Turai Yaradua

HISTORY will soon earmark a space for Hilary Clinton and Turai Yar’Adua, as First Ladies who found their ways into the Senate. That is if the plans currently being hatched in favour of the Nigerian former first lady sees the light of the day. National Daily, reliably gathered that plans are in top gear to grant Turai Yar’Adua, widow of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua the PDP ticket to vie for one of the three senatorial slots in Katsina State. Sources said this plan was hitherto shrouded in secrecy, considering all the intrigues that happened when the late President Yar’Adua was on the sick bed, but became obvious a few days back, when the Yar’Adua family marked the 40 days fidau at the family house in Katsina. The fidau, which attracted a lot of northern political bigwigs, sources say, availed the platform Turai needed to test her political potency, and feelers around her say the coast looks obviously clear, at least for now. Already some aides of the former First Lady are said to be busy mobilizing support for Turai amongst the political elites in the north.

“Every rough edge is being smoothened at the moment, and in due course the people will see Turai being ‘rewarded’ with a seat in the Senate. Some of the northern elders feel it is necessary after how she seems to have lost out in the political permutations following her husband’s death. The general impression really is that it will be appropriate if she gets the ticket to represent the people now”, a source said While Turai Yar’Adua, may be regarded as a featherweight in the political circles of the country, there is every reason to believe that she has actually learnt the necessary intrigues on the job, being a First Lady for close to eleven years. Aside the way she handled the politics of her husband’s medical trip abroad sources say, she is banking on the sympathy of Nigerian women to actualize this dream.

To this end, Turai is in talks with the National Council of Women’s Societies, (NCWS) as well as Minister for Women Affairs, Hajia Bala Usman and Mrs. Josephine Anenih respectively, and the plot is that the women folk will fly the widowhood kite to garner enough sympathy for Turai’s cause. This may not be the only tactic as the Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema is said to be favourably disposed to the idea and may be assembling men and resources to lend unalloyed support to the bid to make the former First Lady represent Katsina North Senatorial Zone come 2011.

Turai Ya’Adua is also said to be counting on the support of her two sons in law who happen to be big wigs in Northern politics, where they hold sway as executive governors. A source told this newspaper that it is most likely that the politically powerful but unconstitutional Governors’ Forum’ may also play a role in this quest to get Turai Yar’Adua to be part of the National Assembly in 2011.

“A lot of support is being mobilized to achieve this and with the calibre of people who have identified with this cause, I am confident that Hajia Turai will clinch the ticket come 2011. Some people even feel she should have been nominated to complete the tenure of her dead husband, but settling for the senatorial seat will not be out of place”, another source told the paper.

Obviously, the plan to foist Hajia Turai Yar’Adua may indeed meet one strong opposition in spite of the seeming goodwill believed to be following her. And this is likely going to be in the person of Senator Mahmud Kanti Bello, the senator representing Katsina North in the National Assembly. Kanti Bello, who is a notable politician was a senator in 1992, and has also been in the House since 2003. Once a party chairman, he is believed to be one of the reliable allies of the former president, but no one can ascertain if he is part of the game plan to install Turai at his own expense.
It would be recalled that Turai’s fiery ambition has often pitched her against some Nigerians. This came to the front burner as her dead husband lay dying in a Saudi hospital, a few months ago; a fact that made people to conclude that she was calling the shots in Aso Rock from Jeddah.

Before her days in Aso Rock, Turai is believed to have wielded a lot of influence when her husband was the governor of Katsina state for eight years. On a particular instance, she was said to have literally seized the affairs of the state, while her husband was battling an ailment in a German hospital for almost seven months. Events of the coming days will however prove if the former First Lady can still glow like the tigress she is believed to be.

Source: National Daily

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