The late former President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, is to Katsina people what the late Nelson Mandela is to South Africans. Many people of the state saw him as a messiah.
Yar’Adua is believed to be the father of modern Katsina State. His eight-year reign as governor set a solid foundation for the transformation of the state. His blueprint was vigorously pursued and executed during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reign in the state: from modern schools, a university, an airport, roads, among others were executed by his regime.
The blueprint is what the PDP in the state is hinging its 2019 campaigns on to woo the people of the state in order to return to power.
During the party’s campaign launch in the state for the 2019 general elections, its gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Yakubu Lado Danmarke, announced that the PDP would reintroduce Yar’Adua and Shema’s blueprints as a working template for his administration.
This announcement by Danmarke dispelled the insinuation in the state that most of the candidates vying for the governorship had no blueprint to work on, and therefore, his acceptance to work on the former leaders’ blueprints was welcomed by all.
Danmarke said “great” sons of the party had laid a solid blueprint for the growth and development of the state which the APC administration had abandoned.
He said free education, job creation, roads, schools and security which were enjoyed in the past were no more.
The PDP state Chairman and deputy governorship candidate, Salisu Majigiri, said PDP as a party believed in continuity and sustainability of projects and programmes of past leaders.
Maijigiri said the late Yar’Adua came with the zeal and determination to revamp the state and place it in the comity of states, and that Shema ensured that he completed the projects before embarking on his.
He said Yar’Adua’s blueprint entailed continuity, transparency, prompt payment of salaries, full free education and better agricultural services, adding that “politics aside, these policies and programmes made Katsina what it is today.
“Therefore, the best way out for the people of the state is to return to the better ways of doing things as the APC administration has deviated from the solid foundation laid by its leaders: Yar’Adua and Shema.
“The APC has shot itself in the foot by failing the people; its failure has confirmed the fears of the PDP since 2015. It is time they step aside and allow the masters of the game to once again take charge and return the state to the path of prosperity and growth.
“Let me take you back a little, when this administration came, some of our uncompleted projects were abandoned; like the Dubai Market, Fatima Shema Shopping Mall, the ICT centre, among others. It would have been wise to complete them. They are about the state, not individual.”
However, the APC state Chairman, Shittu Shittu, was quick to remind the PDP that all its “acclaimed glory” as being sold to the people was just mere political gimmick, and that, “The PDP ought to have buried itself in shame giving the wanton destruction and unnecessary waste of public funds in its tenure.”
Shittu said all the so called projects PDP was bragging about were UBEC projects which were done through counterpart funding, and that, “The APC also did so many of these projects.”
He said the late Yar’Adua also inherited projects and built on them; “like the airport they are claiming to have built,” noting that “it was inherited from the military government.”
Shittu said it was unfortunate for a gubernatorial candidate to be lumping his trade on Yar’Adua, the same man that sacked him (Danmarke) as a Local Government Chairman of Kankara for failing to pay salaries.
“It is laughable to be allying with ideals of someone who didn’t seem to be on the same page with you.”
“I challenge Lado to show us one single thing he did for his councils, constituents or even motion or bills at both the House of Reps and Senate since he was there.
“Yar’Adua is dead, we can only pray for the repose of his soul, but I advise PDP to cover its head in shame for failing in its governance,” he added.
He further said it was foolhardy and shameful for the party chairman to be talking of executing various projects, saying that “his home town and village was abandoned during their regime; it is now that the APC has opened it up by providing a road to it.
“The APC came with Restoration Agenda which has touched the lives of all the people, adding that “its part two, tagged Sustaining Strategic Consolidation, is designed to build on what was recorded.”
The Publicity Secretary of the APC, Abubakar Gambo Danmusa, said Gov. Masari’s administration was about people.
Danmusa said, “Even though we differ in party manifestos, but the APC puts the people at heart. It went ahead and completed 13 inherited projects of the PDP. This shows you that APC is accepting and has the feelings of the people at heart.”
He said the PDP still believed in propaganda but that those days were over, noting that “they should just accept defeat and continue to live with that.”