2023: An Introspection of Adamawa South Senatorial Zone, will the jinks remained?

For an average voter in Adamawa South Senatorial Zone, the two major political parties, namely the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) overlap heavily in terms of political ideology. This is because each of the two major political parties in the country can either be more to the left or to the right, depending on whether the party is in power or not, hence voters are generally guided by public preferences to elect a Senator in the zone irrespective of the candidate’s political party.

In most cases, non-partisanship tends to be the leading factor that determines senatorial election outcomes in the zone, whilst other factors such as campaign spending and incumbency play minimal role.

In sum, senatorial election outcomes in the zone reflect public preferences rather than power of incumbency and or campaign spending. Whereas, campaign spending could be at or near the top of electioneering calculus used by politicians, events in the political arena in Adamawa south senatorial zone from 1999 to date revealed that voters elect nonpartisan and ‘independent’ (free from external influence) candidates, unless there are strong reason to do otherwise as in the case of Senator Zwingina who was the only senator that got elected twice since the beginning of the Nigerian fourth republic.

The same Zwingina was rejected though, in the 2015 general elections when he attempted to stage a comeback after leaving the office in 2007.

Running on the platform of PDP then, Jonathan Silas Zwingina was elected a senator for the zone at the very start of the fourth republic in 1999. The senator got reelected on the same political platform and served in the 5th national assembly, making him the only senator to have secured reelection in the political history of Adamawa south senatorial zone. In April 2007, the voters elected Grace Folashade Bent, a first timer and ‘independent’ candidate on the platform of PDP to succeed senator Zwingina.

Senator Grace served in the 6th national assembly and sought for reelection in 2011. However, Perhaps because senator Grace was in office then, the voters perceived the senator now a ‘dependent’ candidate and rejected her right at primaries of the PDP in 2010. Instead, another first timer and ‘independent’ candidate, Ahmed Hassan Barata was given the party’s ticket and subsequently elected to succeed senator Grace.
Senator Barata served in the 7th national assembly and seek reelection in 2015. The senator was equally denied the opportunity to stage a come back just like they did to his predecessor and was replaced with another first timer and ‘independent’ candidate, Ahmad Abubakar Mo’Allahyidi of the APC.

Like others, Senator Mo’Allahyidi served in the 8th national assembly, and as usual seek reelection in 2019 general elections and history repeated itself as senator Mo’Allahyidi was dumped for yet another first timer, the incumbent senator Binos Dauda Yaroe, who rode to power on the platform of the PDP and is currently serving in the 9th national assembly.

With the political reality played out from 1999 to date, it could be deduced that the tradition in the Adamawa south senatorial zone is that voters do elect candidates who are free from external influence to represent the zone in the senate.

Interestingly and bearing any last minute change, all these former senators (with the exception of senator Barata who might have opted for party position in the forthcoming elective convention of the APC) and the incumbent senator, are considering to represent the zone again come 2023.

This is in addition to yet another first timer, Adamu Ismaila Numan. The question now is, can the incumbent Senator break the record of Senator Zwingina? or could the long standing tradition favour Adamu Ismaila Numan, the first timer? Even so, some pundits conversant with the politics of that senatorial district believe that Numan posseses some exceptional characteristics that may likely favor him come 2023. However, only time will tell, as the election continue to draw nearer.

Saleh Babagana
Department of Physics
Yobe State University

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