I was at the Senate floor of the National Assembly in Abuja. My major mission was to meet some Senators and House of Representatives members, particularly the Senate Committee Chairman on INEC, Sen. Kabiru Gaya. It was meant to be an herculean task, because accessing some politicians in this clime could be likened to seeking a needle in a haystack. Their aides, many at times do more harm than good, playing the last gatekeepers role.
My first call was Sen. Gaya’s office, a Senator from Kano South with an admirable mien, poise and charisma.
After a proper introduction at the Senator’s ante-room, I was received with a warm welcome by his aides. This first impression endeared me to him. To cut the long story short, he granted the interview, in the most unlikely manner. He had to pend other urgent duties to attend to a member of the fourth estate of the realm.
Senator Kabiru Gaya is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has distinguished himself, both in politics and in business. The Kano born politician represents Kano South district in the 9th National Assembly.
After the interview, a curious me dug up some facts about him. I realised Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya is a ‘koseleri’ lawmaker who has set a record of quadruple victory to return to the senate. Koseleri is a Yoruba term coined here in the south-western part of Nigeria referring to an uncommon occurrence of an event.
A politician here in Oyo State, late Abiola Ajimobi earned the name after he won a second term as the Governor of the pace-setter state. Before then, indigenes of Ibadan, the capital of Southwest politics, and the largest city, probably in Africa would reiterate how Ibadan does not serve a master twice. But the Koseleri governor broke that jinx. Koseleris are conscientious, diligent, dependable and real action takers. Their great love for details usually results in others estimating them very highly.
The Koseleri Senator, Kabiru Gaya defeated his closest rival, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Sani Rogo. At the 2019 elections, Senator Gaya polled 319,004 votes to defeat Rogo who scored 217,520.
Beyond satisfying the requirement of the law and scoring the highest number of votes, Senator Gaya’s love for the youths in his district, knows no bounds.
Senator Gaya, as learnt by this writer, has an unbeatable record of achievements as a federal lawmaker. As described by one of his constituents, his achievement is legendary.
He stays in the Senate’s red chamber for the interest of the people of Kano South and not for self aggrandisement.
Findings show that Kano people are generally proud of the Kano South senator’s records. He is the first northern senator who would be appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on work. He rode on the back of this to attract construction of good road networks for Kano State and other parts of the north.
He became popular after he sponsored bills for the creation of North-East Development Commission (NEDC). This single act put Nigeria among the committee of nations vis-a-vis the carnage by the insurgents, bill for Finance Management and Accountability , 2009, and the Millennium Development Agency Bill, 2009. He co-sponsored five motions and contributed immensely to debates in plenary. In May 2008, as chairman of Senate committee on Works, Gaya lamented that some projects were going very slowly, but resisted and promised Nigerians the idea of privatising Nigerian roads will be resisted. Northerners say it was a legacy that will not be forgotten in a hurry. He was voted into the exalted position of vice-president of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya is the man to beat in Kano South. Senator Gaya’s credential as senator is too intimidating.
Born into the family of Alhaji Ibrahim Gaya on 16 June, 1952, Sen. Kabiru began his educational journey at Tsangaya Primary School where he got his first school leaving certificate. He attended Government Science Secondary School B/Kudu where he obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC). He proceeded to College of Arts (CAS) Kano, before gaining admission into the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State where he graduated as architect.
Senator Gaya, once worked in the civil service, as a lecturer at the Kano State polytechnic; Board Member of KASEPPA in 1985.
He was a frontline member of the National Republican Convention (NRC) on whose platform he was elected Executive Governor of Kano State in 1992–1993. He was a member of the National Caucus Committee for the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in General Sani Abacha’s transition programme.
In 2007, he got elected into the Senate, representing Kano South and was re-elected in 2011and also re-elected in 2015 and again he’s now a 4th term ranking senator. Upon his inauguration at the senate in 2015, he was elected as the chairman ad-hoc committees on Local and Foreign Debts, and later chairman senate committee on works in charge of federal roads in Nigeria till date.
Furthermore, Senator Kabiru Gaya was Senate’s Deputy Whip from 2007- 2011the vice chairman Local and Foreign Debts, chairman States and Local Government in the senate 2011-2015, he used the position to return peace to Rivers State House of Assembly when there was political tussle in state resulting in the senate taking over legislative until normalcy is returns. He is a proud member of Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU). He was a member of Gas, Local and Foreign Debts, States and Local Government, Upstream Petroleum Resources and Works, Constitutional Review, Special Duties, Water Resources, IPU, Land and Housing and still actively serving in some of them.
He was instrumental and dogged on returning peace to Rivers State during the imbroglio in the state which led to the state taken over by the senate in business of legislative proceedings of the state assembly.
He Co-chaired the Pension Committee of the senate for the pension conundrum in the country.
It is on record that Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya has 16 local government areas, the largest senatorial zone in Nigeria bigger than four states in the country.
Senator Gaya is a recipient of many awards. He was given the Award of Excellence for distinguished role on Youth Empowerment and Political Development in Nigeria by Nigerian Youth Organization in 2003, African Leaders of Integrity Merit Award, for High Sense of Integrity, Accountability and Transparency in Africa Leadership by African International News Magazine in 2005. Students at the faculty of law Bayero University, Kano gave him an award for Excellence for his contributions to students and the faculty in 2007-2008.
There are clamours from different quarters for the Senator to run for Kano State Governorship Seat in 2023.
As a senator he also facilitated the execution of constituency projects across the 44 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state including the construction of over 220 classroom blocks, 18 skills acquisition centres and 18 healthcare centres. Though his district has 16 LGAs, he extended developmental projects to the other LGAs.
However, as enticing as running for gubernatorial seat may seem, the Senator has a more demanding duty up his sleeves. Senator Gaya, a Northerner has been championing the Osinbajo-cause with all his heart. Known to be a man with the midas touch, Senator Gaya is the best man for this job. He recently led other support groups to pick the presidential nomination form on behalf of the vice president.
Olamide Adeniji a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper