The Defeat of Senator Shehu Sani And The Escalation Of Rascality, By Emmanuel Ado
By Emmanuel Ado
The defeat of Senator Shehu Sani in the 2019 general elections was a historic and patriotic duty that was a duty Governor Nasir El – Rufai owed the good people of Kaduna State to accomplish and to its very logical conclusion. Had El-Rufai failed in stopping Shehu Sani’s bid to return to the Senate, history would have judged him harshly him , for allowing him get away with his bad political behaviors, which would have further emboldened not just Shehu Sani,but many others coming behind to toe the same path of political rascality with firm assurance that there would be no dire consequences and the view that it’s rewarding to be a disloyal party member.
In very clear terms , the unequivocal statement to Shehu Sani and his co-travelers which the 9th March 2019 defeat eloquently delivered,was that “when you choose your behavior, you have choose your consequences.” And very fundamentally that Party politics has rules,expected standard of behavior and that not everything goes in politics. It’s the behavior of the likes of Shehu Sani that has created the negative image for political parties as “standing for nothing” and as opportunistic vehicles for electoral contests. The truth is that in politics there are fundamental political principles and rules.
Shehu Sani is like most rich kids who have never been accountable for any of their actions and have refused to grow up,because of a confounding sense of entitlement that society owes them the right to behave in any manner they deem fit. Except for the Sani Abacha era when Abacha got tired of his rants and locked him away, from 2015-2019 Shehu Sani in a mistaken exaggerated sense of importance, exhibited tendencies that suggested that he was above the All Progressives Congress (APC), which made him. But for El-Rufai he would have gotten away with his rascality due to strong backers like Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole. It was the support that emboldened Shehu Sani to consistently take divergent positions with the party on almost every issue – from its war on corruption to its educational policies, thus creating the impression of a house divided against itself.
The pertinent question for Shehu Sani and his supporters,who cheered him on is why join a party that you are opposed to everything it stands for, that you are so pissed off with that you can describe the president elected on the party’s platform as “dumb.” ? Political parties are after all, an organized group of people with similar ideas about how a country should be governed. Naturally there would be differences in the implementation of policies,but those differences can be sorted out without name calling and working through the various organs to effect changes.But when such differences are fundamental people have been known quietly quit the party and form their own parties.
The truth is that Shehu Sani’s membership of the APC was opportunistic,just like his human rights “activism” – the platform that thrusted him to national limelight during the military era. And there is no question about it that like other human rights “entrepreneurs” that Shehu Sani struck gold. He is for instance the life president of the one man Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria (CRCN),which he founded and has remained the only known member , unlike the Civil Liberty Organization(CLO),that has several known members other than Olisa Agbakoba,the founder. I challenge Shehu to publish the names of his members, the sources of funding and an audited account of his one man Congress.
The fact remains that through out Senator Shehu Sani’s career – be it during the non- governmental organization (NGO) days or politics, neither his words nor actions ever matched the image of a revolutionary he seeks to paint — thankfully his desperation to retain his seat at all cost ,including without going through the primaries and his endless trips to Daura to court the support of a man (Buhari) that was consistently the butt of his jokes stripped him bare. But he deserves some credit for creating and sustaining that “image”, especially amongst southerners of a rebel,the conscience of a backward and decadent north, when in every respect he is not different in any significant way from those he criticizes.
Shehu Sani is an irritant,which is clearly obvious from his encounter with previous administrations of Sani Abacha,Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck and now the Buhari administration. During the Goodluck Constitutional Conference,he was almost thrown out for his “insults” on the other members, but for the intervention of Justice Nike Tobi. But the Kaduna State Chapter of the APC which knows him very well, tolerated him for sometime and expelled him,until Adams Oshiomhole his friend forced the party to recall him, without getting him to show any remorse for several breaches of the APC constitution. Like a leopard,he hasn’t changed his spots. He weighs in into every issue,must times contradicting himself,because the positions are to not altruistic.
Since his crushing defeat and consequent loss of job Shehu Sani has taken his rascality in the name of criticisms to new heights. The pity is that he is not only inconsistent in his views,but is as guilty as those he castigates. For instance there is no evidence of Shehu Sani’s contribution as a senator towards a better society by putting in place measures that would have ensured that insecurity became history. Rather like Donald Trump who promised to “drain the swamp”, he became part of the Abuja swamp. Confirming that he stands for nothing beyond rhetoric. It’s clearly obvious that Shehu Sani is a misguided revolutionary like Solomon Dalung, Buhari’s former Sports Minister who equates socialism to drinking tea with the downtrodden masses in the West of Mines and dressing in green or red beret.
