Come May 29th, 2023, a new Governor is expected to be sworn-in in Kaduna State. Thus, the race to succeed Governor Nasir El-rufai has begun in earnest. Undoubtedly, the forthcoming 2023 Gubernatorial Elections in the State will be a Two-Horse Race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) just as it has always been in the past. Among the top contenders eyeing the Kaduna State Government House are as follows:
The 50years-old Sani has been a staunch loyalist of El-rufai since 1999. While El-rufai was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Sani on the other hand served as Special Adviser on Public Affairs to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2011, The Zaria-born Politician contested for the Kaduna Central Senatorial Seat under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform but lost at the Primaries. In 2013, He defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside El-rufai and other Top Politicians in the State. In June 2015, He was appointed as Special Assistant on Inter-governmental Affairs by Governor Nasir El-rufai, a position he held until 2018. During the 2019 General Elections, Sani contested and won the Kaduna Central Senatorial Seat under the APC platform. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions.
Ashiru is another top Contender for the 2023 PDP Governorship Ticket. The Civil Servant turned Politician came into the political limelight in 1999 following his Election as a Member representing Kudan State Constituency at the Kaduna State House of Assembly, a position he occupied until 2007. Hon. Ashiru proceeded to the House of Representatives where he represented Markafi/Kudan Federal Constituency under the PDP platform. He later decamped to the All Progressives Congress and aspired to govern Kaduna State in 2015 under the APC platform but lost at the Primaries. In May 2018, Ashiru returned to his former party, the PDP and contested the 2019 Gubernatorial Election as the party’s Candidate but lost to the incumbent Governor Nasir El-rufai of the APC, Hon. Isa Ashiru is desirous of seeking the PDP Ticket once again and hopes to succeed this time around.
Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari
Prior to his Political Career, the Sabon Gari indigene had a Successful Career in the Banking Industry. He began his political career as Chairman of Sabon Gari Local Government Area and later served in the House of Representatives. Between 2015 and 2018, Abdu Kwari was a Member of the Kaduna State Executive Council where he served as the Commissioner for Finance. The 58years-old Politician is currently the Senator representing Kaduna North Senatorial District at the National Assembly under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform. Some pundits say he might be Elrufai’s anointed one, but that remains to be seen.
Yero was formerly an Accountant, He was brought into political limelight in 2007 by his Political Godfather who is a Former Governor of Kaduna State and the erstwhile Vice-president of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo. The 52years-old Yero who hails from Zaria began his political career in 2007 as the Kaduna State Commissioner for Finance, a position he occupied until 2010 when he became the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, serving till December 2012. Yero subsequently became the Kaduna State Governor following the Death of his boss, the then Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. In 2015, Yero sought for re-election under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform but was defeated by Nasir El-rufai of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Though he hasn’t publicly declared interest in contesting for the position, observers believe strongly that he should, owing to the fact that he stands a better chance than the others.
These four political bigwigs are the likely contenders for the post. But the uppermost concern of the average Kaduna citizen is for a governor that would make security a priority and save Kaduna State from the hands of bandits and kidnappers who have placed the state under siege.