KATSINA, SAI RADDA ! – JESUTEGA ONOKPASA
I recently read a book, “Baba Of Karo”, 1954, by Mary F Smith, which I ended up ordering from America because I couldn’t find it to buy here in Nigeria even though it is a book about Northern Nigeria.
I had first encountered a passage from the book almost forty years ago in an English reader back in secondary school.
Amongst other things it depicts a time of upheaval and uncertainty in the North, including in what is present day Katsina State, more than 100 years ago.
It also chronicles how peace was brought upon the land and things appeared to have changed for the better forever.
While there are multiple factors to be fingered for the present insecurity ravaging various parts of our country including the North, I believe that copycatting is particularly to blame for its expression in kidnapping.
It is the trend in kidnapping that first reared its head in the Niger Delta that has been copied by criminal elements across this country including and now especially so in the North.
When then President Olusegun Obasanjo quite foolishly arrested Asari Dokubo, the latter’s supporters took to abducting expatriate oil and gas workers in protest.
Within a few short years kidnapping became a pandemic in Nigeria to the extent that today whole villages can be kidnapped in certain parts of the North!
Whatever happens in one part of a country can have profound consequences for its other component parts.
The bottom line is that we are all in this together and should be bothered about what is happening in any part of the country we all share.
The choice before the great and ancient people of Katsina State on Saturday, 11 March, is a stark one between two polar opposites who are the clear frontrunners in the gubernatorial race.
Nevertheless, for progress to continue in Katsina State, for peace to be consolidated, for development to be sustained and for hope to be kept alive in the state, it should be clear that there is only one option available to the good people of Katsina State and that option squarely rests on the candidature of Dr. Umar Dikko Radda, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Dr. Radda has to win on Saturday or whatever has been gained thus far would have been thrown to the dogs.
Indeed, it would be a complete disaster for the peace and progress of Katsina State for the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Garba Yakubu Lado to somehow take the day, come Saturday.
It would amount to the good and noble people of Katsina State rejecting competence, capacity, track record, goodwill and visionary leadership, and instead installing retrogression,
incompetence, sense of entitlement, incapacity and proclivity for violence.
There is really no basis for any meaningful comparison between Dr. Radda and Senator Lado.
Dr. Radda is the poster child of competence for the job, preparedness for leadership and capacity for good governance.
Senator Lado brings nothing of any real value to the table and in the final analysis, is really just another politician who sees the governorship of Katsina State more or less as his entitlement.
That cannot possibly be good enough for Katsina State, a most promising part of this country which straddles an ancient realm of great significance and much potential.
May its citizens therefore be imbued with the requisite wisdom to choose well on Saturday and retain their state within the praxis of progress.
That is assured with Dr. Radda.
It is only endangered with Senator Lado.
Onokpasa, a lawyer and member, All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Abuja.
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