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Nasarawa: Al-Makura gears to battle Adokwe

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Nasarawa: Al-Makura gears to battle Adokwe

CHEKE EMMANUEL reports on the battle for Nasarawa South Senatorial seat between Governor Tanko Al-Makura and incumbent Senator Suleiman Adokwe

 

 

The battle for Nasarawa South Senatorial seat in 2019 between the current Senator, Suleiman Adokwe and the incumbent governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura started during the governor’s June 27 formal declaration of interest to contest for the seat in the forthcoming general election.

Senator Adokwe has held sway in the National Assembly and is currently represents the senatorial zone for the third term. But, with Governor Al-Makura declaring for the senatorial seat, the question begging for answer among the people of the state and Nasarawa South Senatorial district in particular is: Can Senator Adokwe survive the storm? Some political analysts are watching with keen interest what will be the fate of Senator Adokwe, considering that Al- Makura’s performance as governor in the past seven years has been generally being commended by many both within and outside the state.

The fear over Senator Adokwe’s fate is further heightened by the antecedents of Governor Al-Makura as he was never been defeated in an election. The case in point was when the governor came from “nowhere” in 2011 to unseat the then incumbent governor, late Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma and replicated the feat in 2015 when he also defeated two other contenders; Alhaji Yusuf Agabi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), respectively. Adokwe, also has no history of election defeat since he was first elected in 2011. Senator Salihu Egyegbola who attempted to unseat him in 2015 general election in which he polled about 90,000 votes was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against Adokwe who polled 93,000 votes. But the lawmaker challenged the victory of Egyegbola at the Election Petition Tribunal in Lafia up to Court of Appeal in Makurdi where he got judgement in his favour. While events of 2015 is now history, the battle for the soul of Nasarawa South Senatorial seat in 2019 between the two political giants and will no doubt be a different game entirely.

As bright as his chances are following impressive performance in office, Governor Al-Makura’s ambition to join the class of ex-governors in the Senate may not be easy task, owing to a number of factors that could make or mar his victory during the election. The governor may find it extremely difficult to convince the Alago people, who are the majority in the three local government Areas of Doma, Obi and Keana and parts of Lafia which constitutes Nasarawa South Senatorial zone to support his ambition, as findings revealed that the Alagos have held several meetings and vowed to stop him from snatching the Nasarawa South Senatorial seat currently being occupied by one of their own (Adokwe) as he unseated their kinsman (late Doma in the 2011 governorship election) despite his endorsement by the Eggon All Progressives Congress (APC) forum in Nasarawa South Senatorial zone.

Besides, Al-Makura strain relationship with the organised labour in the state over non-promotion of workers, non-payment of leave allowances and gratuity and percentage payment of salaries of local government workers may constitute a clog in the wheel to Governor Al-Makura’s senatorial ambition.

For Senator Adokwe, who is from Agwatashi in Obi Local Government Area of the state, his performance and humility has endeared him to many coupled with dividends of democracy he has provided to his constituents over the years. Adokwe’s hope of retaining his seat in the Senate in 2019 hinges on his unalloyed support of his Alago people, who are the majority in the senatorial district and had endorsed him for the seat.

Besides, his district is believed to be a stronghold of the PDP in the state. The senator is also believed to be counting on the support of the current member representing Awe/Keana/ Doma Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ibrahim Ogoshi Onawo, who is coincidently an Alago man from Doma to garner votes through him. However, Adokwe’s chances of beating Governor Al-Makura could be frustrated due to internal wrangling amongst his Alago kinsmen.

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