The coalition, operating under the umbrella of the ‘Coalition of Support Groups of Honourable Isah Ashiru Kudan in Kaduna State in the 2019 General Election,’ also asked the PDP governorship candidate to pull out of the 2023 race in the state.
The coalition, which comprises ‘Ashiru/Katung Youth Vanguard’; ‘Sarkin Bai Southern Kaduna Support Group,’ ‘Ashiru/Katung Mobilisation Network’ had previously worked for the PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 election.
The groups argued that in the spirit of fairness, equity, and justice, the 2023 governorship contest should be zoned to Southern Kaduna, which had previously governed the state for just two years since its inception under the late Ibrahim Yakowa administration.
The coalition also narrowed down their choice to the Labour Party governorship candidate, while noting that it would be morally wrong for the PDP governorship candidate to vie for the seat, considering his affiliation to Zone one (Northern Kaduna), which has been dominating the political scene in the state.
The statement reads in part, “A Coalition of Support Groups of Honourable Isah Ashiru Kudan in Kaduna State in the 2019 General Election has advised him to pull out of the 2023 election contest and support Honourable Jonathan Asake, the President of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) who is the Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) from Southern Part of the State.
“The coalition is made up of Ashiru/Katung Youth Vanguard; Sarkin Bai Southern Kaduna Support Group, and Ashiru/Katung Mobilisation Network among others.
“It is the constitutional right of Ashiru to contest, but will be morally unjust for Zone One (Northern Kaduna )that has held unto power for over 10 years out of the 23 years since the Military returned power to civilians, thereby leaving Zone Two (Kaduna Central) and Three (Southern Kaduna) to share the remaining 13 years out of which Zone Three governed for barely two years; it is, therefore, fair and just for Zone Three Candidate to emerge as the governor in 2023.
“We recognise the fact that there is candidate across various parties but our call for Ashiru to back out and support Asake is based on the fact that we worked for him in 2019, and was disappointed that he couldn’t win his own Kudan Local Government, and as it stands today, nothing much has changed. Therefore, the need for someone from Zone three to try his luck.
“Asake is the leader of Southern Kaduna People that are spread across at least 14 Local Government Areas with a population not less than 4.5 million persons and a voting strength of almost 2 million.
“He is also an experienced politician who served as a Member of the House of Representatives, Interim Management Committee Chairman of the Zangon Kataf LGA, and a former Lecturer among others which makes him more than competent to lead the state.
“He has proven himself to be a good manager of diversity and lover of humanity which he manifested in his unrelenting advocacy to end the Southern Kaduna killings.
“We, therefore, call on lovers of Kaduna State to support Honourable Jonathan Asake for Governor, while prevailing on Honourable Isah Ashiru to step down in order to build synergy among the opposition elements in the state.”
It would be recalled that Ashiru lost the 2019 governorship election in Kaduna to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai.