In Niger North Senatorial District, there is palpable tension ahead of the 2023 general elections. Before now, it was being rumored that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello would be going to the Senate after his stint in Government House. The governor is rounding up his second term in office and will not be eligible to seek re-election in 2023.
As expected, he has thrown his hat into the ring for the senate contest in Niger North senatorial district with a letter declaring his intention to contest for the Niger North Senatorial District. He submitted the letter to the leadership of the party recently.
The Governor would be slugging it out with the incumbent Senator of the zone, Senator Sabi Abdullahi Aliyu, who is also a chieftain of the party. Following the failure of the governor’s backers to convince Aliyu to yield the seat to Bello as envisaged, the two APC chieftains appear set for a political showdown at the party’s primary election later in the year.
Governor Bello ended months of speculations about his political future when he formally announced his senatorial ambition with a letter to the party. The letter in parts indicates, “I write to notify you of my willingness and readiness to contest the exalted office of Senator representing Niger-North Senatorial District which comprising Kontagora and Borgu Emirate Councils on the platform of the APC”.
“My decision to contest in the above-stated category is response to the clarion call of the patriotic yearnings and aspirations of the good people of Niger-North Senatorial District who see me as a worthy ambassador with the impeccable credentials and requisite experience required to deliver effectively in representing our people in the National Assembly”.
While pledging to transform Niger-North into the most developed Senatorial Districts in Nigeria, Sani Bello said his candidature is a wake-up call to the good people of Kontagora and Borgu Emirate Councils to come together and contribute our quota to the growth and development of the zone. Several groups and individuals within and outside the party has been urging the governor to contest the senatorial seat so as to continue his developmental stride for the people of Niger North senatorial district after his stint as governor.
Party sources hinted that the announcement of his aspiration may have been delayed by underground efforts by some stakeholders to convince Senator Aliyu to decline seeking re-election so as to allow the governor pick the APC senatorial ticket for the district unopposed. Aside honouring the governor for the good work he has done leading the party, it was also meant to avoid crisis within the party.
“Efforts were actually made but it didn’t work out. As a democrat, the governor is not one to force anybody to do anything contrary to his or her desire. So, it seems it is the primary election that will decide the senate flag-bearer in Niger North like in other places ahead of the 2023 general elections in Niger state. One thing that is certain now is that Governor Bello is in the race,’ a source said.
While it is suspected that the governor may enjoy the support of the state leadership of the party, the many projects and empowerments undertaken by Senator Sabi Aliyu may work in his favour. His relentless push for the establishment of a Federal University of Education in the zone, is believed to have endeared him to the people of the area, and may turn out a great selling point.