FORMER lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District Senator Shehu Sani has likened Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates in Kaduna State to armed bandits who fleece members of the public for money.
On Wednesday, the PDP held its gubernatorial primaries in Kaduna State and Senator Sani, who was running for governor, was soundly defeated, only securing two votes. Hon Isah Ashiru, a former House of Representatives member, clinched victory in the primaries and will go on to be the PDP’s flagbearer in next year’s governorship elections.
In the run-up to the elections, Senator Sani had refused to bribe any delegate and had shunned the Nigerian practise of handing out envelopes to party members. Speaking about the experience, Senator Sani alleged that the voting process was marred by bribery and corruption with delegates collecting money to vote for unqualified candidates
Senator Sani said: “There is no difference between bandits who collect ransom and delegates who collect money to vote. I don’t believe in the political ritual of paying to be elected.”
Mr Ashiru defeated four other aspirants including a former head of the National Emergency Management Agency, Sani Sidi, a former governor of the state Ramalan Yero and Senator Sani, among others. Commenting on the development, Senator Sani said he was proud he did not bribe anyone to vote for him.
Senator Sani added: “I was not unaware of the decadence in our political system and processes that we have helplessly and unconscionably accepted and embraced. My participation is to expose the system and open it for a honest conversation as a way of rescuing our political system from institutionalised corruption, that has made it impossible for credible people to participate in politics and for men and women of honour to emerge as leaders.
“Literally, have not lost the primaries, I’ve lost a political bidding process and an auction. We can’t continue to recruit, select or elect our leaders through a dishonourable delegate system that thrust politicians to power weighing on the amount of money they pay to a select few.
“We don’t compromise our principles for our politics. The seed of our political system is deeply corrupted. Delegate system ensures and guarantees the accession of criminals to the throne of power.
“The two clean votes I got without paying out of hundreds, tells much about the impropriety of politics of our country than about myself. If we don’t courageously and consciously revolt against cash and carry politics, it’s impossible to sanitise our country and impossible for the younger generation to aspire for the position of leadership.
“There is no difference between bandits who collect ransom and delegates who collects money to vote. It’s a contradiction for any society to object to ransom payment and accept paying for votes.”