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Why Yari Is Unstoppable As Senate President – Dambatta



Abdulazizi Yari

Kaduna-based political analyst, Nasiru Dambatta speaks with Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo on the prospect of the former Governor of Zamfara state now Senator Abdulaziz Yari becoming the next President of the Senate.


Why are you rooting for Senator Abdul’Aziz Yari when the APC has reportedly already decided on Godswill Akpabio?

First, Yari is a candidate from the Northwest, with vast executive -cum-legislative experience. Secondly, the North-west is on record to have provided the highest percentage of votes of over 30% , over and above every other geopolitical zone in the country.
Let us not forget that the president-elect scored a total of 8.79 million. That was how the Northwest emerged tops with 30.0% votes cast in the entire presidential election. Even Tinubu’s immediate Constituency of South West came second with 25.9%. The North Central came third, with 20.0%, while the North East came fourth with 13.5%. The South South came fifth with 9.10%, while the South East came a distant sixth with a mere 1.45%. On the scale of electoral fortunes in that election, Yari’s Northwest beats all. That is why our Northwest Progressives Forum cautioned the president-elect not to support the underperformed geopolitical zone in the presidential elections. We still think Yari is the best among all the people in the race. Our position is not with prejudice to the stand of the APC because the ruling party is also entitled to their opinion in a democracy, though massive protests against APC’s choice of Senate Presidency and Speakership are still raging in the media. I saw Southwest governors from Tinubu’s immediate Constituency, rejecting the APC stand. I saw Coalition of Northern Groups( CNG) warning against what they see as a direct imposition on the National Assembly. The story is no less different at the House of Reps too, as some newspapers alleged underground moves to deal blows on current leadership under Rt Hon Gbajabiamila. It is now very difficult to conclude that the APC’s final decision is popular enough.

On what premise do you think Yari is a comparatively a much better choice for the Senate President slot than say Akpabio or Orji Uzor-Kalu?

It is on record that Yari has been in the APC for many years, and his membership predates the merger that led to the formation of the APC itself. Let us not forget that Yari was a powerful force since the era of ANPP. He was once a party Secretary that handled many internal crises in Zamfara State when the democratic space was seriously overheated. He neutralized opposition and brought the party back to its feet. He calmed frayed nerves and made the party even stronger than it was before the internal wrangling. Please check your records and tell me when Senator Akpabio joined the APC; exactly how long? When did Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu joined the APC? You see, in politics, you cannot overlook how much input a loyal party member has made into the success of the party. I dare say that Yari has spent hundreds of millions to support party activities and remains a one-man squad against hunger and poverty in Zamfara State, even after his exit as governor of the state. He was very generous to the poor people of his immediate constituency, and that is why he won the Senatorial election fair and square. I doubt if there is a strong basis of comparison between Yari and the duo of Akpabio and Uzor-Kalu.

What facts do you have at hand to justify Yari’s suitability when he is just a first-time senator?

The issue of first-time Senator being a backbencher has since been demystified by some senators in the outgoing Senate. Look at how a so-called first-timer, Senator from Kaduna Central, moved several motions and initiated over 30 bills in less than two years. Look at how his bill on repeal of old banking laws became the first bill ever, to be signed into law by President Buhari. There are many first-time Senators who made giant strides in their legislative activism. Most importantly, Senator Tambuwal from Sokoto, for instance, is first-time Senator today, but he was once a Speaker in the House of Representatives. Again, our most-favored contestant —Abdul’Aziz Yari was an Honorable member of the House of Representatives and he is therefore not new to legislative business.That’s why our group remains unperturbed by the infantile argument of first-timer and old-timer Senators.

Don’t you think having Yari as Senate President would amount to another same-faith executive and legislative arms combination?

Well, as a group, we are looking at what the Constitution says as opposed to sentimental arguments of faith-based affinities. Nowhere in the entire Nigerian Constitution has religious affinity been mentioned as a point of consideration for any elective office. No political or even appointive office in Nigeria has anything to do with which religion you profess. What is abundantly clear in the Constitution is what geopolitical zone you belong to. There is no mention of Muslim or Christian affinities as a basis for the electoral contest.

How do you think a Yari-led Senate would be different from what we have been seeing since 1999?

Our group foresees a dogged fighter for democratic and social justice. We foresee a more harmonious legislative and executive relationship with Yari as Senate President because he served both ways and acquired the requisite experience. In terms of screening of competent nominees of the incoming president, we foresee the Senate .-and-go screening of presidential nominees.

