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By Habib Bello

As the country ambles towards the 2019 general elections, there is no whiff of doubt that whoever ignores the glaring Uba Sani factor in Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone does that to his or her own political detriment. Ask those who underestimated him in the past!

Truth is, at the risk of being immodest, Malam Uba’s towering political profile is unquestionable as he deservedly earns it through sheer diligence and commitment to values that uplift humanity. Take a walk around Kaduna Central Senatorial district and converse with the people on the streets about who Malam Sani is. You will be pleasantly dazed by the positive responses of the people. This cannot be bought with money.

Peeping through the political prism of Kaduna State, a number of reasons can best explain the secret behind the man’s ability to dominate the democratic space within the span of time he has been serving the state at the behest of Governor Nasir El-rufai and even before then. In Kaduna, the famous city of crocodile, Malam Uba Sani’s name rings a bell, for all good reasons you can imagine.

As Governor Elrufai’s Special Adviser on Political and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sani has built so much political goodwill among the people of Kaduna State in general and particularly Kaduna Central. To a large extent, feelers from the people show that he has used his office to secure thousands of job opportunities for the children of the poor who have had the opportunity of possessing good certificates. Countless published materials abound, of how much he has been empowering youth in the State either by helping them with capital to start their own business or securing gainful employment for them. You only have to google his name and there you are, reading one positive testimony of his good deeds after the other. The summary of his personality in this regard is that: he teaches men how to become fishermen on their own.

The second important secret is that Malam Uba Sani does not take loyalty for granted. This partly explains why today, he is arguably the closest person to Governor Nasir Elrufai on the political firmament of the state. He is one politician whose friends of many decades are still the ones you get to see around him, despite his rise to the top. This is the spirit of consistency premised on respect for all. He is also very considerate about human dignity. Not minding his high office and massive influence within the political circuit of the state, he still keeps in touch with those on the low rungs of the ladder.

He is an apostle of perseverance. Those who know Malam Uba Sani closely will readily admit that he does not quit, once he makes up his mind on any goal. He applies this doggedness to his politics, too. ‘Never quit’ seems to be one of the foundations of his successful political struggles that drove the military back to the barracks during the era of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha. This perhaps explains why he has remained constant like the Northern Star on the country’s socio-political space.

Take away the history of his civil society activism, and you find yet another attribute: a budding enterpreneur. Malam Uba would not live on politics alone – he chases legitimate wealth with vigour for personal economic independence . For him, three moments are so special: time for politics; time for survival through legitimate business and more time in the service of humanity, especially the weak and poor people in our midst.

All the above attributes combined, Malam Uba Sani’s entry into active partisan politics in the All Progressive Congress (APC) saw him rising to the top of the game with supersonic speed. Quite perceptive and discerning, he almost has an accurate reading of all political undercurrents both within his own camp and the camp of his rivals. Before any political storm happens, he already has a handy manual on how to weather it. Only a first-rate political tactician can do that. I call him a political futurist.

Due to his ability to see political battles ahead and how they will pan out, he has been able to condemn his rivals to a series of defeats at various stages. By the time they hatch their plot, he already has the antidote to counter such plot. This explains why Malam Uba’s political rivals have continuously suffered defeat at every turn. And just when they think they are closing in on him, he is able to preempt them via his deft political moves. To an extent, that is why it is hard to predict Malam Uba Sani’s next move. He sweeps you off your feet and this is the proof why he has been a master political chess player!

In the politics of Kaduna Central, chances are high that he is taking over the stage in the forthcoming 9th Senate in Abuja come 2019. He holds the ace, others follow. Daily, his candidacy keeps receiving valid endorsements freely given by notable party chieftains. His primary constituency, the very dynamic civil society, has also openly declared support for his candidacy in 2019. You can’t tell precisely how many campaign songs have been sponsored by volunteers in support of his senatorial ambition.

The climax of Malam Uba Sani’s political popularity was when Governor Elrufai affirmed that his Adviser is the favorite candidate of the APC for the 2019 senatorial race of Kaduna Central. It must have taken Governor Elrufai’s correct reading of Uba’s growing popularity and acceptability amongst the elite and especially the masses, to affirm his Political Adviser’s bid.

To the extent he is Governor El-rufai’s choice, candidate, Uba Sani has become a household name for economic empowerment, decent politics and stomach infrastructure for adherents of the two dominant religions in Nigeria whether in festive seasons or not. He has been constant when it comes to helping the weak and poor people in the country, without regard to ethnic or religious affinities if his beneficiaries. He also has the right temperament for the senatorial job; he is mentally resourceful and physically vibrant to handle the onerous task of lawmaking and allied matters. Most importantly, he is humility personified and will do everything to always obey constituted authority unlike what currently obtains.

For now, it is undeniable that Malam Uba Sani bestrides the Kaduna political terrain like a true colossus that he is. If you wonder what has been happening or why the man has remained unassuming, your guess is as good as mine. Uba Sani is the kind of politician and entrepreneur that always takes you by surprise. He will surprise and confound as many people in equal measures as the coast to Kaduna Central Senatorial election in 2019 becomes clearer. Do I need to tell you again? Even before the contest, he had my vote. What about you? Kindly join ship. He is one skillful sailor who will sail the ship to a safe harbour for the benefits of all. I wish him fair wind.

Habib Bello lives in Kaduna

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