Before winning elections into the senate in 2015, Shehu Sani had worn many caps – as an author, playwright, and human rights activist who was jailed by different military regimes in Nigeria.
Something which the Kaduna Central senator may not include in his CV but which may have defined his life’s work is that – he is a fighter.
The first time he ran for senate was in 2003 under the Alliance for Democracy, he lost to Senator Muktar Aruwa of the All Nigerian Peoples Party ANPP. He tried again in 2011 under Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) but lost to Senator Sani Saleh in the primaries. Then in 2015 he tried again – this time he beat Saleh in the APC primaries and then went on to defeat Aruwa in the main elections.
But since he got elected, he has gotten involved in a fight that may just be too overwhelming.
His frequent criticisms of the Nasir Elrufai led APC government in Kaduna state earned him a suspension and a pariah status within the main wing of his party. Considering his frequent criticisms against Pres. Muhammadu Buhari as well, it is unlikely that he would get any help from the national executive of the party.
The forces align against Sani
Now as 2019 approaches, and with his prospects for reelection hanging in the balance, the six APC local government chairmen who make up Kaduna Central Senatorial district have declared their opposition to his reelection bid, throwing their support behind Uba Sani, a political adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
The chieftains represent Chikun, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, Kaduna North, Kaduna South and Giwa LGs.
“Indeed we all agree to endorse Uba and that is because we deem him best for the seat come 2019. I want you to know that the current senator is still not pardoned by the party and technically he is not recognised as a member of the party in Kaduna,” said APC chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Area, Musa Sheriff.
Kaduna South APC chairman, Ibrahim Magaji, said: “It is a unanimous decision. We all agree that Uba should contest for the senate seat in 2019.”
According to Chima Abdussamad, an aide to Senator Sani: “We cannot respond to them now. Because this is not the time to start campaigning for political seats or positions. The Nigerian constitution is clear and as law abiding citizens, we will wait until the right time as stated in the electoral act that campaigns should start. But as far as we are concerned, they are only speaking for themselves not for the people of their constituencies. When the time for campaigns and elections come, we shall see.”