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Kaduna North: Race To Succeed Hunkuyi Gathers Steam



The political atmosphere in the Northern part of Kaduna State has been rejuvenated ahead of the 2019 general elections.SUNDAY ISUWA writes on those justling to succeed the outgoing Senator Sulieman Hunkuyi who is now eyeing the governorship seat of the state.

Unlike in the Central and Southern Kaduna, from 1999, people from the Northern senatorial district of Kaduna State have gone to the red chamber and still retained their seats for a second term.

The changes, it was gathered, have always come following the yearning of the people.

Amongst the prominent Senators that have served the people of Kaduna North Senatorial districts are: Amb Dalhatu SarkiTafida, Sen. Mohammed Makarfi, Dr. Datti Baba Ahmed and incumbent Sen. Suleiman.

Both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have produced Senators from Kaduna North, even though the contest always involved different actors from various political parties.

In most of the elections, Kaduna North has always not been the  stronghold of one particular political party, but according to political pundits, the region will play a vital role in the 2019 general elections.

The region, statistics show, has it’s own ‘unique’ voting pattern that is always different from the two senatorial districts in Kaduna State.

As the 2019 general elections approaches, some people have showed interest to vie for the Kaduna North Senatorial seat under the platform of the APC.

Some of the people that have shown interested to contest for the ticket under APC includes: Sulaiman Abdu Kwari; Sen Lawal Aliyu Silver and Dr. Abba Ibrahim.

Abdu Kwari is the commissioner of finance in Kaduna State. Abdu, it was gathered, is one of the most trusted allies of governor Nasir El-Rufai.

Even though el-Rufai has openly said he had interest in the senatorial contest but won’t anoint anyone,  several indices might work against the commissioner.

el-Rufai political adviser, Uba Sani has earlier declared his interest to vie for the Kaduna Central senatorial district under the platform of the APC, the deputy governor of the state, Arch Bala Barnabas Bantex has also declared for the Kaduna South Senatorial district under the platform of the APC.

Since the contest under APC won’t be an issue of family and friends, many political pundits are suggesting the governor should detached himself from supporting particular candidates against others in the party.

“The governor, if he wants APC victory in Kaduna North Senatorial District, he must allow the delegates to choose whoever they want,” a pundit who don’t want his name in print said. 

In Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, another el-Rufai aid will slug it out with Sen Shehu Sani and others while the deputy governor, Bantex, will also compete with Sen Caleb Zagi, a one term Senator from Kaduna South.

Also, among the people who are contesting in the Northern senatorial district, is Sen Lawal Aliyu Silver. He is a successful businessman who was a one-time chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) before the merger that formed the APC.

Lawal was elected as Senator in the same constituency even though their tenure was faced with interruption from the military. He is seen as someone who will give a good fight.

Lawal contested for the primaries under the APC in the 2015 general elections but lost to Sen Suleiman Hunkuyi who is seeking to be governor of Kaduna State under the platform of the PDP.

Dr Abba Ibrahim is one of the promising young men Kaduna North Senatorial District is blessed with. The handsome looking Chartered Engineer, according to pundits, will spring surprises in the upcoming primaries of the APC.

“Most constituents like Dr Abba because of his exposure in his chosen profession and national politics. He is someone the people of Kaduna North should be giving the opportunity to serve,” said Aliyu Kuyanbana.

He said everyone should be convinced about Abba’s  project because of the quality representation they are going to get if he wins in the general election.

“If we give Abba the chance to be a Senator, you will see what he will do in the next four years. He is not a new person in the polity because he has had interactions with both the National Assembly, people in the presidency and those in the Judiciary,” another constituent, Nura Tukur said.

With the coming of Dr. Abba Ibrahim, so many calculations are changing in Kaduna North, it was gathered.

Findings shows that most of the influential party faithful, politicians and members of the constituency prefer Dr Abba Ibrahim to represent them in the red chamber haven gathered a lot of experience in different establishments.

Abba who holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Process and Systems Engineering from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and specializes in Gas Engineering and Management, is changing the world through his field.

Dr Abba is a certified chattered engineer (C.Eng) with engineering council in the United Kingdom and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

He is a certified energy regulator and member of the pool of experts of European Energy Regulators Regional Association (ERRA) and also a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC) who started his primary education in at the Kaduna Capital School.

His secondary education was at the Federal Government College Kaduna. He is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic but did not stop there.

He proceed to the United Kingdom for post graduate programmes where he attended numerous executive level education in leadership, strategic management, legal, regulatory and enforcement courses at highly rated global institutions such as Harvard Kennedy School of government, London Business School, the international Centre for Parliamentary Studies amongst many others around the world.

In his quest to provide credible leadership, Abba is currently studying at the TRIUM Global Executive MBA Programme class of 2020, a programme jointly run by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), NYU Stern Business School and HEC Paris.

In this contest, some political pundits believed that Abba’s work ethics will speak for him. He has a modest and a successful career in Business as a consultant.

He is a Business Development Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Sectors, where he is currently involved in the development of Hybrid Renewable Energy projects and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities.

On the management of consulting side, it was gathered that Abba is also a member of an international consortium advising the Federal Government on the concession of major transportation infrastructure in the Aviation industry.

As the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Proserve Energy Services limited and Chairman, Board of Directors, Likusasa Nigeria Limited, a company involved in the upgrade and retrofit of Primary Healthcare Centre in Kaduna State, with the installations of renewable energy (Solar PV) facilities under the UKAID Department for International Development (DFID) partnership with Kaduna State Government under a contract with the Crown agents.

Abba was a commissioner, Government and Consumer Affairs representing North West geopolitical zone of Nigeria, consisting seven states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara state, in the National Electricity and Regulation Commission (NERC).

He was later commissioner, engineering and safety and standard still at NERC.

Before his tenure ended in 2015, Abba had several engagements in all parts of the country, African continent and also partner with international regulators and held a high level interactions with the members of the National Assembly and other stakeholders in the executive arm and the Judiciary on behalf of NERC, a feat that empowered him to represent his people at the red chamber.

Abba had told journalists in an interview that he is in the race because he want president Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.

According to him, Buhari would have achieved more if there were a harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature.

“We can’t sit on the sideline and keep complaining. People who contest, if they win, they make decisions for us, our children and generations yet unborn. They determined how the country is being govern. I am not perfect. I have represented the seven states of the North West in NERC and everyone can testify to my good leadership,” Abba said, giving reason why he joined the contest.

Aba who said he will bring fresh perspective in the polity, added that he will ensure a smooth relationship with all the stakeholders if given the opportunity.

“Buhari’s government would have done more if there is a harmonious relationship with the legislature,” Abba said, adding that Nigerians must rise above partisanship and work for the development of the country which according to him, is his mission to the Senate.

“The delegates have learned a hard lesson. They should not allowed a repeat of the past. We are calling on our political leaders especially in the state to maintain fairness and allowed the people to choose who represent them in 2019”, Abba added.





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