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I Won’t Abandon Atiku – Dele Momodu




The Director of Strategic Communications of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, on Monday, insisted that the February 25 presidential election, which produced President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, was manipulated.

In a statement tagged, “I stand on rule of law,” issued a few hours after  Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s 16th President, Momodu insisted that the judiciary still had to decide the authentic winner of the poll.

Momodu said he would stand by and not abandon the presidential candidate of his party, Atiku Abubakar, for any gains.

The PDP stalwart said, “My position on the state of our country, Nigeria, is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of the PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its rule of law. My political party, the PDP and others, passionately hold the view that the last presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts.

“Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar,  who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard-earned democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.”

He commended those who took the initiative of challenging the electoral outcome in court, saying, “I salute and respect the Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests.”

Last week, the suit filed by the PDP seeking the disqualification of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on grounds of alleged double registration, was dismissed by the Supreme Court which ruled that the party lacked the locus to institute the suit in the first instance.

Atiku and Obi both turned down invitations extended to them by Tinubu to attend his inauguration ceremony, citing different reasons, not unrelated to the fact that they are in court to challenge the process that brought him to power.

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Start By Publishing Your Assets, Investments, SERAP Tells Tinubu



As Bola Tinubu assumes Nigeria’s presidency today, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has advised him to promptly make public his assets, income, investments, liabilities and interests. He is also charged to impress it on his vice, Kashim Shettima, to toesame line.

The group, in a letter dated May 27, 2023 and signed by deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, also urged the Lagos State ex-governor to prioritise respect for human rights, media freedom, rule of law and the judiciary.

It recalled Tinubu’s recent promise to “kill corruption,” reminding him that the outgoing administration in 2015 made similar promise that was not kept.

SERAP said: “As Nigerians have witnessed for eight years, (outgoing) President Muhammadu Buhari has neither ‘killed corruption’ nor obeyed court judgments on transparency and accountability.

“Publishing details of your assets, income, investments and liabilities and encouraging your deputy and others to do same would allow Nigerians to know your worth and that of other public officials.

“If your election is upheld by the judiciary, your government can use transparency in asset declarations as a means of promoting public accountability and ending systemic corruption in the country.”

According to the group, Buhari’s “broken promises to make specific details of his assets public and to kill corruption have opened up the country’s political and electoral processes to a money free-for-all, discouraged political participation and contributed to impunity.”

It continued: “Although (outgoing) President Buhari’s march to Aso Rock was predicated, in large part, on his campaign rhetoric to ‘kill corruption’, corruption remains widespread among high-ranking public officials and in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Making public details of your assets, liabilities and interests would reduce unjust enrichment of public officials, ensure integrity in public offices and promote transparency and accountability, as well as good governance.”

The body noted that enforcement of court judgments is critical to national interest and restoration of rule of law in the country.

SERAP added: “The incoming government, therefore, has a responsibility to improve citizens’ trust and confidence in government. But it will be difficult for the new government to be trusted if its leaders do not come clean about their assets and income.

“Disclosure of income, assets and conflicts of interest can serve as powerful tools to draw attention to abuse of public office, help prosecute corrupt offenders and create a culture of scrutiny in the public sector.”


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2023 Northern Presidency Failed Because Peter Obi Left PDP – Okowa




The outgoing Delta State Governor and 2023 vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa has stated that a northerner could have succeeded President Muhammadu Buhari if Peter Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

According to Okowa, the PDP had analyzed and concluded on how to present a northern candidate, with a southern running mate as the best way to counter the All Progressives Congress (APC) from getting massive bloc votes in the 2023 elections.

The party threw its presidential ticket open with a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar eventually emerging as the PDP candidate.

However, the Delta State Governor said the decision of Obi to join the race for the ticket threw up southeast and religious sentiments and his eventual decision to dump the party for the Labour Party affected the votes of the PDP.

He made the submission during a chat with journalists on Sunday in Asaba.

According to Okowa, the northern presidency would have succeeded if Obi didn’t leave the PDP.

“I belong to the PDP and for me as a person and for the majority of the people in the PDP, they believed that our pathway to victory was to have a northern candidate and a southern vice,” he said.

“Why? Because we were not a majority.”

“The only thing that turned our reasoning out was when Obi came out from the south-east and there were a lot of feelings that came in among the Christians.

“So it ate very deep into our votes and that is what led to the loss of the elections,” Okowa added.

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