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2023: Senator, Uba Sani loses out in political power play in Kaduna



Senator Uba Sani
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As political permutations hot up by the day ahead of 2023 general election, Kaduna State wasn’t left out of noticeable clash of interests among political juggernauts.

Right now, all isn’t well with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State that brought Malam Nasir El-Rufai into office as governor in 2015. Since then, El-Rufai who has assumed leadership of APC in Kaduna has constructed his own political fiefdom and chooses to work with those he prefer.

Senator Uba Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district in the 9th National Assembly was the former Chief of Staff to El-Rufai in the first term as governor who was used to dislodge Senator Shehu Sani, a Civil Rights activist in 2019 in a manner that was causing APC in Kaduna sleepless nights till date.

Uba was prominent among El-Rufai’s political family, as well as his current Chief of Staff (CoS), Hon. Muhammad Sani Dattijo, the incumbent Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Yusuf Zailani who was deputy Speaker in the last dispensation and many others.

What was heightening political intrigues among El-Rufai political family according to findings by CAPITAL POST was ‘who succeeds El-Rufai’ in 2023 general election?

Sources told our correspondent that governor El-Rufai has been keenly watching the supremacy battle, one of which has cost the Speakership of Hon. Aminu Shagali when 25 members of the State Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on him that led to his resignation early last year.

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Senator Uba Sani, who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Financial Institutions in the red Chamber of the 9th National Assembly was said to have betrayed his political godfather, Malam El-Rufai in many ways, a development that has called for his alienation from the happenings in APC in the State, CAPITAL POST has learnt.

In last week’s Ward Congress, our investigation revealed that Senator Uba Sani was allowed to produce only 10 executives, unlike the previous times when he was allowed to generate most of the executives in his entire Kaduna Central Senatorial district through writing of names instead ward elections. A staunch member of APC who didn’t want his name mentioned told CAPITAL POST in Kaduna on Tuesday, that, “what happened in the Congress was the beginning of Uba Sani’s end”.

With the misfortune betiding Uba’s fate, it wasn’t clear, if he will defect to another, political party, ahead of 2023, though pundits envisaged that his defection means a declaration of deadly war in Kaduna as El-Rufai would spare nothing to fight him.

Currently, there is disquiet in the camp of Senator Uba as what started as a cold war was gradually becoming obvious even as his social media followers have started accusing the State governor and some political elements of attempt to frustrate efforts of the embattled lawmaker, while El-Rufai’s cyber attackers are surreptitiously replying them.

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The source also confided in our correspondent that El-Rufai prefer and would work for his Chief of Staff, Mr Muhammad Sani Dattijo to succeed him as governor of Kaduna State in 2023.

Dattijo has over a decade of experience in development policy formulation, public finance and project implementation, Muhammad is the current Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State (population 10 million). In this position, he leads support to the Governor in designing, coordinating and implementing government policy in all sectors. In addition, he chairs the Infrastructure Council of the State which coordinates the portfolio of all economic and social infrastructure across the 23 Local Governments of Kaduna.

He was from 2015 – 2019 the Commissioner for Budget and Planning in Kaduna State where he led on the States broad economic growth and development portfolio. As the Commissioner, he was responsible for designing the fiscal strategy and coordinating the implementation and monitoring of the state budget.

Before moving to Kaduna, Muhammad was a Policy Adviser in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York and a member of the Secretary General’s core team that designed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He has also served in the past as an Economist and Deputy National Program Manager in Nigeria’s Presidency where he supported the design and coordination of development interventions across 36 States focusing on accelerating the country’s progress on the MDGs. He was subsequently appointed Economic Adviser of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, a political and policy think tank for the country’s 36 elected Governors.

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He holds an MSc in Development Economics and Policy from the University of Manchester and has studied Public Finance at the London School of Economics, Sustainable Development with Columbia University in New York and Advanced Project Management at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He is a UK Chevening Scholar, member of the University of Oxford Business Alumni Network, Fellow of the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Institute, a fellow of the Aspen Institute Africa Leadership program and most recently attended the prestigious Georgetown Leadership Seminar.

Muhammad has led Kaduna State’s broad economic growth and development portfolio. As the Commissioner (Sub-National Minister) for Budget and Planning, this includes designing the fiscal strategy for the State and coordinating the design, monitoring and implementation of the state’s budget (172 bn naira/ ~$800m in 2016).


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