Primaries: 42 senators to go.
There are indications that high turnover of senators will hit the 9th Senate in 2019 as 42 of the 109 serving senators, representing 38.5 per cent failed to secure return tickets in the just-concluded nationwide senatorial primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sixty-seven of the 109 serving senators, representing 61.5% secured return tickets from various parties.
A study carried out by New Telegraph on the outcome of the primaries, however, indicates that there is no certainty that the 67 senators who got return tickets will scale the final hurdle of return bid on Saturday, February 16, 2019, which is the day for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Out of the 42 senators that didn’t secure tickets back to the apex chamber, some voluntarily withdrew from contesting the primaries, some opted for governorship tickets of their parties and others contested for return tickets but failed. One of the senators, Joshua Dariye could not secure return ticket as he is currently serving a 14-year jail term. 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: Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu East), Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa Central), Ben Murray Bruce (PDP Bayelsa West), Fosta Ogola (PDP, Bayelsa South), Ahmed Abubakar (APC Adamawa South), Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), David Umoru (APC Niger East) and Joshua Dariye (APC, Plateau Central). Also among those not returning to Senate in 2019 are: Senators Ahmed Sani Yerima (APC, Zamfara East), Bukkar Abba Ibrahim (APC, Yobe East), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South), Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), Buruji Kashamu (PDP, Ogun East), 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), Sam Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako (APC Adamawa Central) and Usman Bayero Nafada (PDP Gombe North). Also in the category are: Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Shaaba Lafiagi (PDP, Kwara North), Ademola Adeleke (PDP, Osun West), Sonny Ogborji (APC, Ebonyi South), John Enoh (APC, Cross Rivers Central), Gbolahan Dada (APC, Ogun West) and Hope Uzodinma (APC, Imo West). Senators Enoh, Ogborji, Nyako and Useni are now governorship candidates in Cross River, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Plateau states respectively.
In Bayelsa, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, denied Senator Ogola (Bayelsa West) the PDP return ticket. Ewhrudjakpo, who is Governor Seriake Dickson’s ally, polled 247 votes to defeat Senator Ogola who polled two votes at the PDP primaries. The ‘common sense’ Senator Bruce withdrew from the race. In Enugu, Senator Gilbert Nnaji lost the PDP ticket to former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani for Enugu East senatorial district. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rule and Business, Baba Kaka Garbai, lost the Borno Central ticket to Governor Kashim Shettima. The first term senator, who contested for the Borno governorship ticket of APC, was the returning officer for the governor in the senatorial primary.Senator Fatima Rasaki lost the Ekiti Central senatorial district ticket to former member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele. Rasaki recently defected from PDP to APC where she lost a return ticket. In Kwara State, Senator Lafiagi contested for the PDP gubernatorial ticket and lost.
He has been replaced by Alhaji Abubakar Sanni, Deputy Chairman of the old PDP. In Kwara South, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim stepped down his ambition to accommodate the emergence of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed. In Osun State, the three senators lost their return tickets.
The Senate Chief Whip, Prof. Sola Adeyeye, lost the return ticket for Osun Central to Basiru Ajibola. Babajide Omoworare (Osun East) lost to Hon. Ajibola Famurewa. Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP) is not returning to the Senate as he still pursuing his governorship ambition in court. Only Senator Ashafa lost APC ticket in Lagos. He lost his return ticket to a member of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bayo Osinowo. General Jeremiah Useni is not returning to the Senate as he has secured the governorship ticket of the PDP in Plateau State. Former Governor Jonah Jang, who lost out in the PDP presidential ticket, has also forgone a return to the Senate.
The two APC senators, Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun Central) and Gbolahan Dada (Ogun West) have been replaced at the legislative primary election by their party with Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his Chief of Staff, Chief Tolu Odebiyi respectively. For Senator Buruji Kashamu who was controversially expelled from the PDP, the faction of the party headed by Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele has produced Bola Kalejaiye to replace him. In Zamfara, former governor and serving senator, Ahmed Sani Yarima, has stepped down for Governor Abdul’azeez Yari for Zamfara West ticket. Marafa is not returning because of his governorship ambition. The 67 senators making a return bid as they secured tickets from their respective 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 on 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 (PDP, 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 Or-dia (PDP, Edo Central). Equally in the category of senators that secured return tickets 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 (APC, Kaduna Central), Abdullahi Gumel (APC, Jigawa North), Sabo Mohammed (APC, Jigawa Central), Rilwan Akanbi (ADC, Oyo South) and Ubali Shittu (PDP, Jigawa South). Others are: Aliyu Wamakko (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 (PDP, 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). The three senators from Ondo State are also returning – Tayo Alasoadura, Ajayi Boroffice and Yele Omogunwa.