level (sic) of fair play and sincerity” in politics. Was there such a level playing ground, fair play and sincerity in the Northern Kaduna local government areas during the presidential and National Assembly elections?

“What of in Zone 2? Who do you blame there? Most people who voted in Barnawa, Kakuri, Gonin Gora, Makera, etc, stated that INEC frustrated their attempts to vote in several ways. The problem is not about the manipulations and the rigging ways of the APC, but that Yusuf Gandu and his group are targeting Zone 1 because Isah Ashiru, the PDP governorship candidate, comes from there.”

The statement affirmed, “It is no longer news that from 2010 Boko Haram terrorists carried out bombing campaigns in Kaduna state, which ended abruptly after Governor Patrick Yakowa was killed. From 2011, herdsmen attacks began and became widespread by 2014, and then escalated from 2015 into systematic massacres and genocides.

“Thousands of Southern Kaduna have been killed, maimed, driven out of their homes, their farmlands destroyed. From 2015 the Kaduna state government under the APC began to attack our traditional institutions with the stoppage of their emoluments. Our District and Village Heads were sacked in their hundreds; the paramount rulers were harassed through queries, some arrested and imprisoned; while others were kidnapped and or murdered by “unknown” groups.

“Our chiefdoms have been deliberately broken by the APC government, and against our communities’ expressed wishes, the Governor of Kaduna State has with utter disdain and extreme arrogant display of power, changed the nomenclatures of our traditional institutions.

“Since late 2018 the Adara nation has been repeatedly attacked, their monarch kidnapped and murdered. Their people have been killed, their prominent leaders arrested. Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his shadowy group of “promising youth” see these killings as “a joke”, which they feel “has gone too far”. How can the killing of even one person, not to speak of hundreds, be described as “a joke” by any human being with conscience?

“While Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his group pretend to sympathise with Southern Kaduna, they are  full of praises for Governor Nasir El-Rufai, whose administration has caused so much damage to the people of Southern Kaduna through systematic exclusion and discrimination on the false claims that “Christians” are only 30% of the population of Kaduna State. Anyone who sees the killings and destruction of the Southern Kaduna people and communities as “a joke” cannot be taken as a sympathiser.”

Dr Bonat explained that the Southern Kaduna people have no quarrel with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Namadi Sambo and Mukhtari Ramallan Yero, and certainly not with Isah Ashiru.

“We got our chiefdoms under the PDP. It is these chiefdoms that Nasir El-Rufai and his APC are destroying with extreme prejudice,” the statement explained.

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