From the moment he contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kaduna South senatorial ticket with former finance minister, Esther Nenadi Usman, it was clear that the battle up was going to be a stiff climb for Senator Danjuma Laah. Won by a slim margin, Laah had 129 votes to Usman’s 123.
There were rumours that Laah was being backed by the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Andrew Yakubu, but the rumours couldn’t get away the fact that Laah who holds the traditional title of Shettiman Kagoro and had the backing of local chiefs and tribal leaders, is in touch with rural dwellers.
Usman being a former state commissioner, former minister and at the time the senator representing the area, it was wrongly judged from start that Laah, a retired federal civil servant, was no match for Usman. That Laah went ahead to win, beating the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Ishaku Shekarau by 259,239 to 119,022 votes, proves of doggedness and a man whose time has come, though he would rather see it as the time to serve his people.
In an interview with MONTAGE AFRICA, before the elections, Laah had said that his reason for being in the race was due to the love for his people. “Secondly my people wish that I should represent them at the federal level for a clear difference. I am not going there just for the fun of it or just because I am opportune, but my track record has endeared me to their hearts and they so wish I represent them. You can also be sure that I will not and never disappoint them. I will work for them.”
One major agenda on his mind for his people he said was security. “It is unfortunate that security in Southern part of Kaduna has degenerated to the level it is today, we never thought it could get to this point. We know we the southern Kaduna people are peaceful people, but suddenly this insecurity of a thing came and changed everything. People from nowhere will just come and create problem on no account and by influence of religion and tribal sentiments to generate crises.” He had pledged then that if given the mandate to serve his people, “I will see to the end of this.” The federal government and several security stakeholders have tried in vain to curtail the activities of enemies of states, and failed, but Laah feels confident of his solution to address insecurity in Southern Kaduna. “I will achieve these by having a close relationship with relevant stakeholders like the House of Assembly, representatives and security agencies in the state and federal
[blockquote cite=”Danjuma Laah” type=”left”]I will not be a senator and you will see what you are seeing now. If I am opportune to serve my people, you should expect more than you are seeing now[/blockquote]
levels respectively. “Also, I will put in place a formidable strong local security arrangement within this communities that will quickly respond to situations before government forces arrive in cases of eventuality. You can imagine the damage that can be caused in the absence of a quick response team. I will also ensure that a military barracks be situated in the southern part of the state.” Security aside, Laah said another concern of his is the economic wellbeing of his people, and for him, one way to help address this is making sure that his people have electricity. “With electricity in my constituency, many small scale businesses will thrive, thereby touching the lives of plenty. My wish is to ensure constant and stable electricity.” A senator for the people, towards the end of the interview, Laah showed his resolve to represent his people. “I will not be a senator and you will see what you are seeing now. If I am opportune to serve my people, you should expect more than you are seeing now. At least I want to do it for them as my people, so that they can feel me more.”