2023: Imminent tsunami as senators’ return bids fail


Going by the results of parties primaries conducted so far for 109 Senatorial seats, about 60 Senators have lost out on return bids, TAIYE ODEWALE, reports

Seasonal turnovers
For both chambers of the National Assembly since 2003 when the first general elections were conducted under democratic governance in the current fourth republic, it has been high turnover of lawmakers after every successive Assembly in the mode of those returning falling below 50% of membership of a session that is ending.

Reasons for the high turnovers 
Reasons for the high turnovers of membership of either the Senate or the House of Representatives as it happened at the end of 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th National Assembly are basically four.

One is decision by serving lawmakers to aim for higher political position, particularly, governorship of their states, two, effect of zoning arrangements from the senatorial district a lawmaker hails from, three, losing bid for return ticket at primary level and four, losing at the general elections. .

Senate as case study 

Since 2003 as stated, it has been high turnover of members of the Senate not making it back after serving for one term at the end of a session.

For example, in the immediate past 8th Senate about 63 of the 109 Senators who served between June 2015 to June 2019 couldn’t make it back to the current 9th Senate due to the four factors earlier stated.

Worsening scenario emerging in 10th Senate 

The present 9th Senate going by realities on ground and particularly based on outcomes of primary elections conducted by the two major political parties i .e, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for senatorial candidates for the 109 Seats in the Senate; will have the least returnees in history.

This is so because as gathered from outcomes of such primaries elections alone, close to 60 Senators are out of the return bids for the next Senate in the 10th National Assembly.

State by state analysis 
Analytically on the basis of state by state assessments, in the North West, the entire three Senators from Jigawa state, namely Hadejia Hassan Ibrahim, Sankara Danladi Abubakar and Mohammed Sabo Nakudu are not coming back .

They all ran for the governorship tickets of their state from APC and lost to the current deputy governor, Alhaji Umar Namadi and invariably paved way for APC to pick new candidates for the three senatorial seats.
As it was in Jigawa, so it is in Katsina state where none of the three serving senators namely, Ahmed Baba Kaita, Bello Mandiya and Abdullahi Barkiya Kabir secured return ticket from their party (APC).

For Kaita, the quest for governorship position of the state, made him to quit the party few months ago to PDP while Mandiya and Barkiya lost out in the senatorial primary elections conducted by the party last Saturday.
In Zamfara state, within the same North West geo – political zone, out of the three senators who came into the 9th Senate in June 2019, only one has secured return ticket for contest in the 2023 general election for possible return into the coming 10th Senate.
While Senator Sabi Ya’u (Zamfara North) succeeded in getting return ticket, Senator Lawali Hassan Anka (Zamfara West) sacrificed his own for former governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari who is being pacified by the state governor, Bello Mattawale, along with Senator Kabiru Marafa settled with Zamfara Central Senatorial ticket, a seat occupied by Senator Mohammed Hassan before resigning for deputy governorship position of the state few months back.

In Kebbi state, only Senator Bala Ibn Na ‘Allah (Kebbi South) got a return ticket out of the three serving senators from the state. The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi  North), lost out in the primary election conducted on Saturday while Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), withdrew from the race and even quit the party on alleged manipulation of the entire process by the state governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.

In Kaduna state, only Senator Suleiman Abdul – Kwari (Kaduna North) secured return ticket from his party (APC), as Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna Central) opted for the position of the state governor on the platform of APC while Senator Danjumah La’ah (Kaduna South), lost out in the primary election conducted by his party (PDP).
However, in Kano state, though Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano Central) dumped APC for NNDP, he is sure to get ticket there while Senators Kabiru Gaya (Kano South) and Jibrin Barau (Kano North) secured returned tickets from APC.
A similar scenario played out in Sokoto state among the three serving senators who all got return tickets. The senators are Aliyu Wammakko (Sokoto North), Gobir Ibrahim Abdullahi (Sokoto East) and Ibrahim Abdullahi (Sokoto South) who defected from PDP to APC few months ago.
In North Central geo – political zone, particularly, Plateau state , none of the three serving Senators namely Professor Nora Ladi  Daduut (Plateau South) Dimka Hezekiah (Plateau Central) and Gyang Istifanus Dung (Plateau North), secured return ticket from their parties.
In Kogi state, Senators Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West) and Yakubu Oseni (Kogi Central) are not returning to the Senate with only Senator Jibrin Isa (Kogi East), securing returning ticket.
Also in Niger state, while fate of Senate Bima Enagi (Niger South)  is not known yet, the Deputy Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) lost out in his bid for a return ticket but Senator Sani Musa (Niger East) got a return ticket from  the primary election conducted last Saturday .
In Nasarawa state, only Senator Tanko Al – Makura (Nasarawa South), seems to be coming back as Senator Adamu Abdullahi the APC National Chairman (Nasarawa West) resigned from the Senate while Senator Godiya Akwashiki (Nasarawa North), was still struggling to get return ticket as at the time of this report.
However, in Benue and Kwara states respectively, two out of the three Senators from the states, secured returned tickets. Those that did not get return tickets were Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central) and Orker – Jev Emmanuel Yisa (Benue North West ).
In North East geo political zone starting with Bauchi state, all the three serving senators lost out.
While Senator Haliru Jika (Bauchi Central) lost out indirectly by contesting the governorship primaries without success, the two other senators i.e, Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South) and Bulkachuwa Adamu Muhammad (Bauchi North), lost out in the Senatorial primaries conducted on Sunday.
In Taraba state, only Senator Isa Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North),  secured return ticket while Senators Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (Taraba Central) went for governorship contest later won by Bwacha.
In Yobe state, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan is not coming back because of his Presidential ambition which made APC cede the ticket for Yobe North senatorial district to a new person on Saturday.

