2027: What next for Senator Wadada?

Senator Ahmed Aliyu Wadada (Sarkin Yakin Keffi), Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, fondly called the horse rider by his colleagues in the senate, is a succinct example of a cat with nine lives in Nasarawa politics. He came, saw, conquered and refused to look back again in the political matrix of Nasarawa state. 

Since he cut his political teeth in 2003, Wadada has been growing from strength to strength and surviving the test of times. The distinguished senator has become a brand and recurrent decimal in the political turf of Nasarawa state despite the antics of some anti-democratic forces who see him as a threat to their political survival and dominance.

Wadada is a lion hearted politician who believes in taking political risks, damning any really or imagined consequences. He is ready to flex muscles in his quest to make history and write his name in the sands of time. Wadada is a highly principled and progressive minded politician who has scaled many political landmines put on his way by powerful political forces in Nasarawa state since he ventured into the murky waters of politics about 21 years ago. 

Despite all odds, he refused to bend let alone break his political cause and determination to make a difference in the lives of his people. This explains why his detractors and political godfathers always find him a hard nut to crack during elections due to his grassroots disposition and impact he brings to bear on the lives of the common man inside and outside public office.

His popularity and political support base transcends party and sectional affiliations. Suffice to say that, whether he is in public office or not, Wadada always identifies with the oppressed, deploying his hard earned resources to bring succour to the common man. What keeps working for him in his political trajectory in the last 21 years is his grassroots inclination, love for his people, passion for humanity, intellectual prowess and capacity to deliver result and spring surprises. This has continued to endear him to the hearts of the people. 

Unlike other politicians in the state who see politics as an end rather than a means to an end and always emerge through accidental discharge or canopy of ethnicity, religious bigotry or godfatherism, Senator Wadada hit the political atmosphere of Nasarawa state like a thunderstorm in 2003. Although he was a greenhorn, his meteoric rise is attributable to his individual merit, having carved a niche for himself in the private sector after many years of hardwork, resilience and accomplishments. 

He built a formidable empire in the business and financial world, among many other successes and sacrifices to humanity. Thus, he was an attractive bride to his people of Keffi/Karu/Kokona federal constituency who voted him into the House of Representatives in 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

As chairman, House committee on capital market from 2003-2011, Wadada broke the jinx of bad representation not only in his constituency but also in the history of parliamentary democracy in Nasarawa state. He became a household name in Nigerian politics, having demonstrated vibrancy, capacity, competency, credibility, and intellectual prowess and oratorical skills in the discharge of his legislative responsibilities. He promoted democracy, good governance, and accountability. He many sponsored bills and motions that enhanced Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development and the wellbeing of his people which also glorified the name of Nasarawa state in the eyes of the world. 

Wadada also succeeded to give his people effective and result oriented representation that is second to none in the history of Nasarawa state with his legacies, impacts and footprints across various communities that make up his constituency. These include education, health, electrification, water supply, community development, skills acquisition, employment opportunities, women and youths empowerment, among others. 

Even after leaving office to concentrate on his businesses, Wadada continued to deploy his hard earned resources to touch the lives of his people through various humanitarian interventions through his Wadada Development Foundation. He initiated the game of polo in Nasarawa state through his Keffi Polo Ranch and Keffi Pony, his polo club. This brought investors, captains of industry, traditional rulers, polo players and enthusiasts, political leaders across the world twice every year to witness polo competitions. The proceeds of the tournament are channelled to support education, orphanages and the less privileged in Nasarawa state. 

Wadada contested the senatorial primaries of Nasarawa west in 2015 on PDP platform but lost to Senator Abduĺlahi Adamu, a former governor of the state. Having lost the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to Engineer A. A. Sule in 2019, Wadada opted to contest for the senate in the 2023 elections but this time on the platform of the relatively unknown Social Democratic Party, SDP, which he won. He made history by leading his new party to win two of the three senatorial seats in the state, two out of five House of Representatives seats and some state assembly seats, leaving one senatorial seat to PDP and three House of Representatives seats to APC.

Since his election into the senate in 2023 Wadada has continued to be a beacon of hope to his people with his superlative performance so far which continues to endear him to the people of the state. He has so far sponsored five bills which are at various legislative stages barely one year in the senate and still working on others. He succeeded to put into the 2024 budget many projects especially roads worth millions of naira linking various communities across his senatorial district which are key to the socio-economic development of his district. He distributed food items and palliatives geared towards bringing succour to his people amidst economic hardship. He carried out empowerment programmes and paid N25m WAEC fees for 744 students in his senatorial district and supported windstorm victims in Keana local government area which is not even in his senatorial district with N7m, among other achievements in the last nine months.

Looking at Wadada’s political trajectory from 2003 to date, having been in the House of Representatives for eight years, contested for the senate in 2015 which he was believed to have won, and vied for the gubernatorial seat of the state in 2019  emerging second runners up and now a distinguished senator, the question on the lips of most people is: where will Senator Wadada go from here come 2027? Will he return to the senate in 2027 or vie for governor of Nasarawa state to succeed Sule, especially now that his senatorial district is expected to produce the next governor of the state in 2027?

Speaking exclusively to Blueprint recently on his political future amidst speculations on his gubernatorial ambition come 2027, the Sarkin Yakin Keffi simply said, “If I could come from no political position to aspire for the governorship seat of Nasarawa state in 2019, and today I am in the senate, what do you expect in 2027? If am not going for the governorship seat of the state in 2027, by his grace then, unless you are telling me to go for the presidency of this country. But on a more serious note, we will cross the bridge when we get there. What I have at hand is the mandate given to me by the good people of Nasarawa west and my focus, commitments and loyalty are to deliver on that mandate. When the time comes we will talk about my political future.”

If Wadada eventually decides to run for the governorship of Nasarawa state in 2027, which most people believe he will, the people will witness an interesting battle that will sift the wheat from chaffs in Nasarawa politics. This will likely lead him to Shendam Road Government House Lafia, as he stands a better chance to lift the trophy ahead of other aspirants, if political experience, grassroots base, popularity and acceptability among the people come to play. Time will tell.

Abari writes from Lafia, Nasarawa state