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Kaduna deputy governor, El-Rufai’s aide emerge from senatorial primaries

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bantex, has picked the APC ticket for Kaduna South Senatorial District following victory at the primary election held in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area.

Announcing the results, the Returning Officer, Gabriel Iduseri, declared Mr Bantex winner having polled a total of 2,287 votes against Caleb Zegi, former PDP senator, who scored 268 votes.

Speaking shortly in an interview after the exercise, Mr Bantex expressed gratitude to the delegates and assured of a responsive and responsible representation, if elected at the general election.

For Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, the Special Adviser to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai on Political and Intergovernmental Affairs, was declared winner of the ticket.

Mr Sani polled 2,088 votes to defeat incumbent senator Shehu Sani, who got 15 votes, and three other aspirants, the electoral officer said.

Shehu Sani boycotted the exercise, describing it as “illegal.”

The Kaduna Central primary has been marred in controversy since the APC headquarters cleared only Shehu Sani for the exercise.

Uba Sani and others however said they were later cleared for the primary, a claim the party headquarters is yet to confirm.

Eddie Floyd-Igbo, the APC Coordinator for the Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone, declared the results of the primaries held at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Sports Multipurpose Hall, Kaduna, on Saturday.

Shehu Sani, Chairman, Senate Committee on Domestic and Foreign Debts, had earlier announced his withdrawal from the primaries.

In a statement issued by his media aide, Abdulsamad Amadi, the senator said the exercise was illegal.

“The Office of Senator Shehu Sani has not, and will not send anybody as their representative or agent to that illegality that some desperate people are organising.

“This is because the national leadership of the APC has not scheduled any senatorial primaries in Kaduna Central today.

“Consequently, anybody that goes there does so at his or her own freewill and does not in any way represent the interest of Sen. Shehu Sani.

“The senator and his team are law abiding citizens and loyal party members who will always obey the directives of the National leadership of our great party,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Mr Floyd-Igbo announced that one of the aspirants, Usman Ibrahim, got 129 votes in the primaries.

He also said Sani Saleh, who served Kaduna Central people in the Senate from 2011 to 2015, got 55 votes.

Another contestant, Shamsudeen Shehu, got six votes, while 45 votes were declared invalid.

He said 2,383 voters were accredited from seven local government areas of the zone for the primary election.

Meanwhile, INEC has reminded all participants that it would only accept candidates forwarded to it by the national secretariats of the political parties.

The electoral body also gave the parties up till October 7 to submit their candidates for the 2019 general elections.

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