Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, has endorsed Uba Sani as his would-be successor in the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The governor in a meeting on Wednesday at the Kaduna State Government House with party stakeholders and subordinates endorsed Sani as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The governor subsequently called on his surrogates to support Sani in the party’s primary.
A close associate of the governor, Sani Dattijo, who himself was a governorship hopeful, said the decision was reached after an extensive discussion with other aspirants.
Dattijo, a former chief of staff to El-Rufai, had obtained the APC gubernatorial expression of interest and nomination forms, just hours before the decision was reached.
Dattijo said in a statement that El-Rufai advised him at the meeting to purchase the form for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Sani is the incumbent senator of the district. He was El-Rufai’s adviser on political matters during the governor’s first term in office between 2015-2019.
Dattijo said he has accepted the outcome and was grateful to El-Rufai.
He said: ”At a meeting on Wednesday, the governor directed that we rally round Sani for the Governorship seat. He has asked that I pick up the form for the Senatorial seat for Kaduna Central.
”While this outcome is not what we had planned or hoped for, we have accepted it as Allah SWT’s will who provides to whom he wishes, when he wishes. Therefore we have entrusted our future to Him and prayed the State and the Nation will have the best of leaders in 2023.
”I remain grateful for Mallam’s mentorship and for your unwavering support, which I do not take for granted. I had earlier purchased the APC Governorship form but will be picking up the Senate form as directed inshaAllah.
”I hope we can continue to work together for the success of the APC in all elections. Your support is not taken for granted and will always be remembered and appreciated. Allah ya bar zumunci,” he wrote.
Despite the governor’s endorsement of Sani, other aspirants of the party were not part of the decision and may stand in the way of the senator’s aspiration.
Sani Sha’aban, a former member of the House of Representatives, has bought the expression of interest and nomination forms for the position. Sha’aban is an in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari. He is believed to have the support of the presidency and could clinch the ticket.
Others include Bashir Jamoh, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Though he is not well-known among the party faithful, some analysts believe he may use his financial weight to sway delegates to his favour during the primary.
Mohammed Abdullahi, a former chairman of the National Hajj Commission, is also believed to be interested in the position and his posters can be seen all over the state.
El-Rufai’s son Bello El-Rufai is currently Sani’s senior legislative assistant and also contesting for the House of Representatives seat for Kaduna North.