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The Battle For Nasarawa South Senatorial Seat Hots Up

By - - [General ]


GABRIEL EMAMEH writes on the intrigues surrounding the contest for Nasarawa South Senatorial District. For many pundits, the contest for the Nasarawa South senatorial district is poised to be a race between the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and incumbent, Senator Suleiman Adokwe.

The performance of Adokwe, at the PDP primary election for the party’s candidate of the southern district that saw him narrowly beating his opponent, Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo, to clinch the flag is a testament to his political sagacity. However the slim body, in some other quarters, is perceived as a protest over Adokwe’s long stay in the National Assembly amid allegations of poor performance.

The incumbent senator is presently in his third term in the red chamber, having been elected into the senate for the first time in 2007. Still, this is a feat that has not been achieved by any politician from the zone since the restoration of democracy in 1999 which is a testament to his political savvy.

But a cross-section of electorates who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday in Lafia were of the view that the senator has overstayed in the National Assembly, hence he faces an up hill task convincing his constituents to vote for him again. Other pundits claim that the length of time that Adokwe has spent in the upper chamber is not commensurate with the impact he has made even in his own native town of Agwatashi.

A chieftain of the PDP Danjuma Musa, said Adokwe’s opponent in the last PDP Nasarawa South senatorial primary election, Hon. Ogoshi Onawo, would have given Almakura a tougher challenge because he seems to have better acceptance of the southern senatorial district’s people based on his track record across the state which include giving appointments to a sizeable number of applicants in the state. Also, Onawo was said to have built blocks of classrooms, VIP toilets, equipped schools in the senatorial zone.

Onawo is also said to have sponsored hundreds of students for NECO/WAEC, as well as providing scholarship to hundreds of medical students, among many others. Nevertheless, Adokwe was able to secure the seat of the party.

Musa however opined that for denying Hon. Onawo the PDP senatorial ticket of the state southern senatorial zone, electorates in the zone, even among his Alago kindred, have switched their support to the incumbent governor, instead of the incumbent senator whom they said has not impacted on anyone’s life.

Be that as it may, findings have shown that financial war chest will play a significant role on who becomes the senator representing the Lafia zone at the red chamber of the National Assembly in 2019. Almakura was an established entrepreneur before joining politics. With his personal finances, he executed his governorship ambition in 2011 and conveniently defeated an incumbent governor, Late Akwe-Doma.

What’s more, his exposure and experience in the political horizon has broadened in recent times. Like most governors who moved to the Senate, he has put in place a rooted structure in the political sphere of the state, especially in the southern senatorial district in order to actualise his senatorial ambition.

The recent cabinet reshuffle which saw Alago sons and daughters take up sensitive positions in the cabinet of the state has won him the hearts of the Alago people. As such, it is expected that Alago sons in the corridors of power will rally behind his ambition and convince their kinsmen to vote him into the senate in order to reciprocate the governor’s kind gesture towards them.

The conduct of local government elections in the state, after several years, was viewed by some school of thoughts as an added advantage to the governor’s political structure, especially in the southern zone of the state, ahead of the senatorial polls. Al-Makura had four years ago planted all the APC structures in Nasarawa State from the wards to state levels and had during the APC congress in the state directed that all executives of the party in the state, local government and ward levels be returned unopposed. Without hesitation, the governor’s directive was complied with by party members during the state congresses. The exercise consolidated the governor’s grip on the structures of the party in the state.

The ease with which the retention of all the party structures sailed through without any objection, re-emphasised Al-Makura’s supremacy as his preferred APC gubernatorial aspirant, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, emerged the governorship candidate of the party in the state.

Also, emphasis on the governor’s chances to win the Nasarawa South senatorial seat, could also be laid on the construction of roads, ultra-modern markets, upgrading of infrastructural facilities in that area. Findings indicate that he has also reached out to the Eggon nation which has received a big boost in the build up to the 2019 general election.

Consequently, Al-Makura was reported to be empowering the people of the Eggon ethnic nationality from the southern senatorial district of the state by giving them appointments, in the recent times, into his cabinet as a way of appeasing their troubled thoughts.

When speaking to LEADERSHIP Sunday, an Eggon elite said the governor has already won the hearts of the Eggons as can be testified recently when thousands of the Eggons from the southern senatorial zone thronged at the Ta’al Conference Hotel, Lafia and endorsed the governor as their candidate in the 2019 senatorial race. That development conspicuously showed that the Eggon would divide their votes hence making the governor to carry the larger share of the votes with Adokwe.

Consequently, an impeccable source, who preferred to be anonymous, disclosed to LEADERSHIP Sunday that Governor Al-Makura has completed the assemblage and sharpened up his arsenals to wage a political warfare against the long political monopoly of Adokwe in the southern senatorial district.

However Adokwe has proven not to be a push over in the contest. Many analysts believe that for a politician that has unprecedentedly retained his seat three times, in a region where such isn’t common, then undermining him would be a major undoing for the governor.

His firm understanding of the political terrain in the district is regarded as almost second to none. He is reverred as one of the grassroots politicians from the state. Pundits believe that Adokwe’s percieved underdog status in the contest can hold political benefits such that the governor could make mistakes while taking the contest for granted.

https://leadership.ng/2019/01/27/the-battle-for-nasarawa-south-senatorial-seat-hots-up/


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16 Comments Nigeria News
Alisha• 3 weeks ago
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Olite1996• 3 weeks ago
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Jabless• 3 weeks ago
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Olarewaju• 3 weeks ago
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Oluwatobiloba• 3 weeks ago
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