Senator Sidi Ali Vs Hon. Etsu Zhin: Between Failed Senatorial Representation and Distraction?


Does Senator Sidi Ali think he is deceiving the people of FCT with his so called petition to EFCC against Honourable Danladi Zhin or what? For four years he represented FCT in the Senate, he did not attract a single project to any area council in FCT. If he had attracted Roads and Housing projects in any of those councils that make up FCT; he would have known their costs, through which comparison can be made with those projects executed by Hon. Zhin. Nobody in FCT knows the constituency office of Senator Sidi Ali, yet, millions of Naira was given for its management by NASS. This is a case of pot calling kettle black- A frustrated former supporter of Senator Sidi Ali.       

Political pundits and observers have reasoned that Senator Sidi Ali, the erstwhile senatorial representative of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], is certainly not the best person to accuse any area council Chairman in FCT of financial impropriety, not to talk of his prime benefactor, Honourable Danladi Etsu Zhin, who he is accusing of corruption for obvious reason that his tenure as the representative of Abuja in his capacity as a Senator was at best, a waste to the people. Although, it is the function of the National Assembly to expose corruption in the area councils, in the case of FCT, as part of their oversight function, but when one realizes that NASS is made up of both the Senate and House of Representatives, with the House having more legitimacy to oversight function due to the fact that they are the direct representatives of the people, one begins to wonder why commensurate noise is not coming from them on alleged corruption in Kuje area council and FCT in  general. 

There is no doubt that politics is the root cause of the friction between Honourabe Zhin and Senator Sidi Ali. For almost four [4] years as Senator in FCT, Sidi Ali did not forward petition of alleged corruption of Zhin to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], it was when he failed in his bid to get re-election in his party [PDP] that he remembered that there was corruption in Kuje area council. In-fact, were it possible that EFCC is empowered by law to conduct integrity test on each and every petitioner, there was no way Senator Sidi Ali would not have been detained to account for his stewardship at the Senate that was abysmal.  It could be recalled that Senator Sidi Ali entered into the political lexicon of FCT in 2007, when he contested the senatorial election and lost to Senator Jubrin Wowo, the former Chairman of Kuje area council. Luck however, smiled on Sidi Ali when the election of Wowo was canceled on account of exclusion. The resultant re-run election presented another opportunity for Sidi Ali to try his luck once again. Senator Ali knew that he had outside chance of defeating Senator Wowo, who was the incumbent with solid structure on ground then.  

Ordinarily, it was impossible for Sidi Ali to win the re-run election because of the obvious reason that he had no political structure in FCT. But when Zhin provided his huge structure and goodwill, it was not surprising that he eventually won the re-run. Information has it that Zhin mobilized support for Senator Sidi Ali from his core zones- which include Kuje, Gwagwalada, Kwali and Abaji. Zhin’s huge support base in these areas is of course, a function of his long stay as the Secretary of the ruling People’s Democratic Party [PDP] in FCT. As the lynchpin of PDP in FCT, Zhin naturally was in good position to influence voting pattern in an election in FCT and that was exactly what he did in that re- run election. So it was not unexpected that Sidi defeated Senator Jubrin Wowo in the re-run election.

No sooner had Sidi Ali became the senator representing FCT, than he turned his back on the people. He did not make any impact in FCT for almost four years that he stayed at the National Assembly. He completely detached himself from the electorates in Abuja. As of today, Senator Sidi Ali cannot pinpoint to projects in FCT in his name that have impacted positively on the people. Watchers of FCT politics have repeatedly asked whether Senator Sidi Ali gave accurate account of the constituency allowance he collected at the national assembly. If Sidi Ali had constituency office, only he and his family knew.  What effort did Sidi Ali invest in fighting the marginalization of his people?

The poor representation Senator Ali gave at the National Assembly provided the platform that led to his total rejection at the primary election of PDP in 2010. Senator Ali was dumped for a more progressive Philip Aduda, who incidentally was the immediate House of Representatives member representing AMAC/ Bwari area councils. His rejection was total that he managed a distant third position behind Irete Kingibe in the primary election. Since that election, Senator Sidi Ali has not hidden his anger against Honourable Danladi Etsu Zhin, for withdrawal of support for him.

Watchers of political events in FCT have likened Ali’s petition to EFCC against Zhin to the proverbial stone thrower who lives in a glass house. Senator Sidi Ali has clearly forgotten that his voyage to NASS was an incomparable failure. He did not attract projects in FCT, whereas Zhin embarked on many developmental projects in Kuje area council. Even the petition he wrote was in respect of some projects the Honourable Chairman completed in the council. One would have been happy if during his tenure as the Senator representing FCT, Sidi Ali had attracted some projects for the benefit of the people in the same Kuje area council. To start with, what gave Sidi Ali the impression that some projects were inflated in Kuje area council? Is he, Sidi Ali professionally competent to evaluate the projects which he believes were inflated? The only motive for Sidi Ali’s petition against Hon. Zhin, is crave to get even, arising from Zhin’s withdrawal of support at the primary election of PDP that eventually culminated in his exit from the Senate. Surely, the petition is a base one and a huge distraction as well. Senator Sidi Ali can’t be taken seriously in this curious crusade.

Emeka Oraetoka

Information Management Consultant & Researcher

Wrote in from Garki-Abuja

P.O Box 18928





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