Call it ‘Battle Royale’ for the soul of Nasarawa West Senatorial District or any other title you wish. What is certain, however, is the fact that the race to elect a new Senator in 2023 will definitely be one of the keenly-contest elections in the state.
76year-old APC National Chairman, Senator Adamu would be out to prove his towering influence in Nasarawa politics by, at least, influencing the election of his replacement at the Red Chamber. And as his party, the APC, goes up against the opposition on February 25. Can the SDP with a near-weak structure give the governing party a run for their structure?
The constituents of Nassarawa West Senatorial district, comprising five local government areas, are set to witness another interesting political showdown.
The zone is the political fortress of the incumbent National Chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu. As such, he is said to be interested in who succeeds him in representing the Senatorial District in the Red chamber of the National Assembly.
Senator Adamu, a political tactician and immediate past Senator representing the area, served in the Senate from 2011 until his election to the position of party chair. A shrewd and calculative politician, he has been in active politics since the late 1970s when he was elected to the Constituent Assembly. He was also the State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the old Plateau State and previously served as Minister of State for Works and Housing in the mid-1990s.
Having etched his footprints in the hearts and minds of the electorates, the former Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees has continued to serve as a political navigator of some sort to his people calling the shots in the political theatre at every given opportunity. He brags about his antecedent of never losing any political battle.
Shehu Ahmed Tukur
Called ‘Maye’ by his admirers, the two-time governor Seems to have thrown his weight behind Architect Shehu Ahmed Tukur as his successor in the Senate and appears to be leaving no stone unturned in his bid to achieve the goal.
A trained architect, Tukur will be having his first shot at a political office, having attempted to succeed former governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura in 2019, but lost to the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Sule at the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries.
A professional in politics, he has been the brain behind the design of most infrastructural and building projects in the Home of Solid Minerals through his architectural firm, Canonic Associates. Supporters of the quiet-looking and bubbling politician describe him as a highly resourceful and innovative personality. They also add that he is a quick learner who is flexible and adaptive to situations, and will easily settle down for legislative business when elected to the National Assembly.
He is, however, described as a political novice by pundits. They say the fact that he has served as Speaker of a Student Parliament in his university days does not guarantee that he will be a vibrant lawmaker at the National Assembly. They also say that being a business-inclined person; he might utilise the Senate platform to scout for business opportunities for his firm rather than settle down for the onerous responsibility of lawmaking, oversight and effective representation.
Another thorn in the flesh of the aspiring lawmaker is Barrister Labaran Magaji, a former Senior State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice who participated in the same APC primaries with Tukur. Dissatisfied with the outcome, he challenged it at the Federal High Court, he emerged victorious with the Court ordering for a rerun; a matter that is now before the Court of Appeal waiting for adjudication.
Ahmed Wadada (SDP)
Posing a serious challenge for Tukur is a household name, Rep. Ahmed Wadada of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The former two-term member of the House of Representatives prides himself as someone with the much-needed legislative experience to pilot the affairs of the zone in the National Assembly.
Chairman of the Board of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), he says his records of achievements while at the National Assembly with over nine bills and motions to his name, including sponsorship of legislation seeking to provide an enabling legal framework for the Federal Capital Territory Satellite Towns Development Commission, place him on a higher pedestal above his co-contestants.
Wadada’s supporters also say he is more politically savvy and accessible than his opponent, arguing that the zone being highly cosmopolitan, will not be willing to elect someone who will go to the National Assembly to represent the interest of a godfather.
The only cog in the wheels of Wadada’s ride to the National Assembly, perhaps is the platform upon which he seeks to actualise his ambition. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) many say is not popular enough in the Senatorial district’s nooks and crannies to make a consequential impact with barely 60 days to the polls.
The choice is, however, up to the electorate to decide whether to swim and sink with the Adamu-backed Tukur or rock the boat with the horse party’s Wadada.