The Southern Kaduna Senatorial District seems to be the battle ground for 2023 general elections, especially for those contesting the governorship of Kaduna State.
The geopolitical area refered as zone three is predominantly christian and composed of minority ethnic groups and pockets of Hausa Fulansi dotting the area.
Since the return of democracy in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had a tight grip on the area and had consistently remain so despite the efforts made by some political parties to infiltrate them especially from 2015.
Going by what is happening today, there are indications that the PDP is losing. grip of the area as a sizable number of its supporters have left the party or working against it from within.
The biggest beneficiary of the wind of the political change in the area is the Labour Party, LP. The political gladiators in the area have succeeded in selling a religious dummy to the unsuspecting masses that Labour Party is their party as it had fielded a. christian candidate for the presidency as against the other major political parties, the PDP, APC and NNPP who fielded muslim presidential candidates and gubernatorial candidates in the state.
The other parties are fielding gubernatorial candidates outside the zone but the Labour Party is fielding a candidate from the zone in the person of Hon Jonathan Asake, who is very popular in the area because of his aggressive persuit of protecting Southern Kaduna interest.
For 2023 gubernatorial elections in Kaduna State the PDP is fielding Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan, a former member of Kaduna State House of Assembly and former member House of Representative under the PDP.
He decamped to the APC and contested and lost the nomination to run for the governorship under the APC to Nasir el rufa’i in the build up to the 2015 elections.
He returned to the PDP and secured the nomination to contest the governorship but was defeated by el Rufai.
The APC is showcasing Sen. Uba Sani, a strong and dependable ally of Gov. el Rufai. The APC has been making frantic efforts to weaken the PDP grip on Southern Kaduna but with very scanty success. Now that the LP has come on board, it will surely help her in dealing with the PDP.
The New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP is presenting Sen Suleiman Usman Hunkuyi, a vociferous and outspoken politician who has begun nursing the ambition to become governor for over 20 years. His political stronghold has been the Southern Kaduna.
He was a commissioner for finance under the government of Ahed Mohammed Makarfi and represented Zone 1 in the last senate under the APC between 2015 and 201 but was dislodged by Hon Suleiman Abdu Kwari.
Recall that Hon. Asake was member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and immediate chairman of the vociferous Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU. His debut has greatly changed the political equation as he is being seen as the hope of Southern Kaduna by the locals.
Now the votes in the area will be shared between the LP, PDP, APC and NNPP unlike in the past when political contractors return bloc vote results after every election with the PDP as beneficiary.
Two things are the likely outcomes of the current situation. The first is the liberation of Southern Kaduna people from being muscled into one political party because of the interests of some few elites who use religion and ethnicity to politically trade with them, thus turning them into political commodities.
Secondly, the LP may secure large chunk of the votes from the area, winning some seats in the state and national assemblies. But for the governorship and presidential elections, the effect and impact may remain a mirage.