As the nation gets ready for the long awaited February 16th presidential and National Assembly elections, there are glaring indications that large junk of Senators that constituted the 109 membership of the Senate in the 8th Senate,may not make the 9th Senate. IGNATIUS OKOROCHA examines the circumstances leading to this development.
From the primary elections conducted by all the political parties on the record of the Independent National Electoral Commission covering all elective positions ahead of the forthcoming polls, it looks very obvious that a good n umber of 8th Assembly Senators may hjave either lost their party’s ticket to stage a comeback to the Senate or secured tickets to contest for governorship, either on the tickets of their political parties or other parties.
However, prior to the conduct of the primaries by all the political parties, virtually all the Senators serving in the 8th Senate had indicated interest to return to the upper chamber of National Assembly, but for a few that had strong desires to contest the governorship positions in their respective states.
It is interesting to note that in the wind of change or aspiration to serve this nation at a higher level, the likes of the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had decamped to the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and opted to contest the seat of the President of this country but lost the primary and later picked the tickets of their senatorial seats to seek for another mandate to the Senate.
It is also instructive to note that while there were few senators who voluntarily withdrew from the senatorial race based on their governorship ambition others were automatically stopped from participating in the primary contest due to some peculiar political arrangements adopted in their enclaves to guarantee peace and harmony among the various sections co-existing in the political block.
There are about 31 senators that didn’t secure tickets back to the apex chamber, the lawmakers fall within the three categories namely: those who voluntarily withdrew from contesting the primaries, those who opted for governorship tickets of their parties and those who contested for return tickets but failed.
Generally, those who did not secure return tickets are: Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East), Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central), Fatima Raji Rasaki (APC, Ekiti Central), Sola Adeyeye (APC, Osun Central) and Babajide Omoworare (APC, Osun East).
Others are: Rilwan Akanbi (APC, Oyo South), Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu East), Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa Central), Ben Murray Bruce (PDP Bayelsa west) , Fosta Ogola (PDP, Bayelsa South) and Ahmed Abubakar (APC Adamawa South), Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South), and Joshua Dariye (APC, Plateau Central).
However, the remaining 18 out of the 31 senators not coming back who either voluntarily withdrew from return contest or went for governorship tickets are Senators Ahmed Sani Yerima (APC, Zamfara East), Bukkar Abba Ibrahim (APC, Yobe East), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South), Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North ) and Kaka Gabbai ( APC Borno Central)
Others are: Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau North), Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau South), David Mark (PDP Benue South), Philip Gyunka (PDP Nasarawa North), Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako (ADC, Adamawa Central) and Usman Bayero Nafada ( PDP Gombe North).
Also in the category are: Kabiru Marafa ( APC Zamfara Central), Shaaba Lafiagi ( PDP Kwara North), Isiaka Adeleke (PDP Osun West) , Sonny Ogborji ( APC Ebonyi South) , Gbolahan Dada (APC Ogun West), Hope Uzodinma (APC Imo West) and Buruji Kashamu (PDP Ogun East) and John Enoh ( APC Cross Rivers Central) ,
Meanwhile about 70 senators making a return bid through secured tickets from their respective political parties or cross carpeting to other political parties are Senators Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central), Solomon Adeola Olamilekan (APC Lagos West),Abiodun Olujimi ( PDP Ekiti South) and Duro Faseyi ( PDP Ekiti North).
Others are: Monsurat Sunmonu (ADC Oyo Central), Abdulfattah Buhari (APC Oyo North), Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra Central), Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North), Andy Uba (APC, Anambra South ) and Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North).
Also in this list are: Senators Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi Central), Theodore Orji (PDP Abia Central), Mao Ohuambunwa ( PDP Abia North), Eyinnaya Abaribe ( PDP Abia South), Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC Imo central), Andrew Uchendu (APC Rivers East), Osinakachukwu Ideozu (APC Rivers West), Rose Oko (PDP Cross Rivers North ), and Genshom Bassey (PDP Cross Rivers South ).
Others are, Bassey Akpan ( PDP Akwa Ibom North East), Godswill Akpabio ( APC Akwa Ibom North west) and Nelson Effiong ( APC Akwa Ibom South), Ovie Omo – Agege ( APC Delta Central), James Manager ( PDP Delta South), Peter Nwaoboshi ( PDP Delta North), Francis Alimekhena ( APC Edo North), Mathew Uroghide ( PDP Edo South) and Clifford Ordia ( PDP Edo Central).
Equally in this category are: Jibrin Barau ( APC Kano North), Kabiru Gaya ( APC Kano South ), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso ( PDP Kano Central ), Danjuma Lar ( PDP Kaduna South), Suleiman Hunkuyi ( PDP Kaduna North ), Shehu Sani ( PRP Kaduna Central), Abdullahi Gumel ( APC Jigawa North), Sabo Mohammed ( APC Jigawa Central) and Ubali Shittu ( PDP Jigawa South).
Others are: Aliyu Wammako ( APC Sokoto North ), Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East), Abdullahi Danbaba ( PDP Sokoto Central), Tijjani Kaura ( APC Zamfara North), Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central), Yahaya Abdullahi ( APC Kebbi North), Bala ibn Na’Allah ( APC Kebbi South), Ahmed Baba Kaita ( APC Katsina North ) and Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South).
Included in the return bid are: Ahmed Lawan ( APC Yobe North), Mohammed Hassan ( PDP Yobe South ), Isa Misau ( PDP Bauchi Central), Suleiman Nazif (PDP Bauchi North), Ibrahim Gumau (APC Bauchi South), Binta Garba – Masi (APC Adamawa North), Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central ), Joshua Lidani (APC Gombe South), Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central) and Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP Taraba South).
Other successful senators are: the Senate President, Bukola Saraki (PDP Kwara Central), Dino Melaye (PDP Kogi west), Ahmed Ogembe (PDP Kogi Central ), Attai Aidoko ( PDP Kogi East), Abdullahi Adamu ( APC Nasarawa west), Suleiman Adokwe (PDP Nasarawa North), Barnabas Gemade ( SDP Benue North East), George Akume ( APC Benue North West) and Philip Tanimu Aduda (PDP FCT), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), David Umoru (APC Niger East) among others not captured in this list based on INEC’s last minute registration.
With the political party and individual candidates campaign heating up, one obvious fact is that not all the listed senators that secured return party ticket would also make it to the 9th Assembly as some will no doubt fail to secure the electorates nod to return.