Recently Shehu Sani accused President Muhammadu Buhari of working in tandem with unnamed “criminals” to actualize former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term ambition. “You (Buhari) are in the company of the culprits in the crime you denounce.” said Shehu,who was one of the kingpins of the third term racket. Shehu Sani was known to have sponsored anti and pro – third term demonstrations simultaneously,using the anti-third demonstrations to force a desperate Obasanjo into funding his so called pro-third term demonstrations, from which he gained massively from. When Obasanjo became aware of Shehu Sani’s antics he got the State Security Services to investigate him. The evidence that the Service gathered from his computers made Obasanjo to reassess many of the information Shehu Sani was feeding him all along.
When it suits Shehu Sani he affirms the inalienable rights of voters to elect their leaders, but typical of him he didn’t mind benefiting from Adams Oshiomhole’s “automatic” ticket generosity which would have denied the people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District that same right that he espouses. Typical of Shehu Sani any illegality including rigging, and because the “savior” of the masses is the beneficiary, that would be okay, that wouldn’t undermine the credibility of the election. Which explains why since Shehu Sani lost in his bid to return to the Senate, everything is wrong with the 2019 general elections – from being characterized by armed thuggery to vote buying etc. But can Saint Shehu Sani beat his chest that he never engaged in at least any one of the electoral malpractices he shouts about? When he won in 2015 it was credible. But the foreign observers equally had issues with the conduct of the 2015 election. Thankfully he is challenging the result of the election and it’s hoped that as a “democrat” that he will accept the verdict without casting aspersions and destroying the foundation of democracy.
Thankfully Shehu Sani has tested his “popularity” at the polls and without the support of Buhari, and the APC , that had long been at the receiving end of his tongue he lost. It’s a shame that he has refused to learn the necessary lessons that political opportunism doesn’t pay,especially as he is expected to return to the party to help Bola Tinubu win the presidential ticket if the party for the 2023 elections. Though Adams Oshiomhole’s attempt to hand over Kaduna Central Senatorial District using his power woefully failed,it remains a blur on his and Shehu Sani’s democratic credentials ,because automatic ticket is unknown to the APC constitution. In Niger State where they succeeded the Supreme Court has since thrown out the beneficiaries of the automatic tickets.
What moral right has Senator Shehu Sani to talk about corruption or tag anyone as corrupt? The Authority newspaper reported that the Senate Foreign and Local Debts committee which Shehu Sani chaired in the Eight Senate engaged in “cash for approval” , before it approved the applications of states that applied for Foreign Loans, Shehu Sani’s failure to refute the story remains an albatross and a big blow to his anti – corruption credentials. His eloquent silence is an admittance that his Committee actually engaged in cash for loans approval. Bribery is defined by Black’s Law dictionary as “offering,giving,receiving or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.” If a bribe is a gift bestowed on a public officer to influence his conduct,then Shehu Sani in every sense of the word is corrupt.
The News magazine, a publication of Independent Communications Network Ltd was forced to resort to public shaming to force Shehu Sani who describes himself as a man of integrity to settle his N5million advert indebtedness incurred since March 2018. In a widely publicized letter by Barrister Umudjoro, of Umudjoro & Co, (OWHE Chambers) to Senator Sani, dated February 7, 2019, the news media explained that it was compelled to go public “after exploring all avenues of making the senator honour his promise as a gentleman, a much acclaimed human rights activist, social critic and a highly respected national legislator”. In other climes this scandal is enough to retire Shehu Sani permanently from public office.
For the South which has continuously been searching for “progressive” northerners, Shehu Sani might be your hero,but the critical people – kaduna State people who know him in and out, they certainly know that he is not their hero because he is not only lacking in principles,but is an opportunist. Shehu Sani is a man who riles against “injustice”, but who perpetuates grave injustice against the downtrodden masses he claims to represent.
Post script: Senator Shehu Sani if there is any humanity left in you, kindly pay the family of late Rabiu Khalid the Director – General of your campaign organization and legislative assistant his entitlements.