By Femi Adi
Senator Uba Sani representing the Kaduna Central District on Tuesday raised the bar in Kaduna State by declaring for the 2023 governorship contest in the All Progrossives Congress (APC).
At a public presentation in Kaduna with the theme Sustaining And Building On A Legacy Of Outstanding Public Service And Impact, Senator Uba stressed his long standing alliance with “the pace-setting, innovative and resourceful Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.”
Uba who said that Governor Elrufai has changed the face of Kaduna State and made it the envy of all, also made on the spot donation of 59 cars in appreciation of the work of the State APC executives and local government chairmen.
“I donate 59 cars to them to help facilitate their work and motivate them to prepare for the 2023 electoral battle,” he said.
Noting that Elrufai’s transformational leadership and developmental drive has redefined and raised the bar of governance, he said the high standards he has set is both a source of pride and a challenge to his associates and loyalists.
The occasion was eminently graced by party bigwigs including the state chairman, deputy chairman, secretary, and other members of the State Executive Committee.
Delivering the declaration address, Uba Sani observed that under El Rufa’i, Kaduna State has undergone a major revolution.
“The State has been totally reworked; and this is evidenced in the remarkable milestones the State has recorded in policies, infrastructure, health, education, water resources, agriculture, agribusiness, to list but a few. It is truly a new dawn in Kaduna State,” he said.
The huge challenge before the state, he said, is how to sustain and build on El-Rufai’s legacy of outstanding public service and impact.
“This is because a reversal of these gains in the post 2023 era will be a huge tragedy. Our people have witnessed selfless and impactful leadership and cannot settle for anything less,” he explained.
Offering himself as a suitable, natural and legitimate successor to Elrufai, Senator Uba said he stepped forward to carry the banner of continuity as El-Rufai’s understudy.
“I have worked closely with him. I understand his vision and mission. I stand in good stead to sustain his vision and mission. I am conversant with the developmental challenges of Kaduna State. I understand it’s complexities and possibilities.
He recalled that he had worked very closely with El Rufa’i for over 20 years – spanning his days at the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), the period he served as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
“And when President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed me Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, I benefitted immensely from wise counsels from El Rufa’i, who was at the time, a key and highly respected member of the Obasanjo administration.
“I have remained a key ally of the Governor since he assumed office as the Governor of Kaduna State,” he said.
From this vantage position, Uba said, he had in the last seven years, seen Elrufai doggedly and sacrificially pilot the affairs of Kaduna State and has learnt a lot. “Watching, listening and learning from him, I now have a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a transformational leader,” he said, adding that El Rufa’i has impacted in him the expediency and urgency of moving outside of the transactional leadership space and into a transformational leadership space that focuses on long-term solutions rather than short-term gains.
“I have learnt from Governor El Rufai the critical place of vision. Largely, it is a vision that is immersed in deploying new thinking to urgently meet the needs and aspirations of the long suffering people of our dear State.
“From the onset, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, made it abundantly clear that driving and actualising the vision of the administration would demand uncommon courage, especially given traditionally entrenched interests that were far from being altruistic. Governor El Rufai insists at all times that an effective leader needs courage and must take tough decisions, no matter whose ox is gored, for the greater good of the greatest number of the people.
“Mr. Chairman, esteemed State Exco members of our great party, fellow party men and women, ladies and gentlemen, as our Governor prepares to gloriously depart the office in May 2023, the onus is on us all to continue and consolidate his achievements and legacy. And like the popular saying goes, you can not coach football if you were not a footballer yourself. It is only fair and natural that we have someone who understands the El – Rufai philosophy; one who has carefully understudied him; a person who has been in the trenches with him, to continue from where he will stop on May 29 2023.
“It is on this score, Mr. Chairman, that I, Senator Uba Sani, is formally declaring today, my intention to seek to contest the gubernatorial primaries of our great party, the APC and indeed the main election in 2023 to succeed my leader and mentor, Mallam Nasir el Rufa’i as the next Governor of Kaduna State.
“I make this bid and declaration with the greatest sense of responsibility, intense love for this great state and our wonderful people and of course with the fear of Almighty Allah,” he said.
He recalled the legislative strides he made in the Senate to include the successful sponsorship of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Act 2020, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act (Amendment No.3) Act 2021, and the Federal Medical Centre, Rigasa, Kaduna State (est. etc.) Bill, 2019.
Others he said, include the Fire Arms Act Cap F28 LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2021, and the Federal College of Education Giwa, Kaduna State (est. etc.) Bill, 2019.
Other Bills initiated, currently at various stages of passage in the Senate include: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill 2020, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill 2020, Foreign Exchange (Control & Monitoring) Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill 2020 and the National Human Rights Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Recounting his impact on his constituency, Uba said he has been able to address issues around Agriculture; Security; Job Creation; Primary Healthcare, Banking and financial inclusivity across the country and the myriad of needs affecting his constituents in Kaduna Central in particular and Kaduna State as a whole.