By Engr. Dodo Almustapha

The 2023 general elections have come and gone, but stories of surprises and imagination persist. Despite a significant decrease in the number of votes cast by each state, which resulted in the All Progressives Congress (APC) losing grounds to opposition parties in its traditional strongholds such as Kano, Kaduna, and Katsina, among others, the people of Niger State managed to withstand the opposition’s attack and produce the highest number of votes in the North-Central region.
Niger produced the third-highest number of votes among the 12 states won by the APC nationwide.

To restate it clearly, Niger State produced the highest number of votes in the North Central region, which helped His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu win the presidency of Nigeria in the recently concluded general elections. It was only surpassed by two states in the country, Oyo and Jigawa, from the twelve states won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the elections. This may not be unconnected with the fact that the people of Niger State recognize Bola Ahmed Tinubu as their own. The name Jagaban which became very phenomenal in the national and international political scenes is a title conferred on him from Borgu Kingdom in New Bussa, Niger State.

In the same vein, it has also been a trend for President Muhammadu Buhari’s political party to win in Niger State since he threw his hat into the ring for the presidential race in 2003. It should be recalled that during the 2007 presidential elections, Muhammadu Buhari, running on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), won in Niger State by a landslide, and close to half of the seats in the Niger State House of Assembly were won by his party. He later left ANPP and formed the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), under which he contested for the presidency in 2011. In that election, Niger State was the only state he won in the North Central region. In the 2015 general elections that produced him as the president of Nigeria, Niger State gave him the highest number of votes in the North Central and the seventh-highest across the country. Niger State maintained this lead in the North Central and across the country in the subsequent election of 2019.
Several gains ranging from appointments into influential positions in the government to some considerations as rewards for consistent patronage of the ruling party can be counted in many states that constitute the Middle Belt of the country(North Central Region). Kwara State had a Senate President from 2015 to 2019. Currently, it has two Ministers and a Chief of Staff to the President. Benue State produced a Senate President for eight good years from 2007 to 2015. Plateau State produced a Deputy Senate President for eight good years from 1999 to 2007 and currently has a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Despite the outstanding contributions of Niger State to the success of the Party, it is always settled with a slot of Honorable Minister for State in the Federal Executive Council. This happened from 2015 to 2019, and it is repeating itself now. Just recently, two sons of Niger State attempted to clinch the position of the National Chairman of APC, but the Party Leaders prevailed on them to step down to allow a candidate to emerge through a consensus arrangement. The consensus arrangement favored the current National Chairman of APC Senator Abdullahi Adamu 0who is from Nasarawa State.

Naturally, supporting any political party to gain power is accompanied by expectations of huge benefits either in the allocation of political positions or consideration for infrastructural developments. As the President-elect prepares to assume office, arrangements for the distribution of power across the six geo-political zones in the Country in-line with the principle of Federal Character will be on the table for consideration soon. Likely, any of the key positions such as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, etc will be zoned to the North Central Region.

Therefore, it is incumbent on Stakeholders in the State to close ranks to lobby Mr. President-elect and Party on behalf of the people of Niger State for special consideration in any key position zoned to the North Central Region, It is our prayer that this time around the Power State will be recognized and rewarded handsomely for her steadfastness.

There is no doubt, Niger State is blessed with sons and daughters who have excelled and made positive marks around the globe in their chosen professions and careers, therefore, getting competent hands from there that can help the President-elect drive and actualize his developmental plans for the Country is not a big deal.

By admin

One thought on “Time to acknowledge Niger State steadfastness in national politics”
  1. This is a wonderful submission and I must salute the writer’s courage to take the bull by the horns. Niger State has been politically marginalized in spite of her sacrifices for the ruling party. It pains to see that, against all odds, you can hardly point out a tangible political portfolio or an infrastructure that the sitting Government has considered the State with. The people of Niger State have been patient enough but I wish and pray that the incoming President will extend his appreciable benevolence to the people of the State.

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