By; ISA UMAR GIWA
Now that the storm of APC primaries has fizzled out and the reality of who the true APC flagbearers are stares us in the face, there is the need to assess at least some of the candidate among those cleared by INEC.
In the case of Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone, political analysts who were able to clearly see the undercurrents have had their eyes on Malam Uba Sani, one of the candidates with records of working experience. No one has ever asked questions about where or when he worked. His civil service records are everywhere and when he decided to venture into business, after serving the nation meritorioulsy in various capacities, he was still very successful. He was spokesman to former President Obasanjo, a job he did so diligently with all sense of patriotism and sanity. While working as The Presidency’s spokesman, he was on many occasions at the CNN in Atlanta and BBC World in the UK, boosting the international image of this country, along the line.
Some observers said the opportunity of being appointed spokesman of The Presidency was actually a reward for his sacrifice in the activism that sent the military back to the barracks. And, unlike his major rival, Uba worked hard to build his business spreading across construction and telecommunications. Till date, Uba’s major rival has no any known job. He worked nowhere except in ad-hoc Federal Government committees. This partly explains why his political fortunes are comparatively lower than that of Malam Uba.
With the biggest advantage of working experience and sound academic qualifications, Uba Sani is easily ahead of the game, when compared to the incumbent.
To assess the chances of the candidates, one has to place the achievements of the incumbent Senator to determine if his opponents stand any chance.
It is evident that someone like Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah from Kebbi State has empowered hundreds of thousands of people with jobs in the Federal civil service. He also provided capital for some of them to establish their own businesses as self-employed entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the records of achievement for someone like Senator Barau Jibrin from Kano State are all over the place. Majority of the Senators from the Southwest have also broken records with unrivalled community development projects.
But in Kaduna Central for instance, apart from items like camels, free Transistor radios and food items, not much has been achieved.
Though the senator has been vocal in the Senate his refusal to alllow the state government accesss to a World Bank facility meant for the development of the state has continued to haunt him.
A Nigerian senator is said to earn over N13 million Monthly so is expected to do
much more for his constituency.
Malam Uba even as a private citizen has unrivalled connections and political goodwill as he interacts with men of timbre and calibre.This is a testimony of his very friendly nature – no drama, no tantrums; no infantile political games. Uba naturally has the ability to outclass his rivals because wherever politics is being played, he tries hard to raise the stakes.
With enormous political goodwill at a higher level, legendary generosity through the Uba Sani Empowerment Foundation, the man is clearly ahead of all his rivals. He has provided scholarships for many youths in the State, through this Foundation. But his first masterstroke of helping the youth started some 18 years ago, when he convinced the late legal icon, Gani Fawehinmi to provide special scholarship for 200 young men from the North.Today, some ofthese beneficiaries already possess Masters Degree certificates. It is for this reason Uba’s long time friends and associates laugh at some misinformed social media goons asking what the man has done for anyone. Understandably, some of these social media armchair critics were in kindergarten when Uba was making waves on the world stage.
In Kaduna Central it is easy to say with pinpoint accuracy, that Malam Uba is a darling of the clergy as he has made unprecedented contributions to promoting religious ideals by supporting infrastructural projects amongst adherents of both Islam and Christianity. By the same token, he commits part of his hard-earned wealth to helping the poor, aged people on Sunday’s with foodstuff and money to cushion the effect of current economic realities. I once described this elsewhere as “Uba Sani’s Sunday, Sunday tonic”.
One has lost count of how many community development projects he has supported without making any fuss about it. Uba is not the attention-seeking kind of philanthropist as he does not organize a cocktail of media coverage when he is giving financial support to the poor. Neither does he use degrading language against his rivals and does not disrespect elders who hold contrary political points of view to his own. What many may not even realize is that Uba’s most cherished attribute is unlimited support for peace promotion efforts.
It is glaring that Malam Uba has already built the kind of goodwill a politician needs amongst his constituents. He has no issues with his constituents, because of constant consultations either directly or through members of his formidable campaign organization (USCO) which has become a household name in the Kaduna democratic space today.
With a firebrand social media team that spreads the ideals he stands for, the man is already ruffling feathers in the political firmament of Kaduna State in general and Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone in particular. Expectedly, his campaign team has always upheld the strategy of issue-based campaign.
In less a week from now, when INEC would expectedly blow the whistle for 2019 general elections campaign, Malam Uba will roll out his package of shocks and surprises in preparation for the polls. At this point his full, enriched blueprint for turning around the fortunes of Kaduna Central will finally be unveiled. And it won’t be surprising if one or two of his political rivals momentarily lose sleep. It should be expected that at this point also, that market women, artisans, self-employed youth who were supported quietly by Malam Uba would take over the stage. Again, at this point, his ever-more vibrant and matured social media fans will file out to the streets of Kaduna to pay their dues in the election of a man who quietly helped them to build their battered lives without announcing to the whole world. And then, victory will be assured. May we all live long to witness this special day in the life of Malam Uba Sani and his multi-sectoral political support base and may the 2019 polls be peaceful all the way.
Isa wrote in from Danmahawayi in Giwa LGA, Kaduna State
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