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Kaduna Guber: Isah Ashiru’s Second Try PDP Ticket Versus Uba Sani Of APC, A Hope Raiser For Southern Kaduna

The Oasis Reporters

May 26, 2022



APC’s Senator Uba Sani (left), PDP’s Isah Ashiru.

By Greg Abolo gubernatorial contest may engender hopeful inclusivity for beleaguered Southern Kaduna


“The Kaduna PDP governorship primary has been concluded”, says a tweet by media savvy Shehu Sani, who’s former Senator that represented Kaduna North,
on his Twitter handle.
He added that he lost and “Honourable Isah Ashiru won”.

Isah Ashiru was the PDP candidate four years ago but intra party squabbles in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP remained one of the main factors that led to his electoral loss in the hands of incumbent governor, Nasir El-rufai who had dumped his first term deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex, a Christian from the minority southern Kaduna region.

El-rufai still won despite fielding a woman as deputy governor, who’s from Southern Kaduna but a Muslim like him.

However, credit should be given to the Kaduna State governor this time for letting Uba Sani emerge as the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate. Uba Sani joins Isah Ashiru in the frontline as major contestants for the chance to occupy Lord Lugard House in Kaduna.

The most interesting aspect of the yet to unfold scenario is that multi billionaire Uba Sani who’s the Senator representing Kaduna Central even though he’s Zaria born, is Hausa, the majority tribe in the north west state of Kaduna.

So is Isah Ashiru who’s from Kudan in Kaduna North and they remain in the same federal district with Makarfi, where the first governor of Kaduna State in the third republic hails from.

The emergence of two Hausa candidates to slug it out, thus giving the North West a Hausa governor and answering government critic, Reno Omokri over his tweet some days ago that the majority tribe governs virtually no state in their home region.


Here’s another interesting feature of Kaduna. It is the heartbeat of the entire northern region, and before states were created, retained the status of regional capital of the north.

But the city has an Achilles heel. It sits on severe fault lines, as it’s southern end is peopled by diverse tribes who fought valiantly to halt the incursion of Fulani jihadists mostly from Guinea, Mali, Senegal, the Gambia etc into their region in precolonial times.

Before the minority tribes could get weary of warding off the jihadists, colonial rule birthed in what is now known as Nigeria. Colonialism had Christianity by it’s side. Thus, the former pagans or animists embraced Christianity.

That still put them on collision course with Muslim neighbors who by default or design, had Fulani Emirs replacing old traditional systems while the colonial administration was headed by the British. Through the indirect rule system that the colonialists introduced for ease of governance, Southern Kaduna was placed under a Fulani Emir in Zaria.

Thus began another struggle for the diverse tribes in southern Kaduna, to shake off the yoke of Fulani domination. This has led to mutual dislike and distrust in the state. It made Kaduna a hotbed of strife and never ending silent wars with killings reported most times.

With the dawn of the third republic in 1999, Kaduna State had Hausa born Ahmed Makarfi as governor and the man knew what to do. He freed the diverse tribes of Southern Kaduna from the rulership of the Fulani Emirs and gave them their own Chiefdoms. Almost immediately, peace came upon the area. It was a peaceful season that lasted for twenty years. The people noted that it was an Hausa man that brought peace to the beleaguered zone, thus making Makarfi a well loved man.

Makarfi would be presenting Isah Ashiru to them. And chances are that the trust would hold. What Hausas call, ‘rikon amana’.

On the other hand, billionaire businessman, Ubah Sani is equally well loved in the region. He became exceedingly rich under what many say, the patronage of Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo was an army general and also a military leader whose military career and early life started in Kaduna. He has deep ties in the north and is a man who rewards loyalty from father to son.

Perhaps that was the luck Uba Sani had, like the kind of luck former president Umar Yar’adua equally received. Yar’adua’s older brother, Shehu Musa Yar’adua was deputy to Obasanjo during their military days.

On his own, Umar Sani backed Patrick Yakowa, the only Christian governor that ever emerged from Southern Kaduna. The region noted that and never forgot Sani’s love, even after the death of Yakowa in a helicopter crash.

Thus Southern Kaduna believes that heads or tails, they would have a friendly ear in Lord Lugard House, come 2023 when Nasir El-rufai leaves office.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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