By NASIRU ABDU CHIKAJI
Since the middle of 2016, Kaduna Central Senator Shehu Sani’s political acceptability has been waning to an alarming extent. However, the Senator started showing signs of fatigue in the middle of 2017, when several civil society organizations took turns to challenge every standpoint of the Senator both on the mainstream and social media platforms
Even social media commentators have not spared the Kaduna Central lawmaker, as they struck any moment he made a post on any topical national issue. Others have gone so far as to challenge the Senator’s English language tenses on his twitter posts.
Some ridiculed him over his stand on the $350 million loan issue, which ideally was a developmental issue and not a partisan one. For being unable to identify the difference between the two, the $350 million loan made Senator Sani the butt of criticism by economic analysts, especially as he gave contradictory reasons for his opposition to the loan. Some of the ‘reasons’ he advanced for taking a rigid stand over the loan were oscillating between the mundane and the infantile.
Between the end of 2017 and early 2018, Senator Shehu Sani has lost too many of his admirers, some say even his political footsoldiers, for taking obtuse angles to important developmental issues.
He has so far been the only APC lawmaker, who after hanging on President Buhari’s political goodwill to win election in 2015, remains the most vicious media attacker of the President. Some of his vitriolic attacks against Buhari are widely believed to have gone beyond the boundaries of good taste and reflect a political desperation for public attention.
As the 2019 elections draw nearer, Senator Shehu Sani is widely believed to have squandered his political goodwill. Many informed commentators now see him as one politician who is merely hanging in the balance, between a once-blossoming democratic goodwil (way back in 2015) and a pariah status.
Having been associated with more of tantrums than serious political identity or unshakeable democratic credential, the Senator can be said to be on a Banana peel.
First, his stronghold, the Kaduna State APC is slipping out of his hands as he made the fatal mistake of waging relentless and already- lost political war against its leadership.
Secondly, the APC at the national level has seen how much media attack he had launched against President Muhammadu Buhari so far, including repeatedly condemning in totality, some positive policy issues of the Federal Government. Thirdly, the Senator has drawn the anger of civil society groups in Kaduna State – an important constituency of every right-thinking politician, and a sector he claims to be a part of.
The fourth political layer that Senator Shehu Sani is fast losing are the Kaduna voters themselves, who have repeatedly taken him to the cleaners, over his long list of unfulfilled campaign promises. I have lost count of the number of news reports of Kaduna voters “rejecting” the Senator and simultaneously endorsing his rival, Malam Uba Sani, ahead of 2019.
Neither can I say, with pinpoint accuracy, how a number of youth and women coalitions have dumped the Senator while massively endorsing President Buhari for 2019. The most outstanding indicator that Senator Sani’s political goodwill has been waning considerably, was when some six APC Local Government Chairmen endorsed his rival, Malam Uba Sani and how the report of such a political landmark event went viral for a whole week on local and foreign media.
When important constituencies that are helpful to Senator Shehu Sani begin to make a backward slide in their support and loyalty, very close to election time, there is reason to worry. This kind of massive rejection at three levels, all in one piece, suggest the gradual collapse of a once-blossoming mini Senator Shehu Sani political empire.
When the political leadership, whose support he needs to move on, have been willy-nilly turned into his punching bag in the media, it is an indication of falling from grace to grass. When youth and women take turns to challenge a politician’s integrity, it should not be difficult to smell downfall.
It is indeed a pity that Senator Shehu Sani has not been able to successfully watch his back, marked himself out as President Buhari and Governor Nasir el-Rufai’d political foe, rather than concentrating on constituency projects. Funny enough, the Senator’s one-man show has clearly failed to do the intended political harm to either the popularity of President Buhari or Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
How he wriggles out of these self-inflicted political wounds is indeed as important as the very limited time available at the moment, to save himself from the Buhari/Elrufai Tsunami of 2019.
Nasiru wrote from, Sabon Gari LGA of Kaduna State and can be reached on email@example.com
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