Senator Uba Sani is not an accidental politician, nor was his aspiration to represent Kaduna Central Senatorial District an ego trip, propelled by a competition to equal the achievements of his former comrade-in arms, Shehu Sani, who he trounced in the 2019 general elections, despite the contrived shenanigans of Adams Oshiomhole, the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2011, long before Shehu Sani dreamt of running for senate, Uba Sani had contested the same seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and lost to Alhaji Hamisu Abubakar, aka Mai Rago.
Oshiomhole’s attempt to impose Shehu Sani, an ally of Bola Tinubu on the zone, as “compensation” for Shehu Sani’s supposed “principled support”, for his several doomed attempts to impeach Bukola Saraki, the then president of the senate, was a smokescreen, for the 2023 elections agenda of Tinubu. The ultimate fall of Oshiomhole, is evidence that while Oshiomhole might have been a “successful” labour leader, which being more brown than brain, wasn’t really demanding, as a political leader, that demanded skills, he was an abysmal failure.
Uba Sani, with his compelling and superlative legislative accomplishments, has concretely proved that the capacity of a representative to attract projects to his constituency is, to a large extent, determined by the character, commitment, network and the readiness of the representative to deploy it for the common good. Though Uba Sani is a first termer, he has seamlessly married his responsibilities as the senator representing Kaduna Central and that of a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by pursuing the interests of his people, side by side those of other Nigerians – the key difference between a senator and member of the House of Representatives.
The scandalous underdevelopment of Nigeria is intrinsically tied to the appalling poor representation at the federal and state levels. Very worrying is that the quality by day appears to be progressively decreasing. So far, Uba Sani has authored bills for the establishment of a Federal College of Education, Giwa, Federal College of Forestry Technology and Research, Birnin Gwari, Federal Medical Center, Rigasa, Care and Protection of Child Parents Bill, University of Technology Kaduna, Institute of Information and Communication Technology Kaduna South, Foreign Exchange (Control and Monitoring) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, Firearms Act (Amendment) Bill,NDLEA Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, Police Service Commission Act 2001 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, State Police Service Commission (Est) Bill, Federal College of Education Giwa Kaduna State (Est, etc) Bill, 1999 Constitution (Alteration) Bill, Nigerian Police Act (Amendment) Bill.
These bills, many of which have been passed and signed into law, are irrefutable evidence that Uba Sani has delivered and can conveniently be considered an effective senator with unparalleled enthusiasm and passion for the job. Long before inauguration, Uba Sani had emerged as a consequential senator that will play a very crucial role in the senate, a position that has helped him attract projects to Kaduna state, which had between 2015-2019 suffered from very poor representation especially at the Senate, were Senators Shehu Sani, Sulaiman Hunkuyi and Danjuma La’ah had formed an unholy and cantankerous alliance to truncate development rather than being partners of progress. The harmonious working relationship between Senators Uba Sani, Sulaiman Kwari, and El-Rufai is a reflection of the wishes of their constituents, and refreshing air, unlike Senators Shehu Sani and Hunkuyi that were virtually at war with the party and the state government from the outset. Thankfully, the cancerous senators were voted out and the World Bank loan, which the three axis of opposition (Shehu, Hunkuyi and La’ah) had sacrificed in conjunction with Saraki on the altar of dirty politics, was delivered and the result is a transformed Kaduna state.
In 2019, the erroneous impression in a section of the media was that Uba Sani would be stepping into some imaginary oversized shoes of Shehu Sani. But unknown to these critics is the fact that Uba Sani has big feet, consequently filling Shehu Sani’s size 6 shoes wasn’t any challenge. Whatever doubts about the capacity of Uba Sani, who ran on effective representation, were quickly erased with his emergence as chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, a great feat for a first termer. The quantum of laws by the committee is a confirmation of his intentions to use the instrumentality of the law to effect fundamental reforms. For his sterling performance, the people of Kaduna Central deserve a pat on the back for their informed decision to elect him.
For Uba Sani, central to his assignment as chairman of his committee is the repositioning and strengthening of the banking, insurance and other financial institutions for the greater benefit of the people. Consequently, the committee has authored several key legislations to strengthen the banking and insurance industry, considering the importance of a stable financial sector, particularly the banking sector, given the unimaginable consequences of a bank failure. The passage of the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act and to Re-enact the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and Other Matters Connected Therewith, 2020, into law, a landmark legislation, is part of efforts to put the industry on a solid footing.
The activist in Uba Sani continues to play out, after all, a lion can’t suddenly become a lapdog. And this explains his justifiable anger at the antics of chronic debtors, who continue to use legal gymnastics to stall their loan repayment, which to Uba Sani, amounts to “orchestrated acts of economic sabotage”. His reaction; is the provision of a Loan/Credit Tribunal to assist the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) in loans recovery, because again, the success of AMCON is critical for Nigeria’s economic revitalization. Repositioning it, to effectively play its role is therefore key for Uba Sani. Commercial banks will only lend if they are sure lenders will pay back, hence making loans recovery less cumbersome. Certainly, without AMCON, the banking industry would have long collapsed due to the high rate of non-performing loans.
Uba Sani’s deep understanding of the insurance industry, from his very powerful statements and legislative actions, shows a knowledgeable mind, quick to grasp reasons the insurance industry has been tragically relegated to the background, in spite of its importance and more fundamentally proffering the way forward, which includes addressing the sharp practices within the industry, the lack of awareness of the importance of the industry, the appalling lack of requisite skills by personnel, and most importantly, addressing the outdated and ineffective regulatory framework. Uba Sani, without the usual noise of most activists, paid his dues in the struggle to enthrone democracy, and as a senator, in his quiet style is obviously set to join historical leaders, who left indelible mark in public service. Uba Sani is conscientious, a man of principles and deep convictions. His mentor, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, will be very proud of Uba Sani’s achievements, especially that he has remained committed to the entrenchment of an egalitarian society.
Ado writes from Kaduna.