One of the best performing governors in Nigeria is Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. So far, he is the best Governor of Kaduna state in recent times. However, Mallam lost his polling unit and ward in the Saturday, September 4, 2021, local government elections conducted by the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission.
Governor El-Rufai voted at Unguwan Sarkin polling unit 001 in Kaduna North local government area of the state. Mohammed Sani, the presiding officer, announced the final results: Unguwan Sarki Ward 007 Kaduna North Chairmanship, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 1,235 votes while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 948 votes, while for the councillorship position PDP garnered 1,405 votes while the APC was behind with only 804 votes. Though, the election witnessed low voter turnout and challenges in some polling units as the wrong machines were deployed. El-Rufai himself expressed disappointment about the low turnout of voters in the council polls. He said: “What worries me is that I noticed that people didn’t turn out much,” This could be one of the reasons the APC did poorly at Governor El-Rufai’s unit, the party may say.
The big questions are: Why should a performing governor’s party be rejected by the people at the governor’s polling unit? Why should a performing governor lose at his polling unit and ward? Are the people angry with the governor, his party including his government? Are the people not happy with the way the beautiful Kaduna Urban Renewal is being handled? Is it the current insecurity the state is witnessing a major factor? Is it the issue of the sack of workers? Is the Kaduna state government out in touch with the real common people? There are a lot of questions that require answers, because the result from El-Rufai’s polling unit and ward is a big political statement from the people to the governor, his government and party.
Some political pundits are of the view that Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s major error is, his government is not doing well in balancing policies, development and politics. The pundit further said this is a reminder that development in a poor society must and should always consider the people’s survival, first. An example was the former governor of Adamawa state, Muhammadu Umaru Bindow, who did very well in constructing roads, bridges and hospitals, but the people denied him and his party the APC a second term because Bindow failed in the area workers’ salaries and human development.
Nevertheless, El-Rufa’i is still the best governor Kaduna State has had so far. APC may go on to win the majority of the local government councils as the results come it, but some pockets of the results have given the opposition more strength to fight more and take advantage of areas the government is lagging behind. One simple example is how one of the governorship hopeful Hon. Ahmad Tijjani Umar is smartly mobilization the youth and building bridges while taking advantage of the government’s weak areas, and it seems it is working well for him and his party in terms of winning support from the common people.
Governor El-Rufa’I should be commended for conducting a free and fair election also well as using modern technology to advance democracy, furthermore, the results at the governor’s polling unit and ward have given the governor some clues and the need for readjustments and adjustments for future politics.
Zayyad I. Muhammad,