Kaduna state Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has said that the fate of Sen. Shehu Sani, (APC-Kaduna Central) lies in hands of the party delegates in the state and not in his hand as the governor.
El Rufai, who spoke with State House correspondents shortly after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in the Presidential Villa, said that the president was a Democrat, who would not support imposition.
A Kaduna State High Court had on Wednesday restrained the All Progressives Congress (APC) from conducting the primary to select the party’s candidate for the Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
The court ruled on an ex-parte motion brought by Uba Sani, a senatorial aspirant, against the APC for excluding him from the contest scheduled for Tuesday but later moved to Wednesday.
Sani went to court following the release of the names of Senatorial aspirants in Kaduna on Tuesday by the APC, which indicated that the incumbent Senator, Shehu Sani, was returned unopposed for the Kaduna Central contest.
The court ordered the APC, its chairman Adams Oshiomhole, the Independent National Electoral Commission and Senator Shehu Sani to maintain the status-quo prior to Oct. 2, when the APC excluded Uba Sani and other aspirants from the contest.
“The president restated his position that he is a Democrat; a product of elections and he has never encouraged non-election.
“He has never supported imposition and he has never asked anyone to grant anybody automatic tickets; the position was restated yesterday to the progressive governors’ forum and he told me this and said he will take necessary steps to communicate this very clearly to the party leadership.
“It is not me; I only have one vote as the governor of the state; it is up to the delegates in the Kaduna State APC to vote for Shehu Sani or vote for other candidates but what democracy said is that every person should be given a chance to contest.
“Shehu Sani has done things against the interest of the people of Kaduna state and it is time for him to explain why he did what he did and ask the delegates to vote for him but to avoid facing the consequences of your actions by getting what is called automatic ticket is a recipe to losing the election to other parties,’’ he warned.
El Rufai expressed optimism that the party would meet the INEC deadline for the conduct of primaries provided that it came up with a list that did not reasonably exclude the contestants.