APC crisis deepens…As El-Rufai candidate, Uba Sani clinches ticket in a controversial primaries

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Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) yesterday lost the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He lost the party’s ticket to the Special Adviser to Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on Political Affairs, Malam Uba Sani.

There has been no love lost between Sani and El-Rufai with the governor believed to be bent on denying the senator a return ticket to the upper chamber.

The governor’s aide, who has the blessings of his principal, scored 2,088 votes to the senator’s 15.

Chairman of the Primary Election Committee and a national official of the party, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, declared Sani as winner.

Former Kaduna North Local Government Council Caretaker chairman, Usman Ibrahim, came second with 129 votes.

Shehu Sani’s predecessor in the Senate, Gen. Mohammed Sani Saleh, scored 55 votes while Shamsudeen Giwa polled six votes.

Iduoriyekemwen said a total of 2,383 voters were accredited while there were 35 invalid votes.

Some security personnel barred journalists from covering the election in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The primary election held despite the automatic ticket offered the incumbent by the national secretariat of the party.

But the senator distanced himself from the exercise, which held at the Umar Musa Yar’Adua Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna.

In a statement by his Special Assistant Media, Abdulsamad Amadi, Sani said he was not participating in what he described as an ‘illegality’.

According to him, “The office of Senator Shehu Sani has not, and will not send anybody as their representative or agent to that illegality that some desperate people are organising.

“This is because the national leadership of the APC has not scheduled any senatorial primaries in Kaduna central on Saturday.

“Consequently, anybody that goes there does so at his or her own freewill and does not in any way represent the interest of Sen Shehu Sani.”

Despite his stance, our correspondent, who was at the venue of the election, observed Sani’s name featured among the five aspirants contesting the party’s ticket for the senatorial seat.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the team of journalists who converged on the venue of the primary election were completely denied access by the security personnel.

The journalists used all persuasive means to get entry including parading their identity cards and making phone calls to some senior police officers but to no avail.

The team of security personnel headed by one Fom D. Moses who was said to be the Divisional Police Officer, Samaru Division said he had received instructions not to allow journalists entry.

When asked whether the Constitution prevents journalists from covering such events, he said:: “I should be very careful or else the politicians will indict me, I fear the politicians more than the journalists.

“If somebody said I shouldn’t allow you in, then I shouldn’t,” Moses said.

Efforts by the journalists to get the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo to intervene did not yield result, as the police officer refused to speak with him on phone.

Moses said: “I can’t pick his (PPRO) call because I am his senior by rank, I cannot receive directive from him.”

However, the PPRO pleaded with journalists to be calm and pledged to get back to the journalists after making contact with his superiors.

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