Abdul Usman, Kano
Ahead of 2023, top Katsina politicians eyeing Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s seat are using the coronavirus palliatives to advance their political interests, our correspondent reports.
The development, Premium Reporters got from Daily Trust has reignited political rivalry among top politicians in the state, especially those believed to be nursing governorship ambition.
Daily Trust stated that top among them are, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita; Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Radda; and Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa.
At one time or the other, they have all been named as among those eyeing the 2023 governorship of the state, though none has formally indicated interest.
During the distribution of palliatives, “special monetary packages” are doled out to party executives at each level, a move seen by many as indicative of “I need your support” whenever the time is due. For the governorship race, various camps are being formed with several interest groups waiting to strike at the appropriate time. These political interests and aspirations shall be the next big fight the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state may have to contend with as it would make or mar it as the 2023 elections approach. Aside from the camps of the prospective aspirants, the APC in Katsina has two key camps, the Katsina group and that of Abuja. It could be recalled that Governor Masari months ago raised an alarm over what he called a gang-up by the Abuja group. Within the groups, there exist smaller camps.
Party members forsee time bomb At present, the state party mechanism is solely in the hands of the former party chairman and present secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa. A cross-section of party members spoken to said the APC is sitting on a time bomb because of the numerous camps and divisions in its fold. Al-Amin Isah, a founding member of the APC said even in the AKIDA group that we belong, it is divided into two folds – that of Samaila Funtua and that of Sadiq Yar’adua. He said the polarisation will rear its ugly head at the congress because the present state APC leaders have clearly and openly shown where they are tilting to, adding “this will be the greatest fight in the party.” “This is not good for the APC and those key party members who are supposed to take the lead and address issues at this time are not doing the needful and are not sincere because of their various interests as well.
“The party is greatly polarised and that may not augur well in the future. All camps are silent but watching each other’s’ steps and strategising for the right time to strike.” For Kabir Murja, “APC Akida is firm, steady and ready to take the lead to ensure the founding principles of the APC which were intentionally neglected are returned and adhered to.” “I’m very happy Governor Aminu Masari, after our last outburst, has begun to understand the problems and I’m sure he is working towards addressing them.” For the state party chairman, Shitu Shitu, it’s too early to talk about 2023 given the fact that no one knows if he or she will live to see that period. On alleged favouritism of a particular candidate, Shitu said, “This is a statement from people who are not sincere and have ulterior motives in the party. The party has leaders in the person of President Buhari and Governor Masari and we have great respect for them.
“All those making accusations are just trying to cause mischief and it is not about money,” he added. He said the APC in Katsina will continue to wax stronger irrespective of activities of a few who may want to destroy it because of their selfish interests.