We can’t build and develop our country and free our people from the bondage of slavery through a corrupt political process and system we have unconscionably embraced.
By Obade Ikukoyi
It’s no longer news that human rights activist-turned-politician, Senator Shehu Sani, lost massively in Wednesday’s Kaduna State gubernatorial primaries of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. It is also not news that he scored only two votes.
But what many may not know is that his dismal performance may be as a result of his refusal to pay any delegate to vote for him. But those who saw his Facebook post prior to the primaries would not be shocked.
He had, prior to Wednesday’s vote, told the delegates terms that he was not ready to pay a dime for votes. He said to do so would contradict and rubbish his belief and principle as an advocate of clean electoral process, good governance and sound public policy.
The former All Progressives Congress, APC, senator who represented Kaduna Central during the 8th National Assembly, had taken to Facebook to state his stand, warning: “No one should pay any delegate on my behalf.”
“I don’t believe in the political ritual of paying to be elected’” he declared. “That is inconsistent with my ideological and moral beliefs.
“I welcome the votes of delegates who will vote for me based on the principles I stand for and my agenda for the good people of Kaduna State.
“We can’t build and develop our country and free our people from the bondage of slavery through a corrupt political process and system we have unconscionably embraced.
“An opposition party should be a dependable alternative and an exemplar for transparency, justice and equity.
“Those expecting or calling me for millions in order to vote for me shouldn’t waste their time. And disregard any of my coordinators who may try to make false promises against my position.
“I believe in either winning or losing with dignity.”
In what underscores the influence of money in the ongoing process, the delegates truly refused to look in Sani’s direction. This is evident in the results of Wednesday’s primaries announced early Thursday.
Isah Ashiru, a chieftain of the opposition party and former member of the House of Representatives, polled 414 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Sani Sidi, a former Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who scored 260 votes.
Former Kaduna State governor, Ramalan Yero, came third with 28 votes, while Sani Abbas had 15 votes. Haruna Saeed, a former accountant general of the state, got 11 votes, as Senator Shehu Sani garnered two votes.
I believe in either winning or losing with dignity.
Sani has, however, taken everything in his stride. He took to his official Twitter handle, Thursday, to concede defeat to Ashiru.
The former senator wrote in the tweet:
“The Kaduna PDP Governorship primaries has been concluded. I lost and Honourable Isah Ashiru won. I wish to congratulate him. Two Delegates voted for me without giving them a dime; unfortunately, I don’t know who they are, so that I can appreciate these clean votes. We look forward.”
If we want this country to grow, the quickest route is a return to our core values as Nigerians. We should learn not to sell our conscience. We should not monetize everything or mortgage the future of our country. Nigeria surely needs more of Shehu Sani.
-Dr. Gabriel Oyediji
Though Sani may have paid dearly for his principled stand, many Nigerians have been applauding him for his insistence on clean votes.
“What Sani has done shows there is hope for a greater Nigeria,” Dr. Gabriel Oyediji, General Overseer of Christ’s Compassion Ministries, Lagos, declared. “It is worthy of emulation. And I advise our politicians to emulate Senator Sani. If we want this country to grow, the quickest route is a return to our core values as Nigerians. We should learn not to sell our conscience. We should not monetize everything or mortgage the future of our country. Nigeria surely needs more of Shehu Sani.”
The whole world is watching the shenanigans going on in the country concerning our politicians and the way they are going about the processes leading to the 2023 general elections. They (politicians) are throwing dollars like sand. But we must tell them that Nigeria cannot be bought with money.
-Engineer Rowland Chukwudi
Roland Chukwudi, an Asaba-based civil engineer, said what Sani has done has reignited his hope that there are still some oases of excellence in Nigeria, and for the country to regain her greatness, “citizens must unite to rebuff those who think money is everything”.
Chukwudi continues: “The whole world is watching the shenanigans going on in the country concerning our politicians and the way they are going about the processes leading to the 2023 general elections. They (politicians) are throwing dollars like sand. But we must tell them that Nigeria cannot be bought with money.
“I appeal to whoever is interested in their money, which majorly is blood money, to take the money but vote their conscience. Let us reject money politics and enthrone clean and accountable leaders.
“We must vote leaders who are ready to serve and give this country their best; not leaders who would turn Aso Rock to an extension of their financial empire. We must prevent that with our votes and our principled stand.”