Southern Borno Senate: the huddle before Ali Ndume

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It has been observed that Peoples Democratic Party, PDP remain the major opposition party that has prepared to tackle All Progressive Congress, APC in Borno state. 2019 general elections is around the corner and from all indications, PDP has put together all what it takes to rustle power with the APC and from what is on ground presently, PDP will definitely give the ruling party a good fight during this forth coming elections.

Borno state has three dominant political parties such in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, All Progressive Congress, APC and Social Democratic Party, SDP which have been fielding candidates for elections in the state in general and all the zones as well. Since the present dispensation, APC which transformed from the All Nigerian Peoples Party has sharing the senate position in the following order; 1999 – PDP, 2003 – ANPP, 2007 – ANPP, 2011 – ANPP, and 2015 – PDP.

In 2015 when PDP won, it was because the incumbent, Ali Ndume was refused the ticket by APC and contested under PDP.

The political calculation in the zone has been that anytime deputy governor or governorship slot is zoned to the other zone, Biu Emirate which is dominant in Southern Borno  takes the slot and leaves the Senate slot for the other part of the zone that has four Local Government Areas of Gwoza, Askira/Uba, Chibok, and Danboa. Biu Emirate has five Local government Areas of Biu, Hawul, Kwaya Kusar, Shani and Bayo.

In the same period under review, 1999 to date, candidates from Gwoza have been having the ticket for the Senate and House of Representatives except in 1999 when Mohammed Wakil won the House of Representatives seat. It is an irony that almost all the National Assembly members came from what one can call “same family” in Gwoza Local Government Area.

In preparation for 2019 elections in the state, politicians have started showing interest, either seriously or calculatively. The major contender among them is the incumbent Senator Ali Ndume.

According to a reliable source, people from his zone are beginning to demand for another candidate to contest for the position of senator, considering the fact the he has been there for so long.

Senator Ali Ndume represents Borno South in the Senate on the platform of APC. He is a Muslim from Gwoza Local Government Area of the state and one of his strongest points is experience. He has been a law maker since 2003. He was in the House of Representatives for two tenures and has been in the senate since 2011 as a Senator.

He has been the minority leader in the House of Representative and also in the Senate as Majority leader. He was the chairman, Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goal, MDG where he impacted greatly on the lives of many people in the zone.

On the low side, Senator Alli Ndume is from Gwoza Local Government Area of the state, which has produced National Assembly members for the area since 1999 except for the House of Representative when Hon. Muhammed Wakil was there. Gwoza and  Askira/Uba LGA is by far the largest Local Government Area in Southern Borno as a whole, but only Gwoza has been enjoying the slot uninterrupted.

When Senator Ndume had issues in the Senate, he was suspended for about 6 months and for this reason people of his constituency were deprived fair representation in the Senate. Considering this, his people may decide to go for a change of candidate come 2019 general election, who will be able to flow well with other senators.

Another low point for Ndume is that he has never stood for primary elections as he always got the ticket unopposed. If there is any insistence for primary he would charge party which he did in 2015 from APC to PDP, and when he won, he went back to APC.

The second contender for the Senate seat is Mrs. Kolo Anas. She is a Muslim by faith and a member of APC. She was the former commissioner for Health in the state. Her membership of APC and her position as former commissioner are her high side.  Her gender is a minus, because of the area she is coming from. She hails from Biu LGA. Politically, she is not seasoned; she is only trying to garner some followers based on the affirmative rule of 35% elective positions. Besides that, she has no visible structure.

It is obvious that those who have been there for some years as senators and members of the House of Representatives that have not performed to the aspiration of the electorates will be shown their way out using ballot papers and those whose antecedence are not palatable will also be resist. This time around, all hands are on deck to see who will scale through or not.

On the card of APC still, is Mr. Tarpaya Asarya. He is a Christian from Askira/UbaLGA. He is currently the permanent secretary of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. People see him as the hatchet man of the governor.

It is a known fact that since Boko-Haram insurgency in Nigeria, local government areas in the state have not been functioning. Most LGA Headquarters were destroyed, but their allocation still go to the state. So it is believed that the Permanent Secretary is helping the governor to divert it into other uses.

He is not with his people of Southern Borno, he is closer to Kanuri people. He could not include his people in the minimum wage payment. Looking at this antecedence of Asarya, it may be difficult for him to beat his opponents as many from his constituency may not even identify with him.

It has also been gathered that recently, Senator Ndume has been after him through petitions to EFCC over Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs funds. It is likely he will step down for Ndume in the primary if the governor is still threatened by Ndume. With this singular allegation, he may not go far this time around as far as election into the senate is concerned.

Still from the zone, APC has another candidate in the person of Sanda Izge. He is Muslim from Gwoza Local Government Area. He was the candidate of PDP in 2011 and he stepped down for Ndume at the primary, and Ndume went on to win the senate seat. On the low side also in that, his daughter was alleged to have killed her husband. Politically it will be hard for him to win elections in the zone, because of his penchant for negotiation.

The SDP has only one contender in the race for senate in the zone. He is Dr. Pogu Bitrus, a Christian from Chibok LGA. He is a typical example of Jumpologu Politician. He contested in 2015 under his party SDP. He is known to have belonged to all the major political parties in the area. His mission in the race is to be considered for appointment thereafter.

The only pretender among the park is Barrister Daniel Bwala. He is from Hawul LGA, a Christian and has pitched tent with SDP. It was discovered that he has been away from the state for years. This, from the look of things shows that he is not yet ready for the election come 2019 general elections.

He is a law lecturer and a member of the famous Lincoln Court. Practically, he has no structure whatsoever. And it has been long he last visited the zone he intends to represent. He is an orator and political analyst.

On the card of PDP is Kudla Satumairi. He is a businessman and a philanthropist. He is aChristian and hails from Askira/Uba LGA. He has contested for the State Assembly in the past, the House of Representatives and now he is eying the Southern Borno Senate seat.

He has built primary school in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of the state. He instituted empowerment programmes in Gwoza. He  renovatated Mosque All Progressive Congress s and Churches in Hawl LGA. He has trained and empowered women across the zone. He has many people on scholarship. He fixed a broken down dam in Askira/Uba LGA. He fenced the cemetery for Moslem and Christian in Askira/Uba LGA. He has distributed cars and other commuter vehicles to people across the zone to ease transportation problem among others.

His major challenges are that he belongs to the opposition party in the state and nation.

Voting in the zone has no bias for religion of ethnicity, rather voters now choose the candidate that will represent their interest at whatever position. Going by the calculation, Ali Ndume remains the candidate to beat.

And his major challenge is Kudla Satumairi. This stems from the fact that he has been able to touch the lives of people in the zone through his numerous people oriented programmes even though he is not in government. It is now left for the people of Southern Borno to decide come 2019 general elections.

Southern Borno comprises of nine Local Government areas as follows; Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza, Danboa, Biu, Hawul, Kwaya Kusar, Shani and Bayo.

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