From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The immediate past Senate Leader, Dr. Abdullahi Yahayah, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after his inability to win the APC governorship primary, is fighting hard for his political survival.
Yahayah, who might be contesting against his kinsman, brother from the same Argungu Emirate, Alhaji Hussaini Kangiwa, is facing litigations in Court over his eligibility to contest as the Senatorial candidate on the platform of the PDP after he had contested for APC gubernatorial primary which he lost.
The former Senate Leader, who had joined his political
godfather, Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero in PDP, to many political pundits is losing more ground, supporters in Argungu Emirate to Kangiwa, the APC senatorial candidate. It could be recalled that prior to the 2019 general elections, Kangiwa, a member of the House of Representatives, lost out his bid to return to the green chamber and Red chamber after he was allegedly tricked to abandon the House of Representatives nomination forms and advised to go for the Senate which later went to the immediate past Senate Leader.
Despite Kangiwa’s approach to the court to reclaim his House of Representatives mandate, he eventually lost out and remained in APC until he was given another chance to pick up the Senatorial ticket under the same party for the 2023 general elections.
However, the cloud of uncertainty still surrounds the former Senate Leader’s possibility of returning to the Red Chamber as a Federal Court in Birnin Kebbi affirmed the candidature of one Alhaji Sani Bawa as the valid and lawful winner of Kebbi North PDP Senatorial primary.
Bawa, the complainant had approached the Federal High Court in Birnin Kebbi to seek clarifications based on a combined section 84 (c)(i)8 (ii) of the electoral act 2022 as amended for PDP guidelines for primary elections and articles 1, 7,16 and 17 of INEC regulations for the conduct of political party PDP. However, the Court upheld that Bawa having partook in the primary and had been entered into the score sheet with 038 votes and finishing as the first runner up is the valid, lawful and proper candidate of the February primary elections for Kebbi North senatorial district in Kebbi State.
The Court also restrained the second defendant (INEC) from forwarding the name of 1st defendant, Dr Yahaya Abdullahi or any other name of the 3rd defendant as the winner of the primary elections for Kebbi North.
In the six reliefs granted by the court, the trial Judge of the Federal High Court in Birnin Kebbi, Justice Baba Gana Ashiga ruled that, INEC should recognize the Plaintiff, Sani Bawa as the valid and proper winner of the primary elections in Kebbi North Senatorial district.
But the camp of former Senate Leader has different views about the court judgment and chances of their candidate.
According to Mallam Muhammad Jamil Gulma, Special Assistant to former Senate Leader on Media, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya would be re-elected as the Senator representing Kebbi North Senatorial district.
Gulma, in a press release made available to newsmen, stated: “the attention of the media and publicity office of Senator Yahaya
Abdullahi has been drawn over a false media report that went viral on some social media platforms alleging that Senator Dr. Yahata Abdullahi Abubakar, former Senate Majority Leader is not the standard bearer of PDP Kebbi North Senatorial district.
“For the record, we wish to clearly state here that Dr Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi is the authentic candidate screened and accredited by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). His name was listed in the recently released list from INEC. The said Sani Bawa who is claiming to be the rightful candidate to contest the Senatorial seat has been suspended from the PDP activities on 27th day of June, 2022 from Dikko ward after thorough investigation on his anti party activities.
“The said Sani Bawa was also indicted for among other things such as: (1)writing a letter to Resident Electoral Commission dated 8th June,
2022, without exhausting the conflict resolution mechanism provided in the party. (2) It also came to the party’s notice that Sani Bawa instituted a legal action against the party and it’s flag bearer of Kebbi North Senatorial District, Senator Dr Yahaya Abdullahi Abubakar without first availing himself with the provision of the party’s constitution which is a breach of section 51 (1) (k)”.
Gulma, while speaking with Daily Sun argued that his boss, Senator Yahaya has large supporters across the Kebbi North Senatorial district, the backing of the PDP leaders and executives. He noted that, at the end of the day, former Senate Leader would be elected as the Senator representing Kebbi North Senatorial district in 2023 general elections. Gulma who explained that the former Senate Leader has done a lot for his constituency in the areas of empowerment, employment for the youth, respect for elders and leaders in his town and constituency, stressed that 2023 is all about period of reckoning and reaping the fruits of what you have done for your people.
However, the political games seem to be shifting ground in favour of the APC candidate in the Argungu Emirate, which constituted Kebbi North Senatorial district. Apart from frequent defections of PDP stakeholders to APC, the ancient town of Argungu is dominated by the bigwigs of APC, which include the present National Organising Secretary of the ruling party, Alhaji Muhammad Suleiman Argungu and the deputy governorship candidate of Kebbi State APC. They were said to be important personalities who have been wooing eminent members of the main opposition party and other members of many political parties to the APC camp. Their influence in the region, were said to be having positive impact in the swelling up of the APC camp in the senatorial district.
Of recent, some members of the main opposition party, PDP, joined APC in Argungu alongside their chieftains. Amongst the defectors were, Alhaji Umaru Tambaya Danko, Wasagu Local government, PDP Treasurer, Muhammad Yala and Assistant
Youth Leader Gwanti/Kele Ward, Husaini Master Tunburku.
While addressing them, the chairman of Argungu local government, Salihu Ahmed KC explained that since Alhaji Junaidu Wasagu joined the APC, the ruling party has continued to receive defectors from different political parties. He added that the defections are on a daily basis which he attributed to the good leadership of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, brilliant programmes of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari’s performances.
While speaking about frequent defecting of members of other political parties to APC in Kebbi North Senatorial district, Alhaji Junaidu Wasagu, a former PDP Chieftain, said that he was fulfilling the promise he took to Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu that he would convert all the who-is-who in the opposition to APC before elections of 2023. Wasagu also challenged all PDP members that all those who defected were amongst the stakeholders that if he was lying, they should raise objection.
Similarly, the deputy APC state chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mudi Augie who expressed his happiness over the massive entrance of new members from the other opposition parties, promised the defectors equity and fairness in their new party, APC. He explained that, with the daily exit of strong and important members of other parties, the chances of APC Kebbi North Senatorial district candidate in the 2023 general election, Dr. Hussainin Kangiwa is very bright.
According to him, “ we are not taking anything for granted, we shall continue to mobilise our people, electorates for our candidate. It is going to be a good ride for our candidate because, we believed our candidate is marketing; he has served as the member of the House of Representatives, his past experience in the public arena have started speaking for him. So, we have no doubt that in Argungu and entire Kebbi North Senatorial district, all APC candidates contesting for various offices would perform very well during the elections”, he said.