But the former governor of the state, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe East), and Senator Bomai Ibrahim Mohammed (Yobe South), secured return tickets from APC .
In Gombe state, Senator Amos Bulus Kilawangs (Gombe South) lost out in his return bid to former Senator Joshua Lidani while Senators Mohammed Danjuma Goje ( Gombe Central ) and Alkali Saidu ( Gombe North ), secured return tickets from APC. 
Similar scenario played out in Adamawa state, where Senators Ishaku Elisha Cliff Abbo (Adamawa North) and Binos Dauda Yaroe (Adamawa South), secured return tickets from APC and PDP respectively, while Senator Aishatu Ahmed Binani (Adamawa Central), is rooting for the governorship position of the state, having emerged as the guber candidate of APC.
Two senators also secured return bids from Borno state as shown with the APC senatorial primary results which declared Senator Shettima Kashim (Borno Central) and Ali Ndume (Borno South) as winners while Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North), being the National  Deputy Chairman of APC (North), did not seek for return.
In South West from Ondo state ,  similar trend of high turnover is reflected with none of the three serving Senators i.e., the Senate Deputy Leader, Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo  North), Ayo Akinyelure ( Ondo Central) and Nicholas Tofowomo (Ondo South), returning.
In Lagos state, only Senator Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East) is returning due to shifting of political base to Ogun West by Senator Olamilekan Adeola from Lagos West and voluntary stoppage of contest by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central).
In Ogun state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central), is not making a return due to his presidential ambition while Senator Lekan Mustapha (Ogun East) has secured return ticket . For Ogun West, Senators Olamilekan Adeola and Tolu Odebiyi are separately laying claim to the ticket.
In Oyo state, Senators Abdulfatah Buhari (Oyo North) and Lekan Mustapha (Oyo South), secured return tickets but Senator Teslim Folarin (Oyo Central), did not make a return bid due to Gubernatorial ambition.
However, in Ekiti and Osun states , available results from primaries conducted by APC and PDP indicate that the six serving senators from the states, secured return tickets.
 In South – South geo – political zone, only Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central) got return ticket out of the three serving senators from Edo state. 
In Cross River state, similar scenario played out with Senators Sandy Onor (Cross River Central) and Gershom Bassey (Cross River South), not making return bids due to gubernatorial ambitions.
Similar trend played out in Delta State  where the Deputy President of the Senate Ovie Omo – Agege (Delta Central) and James Manager (Delta South) are out of return bids due to Gubernatorial ambition leaving Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) with return bid into the 10th Senate.
Only Senator Barinada Mpigi ( Rivers South East ), secured return ticket in Rivers State like Eyinkenyi Akon Etim from Akwa Ibom state.
However, in Bayelsa state, the entire three serving Senators secured return tickets.
In South East geo political zone, only Senator Chukwuma Frank Ibezim from Imo North secured return ticket out of the three serving Senators from Imo state. Ezenwa Francis (Imo East) was defeated in primary while Rochas Okorocha (Imo West) opted for presidential race.
However, while the fates  of the three serving  Senators from Ebonyi State  are still hanging in the balance due to  inconclusive primaries carried  out across the three senatorial districts by PDP, two out of the serving senators from Abia, Anambra and Enugu states respectively, secured return tickets just as the only Senator for the Federal Capital Territory, Philip Tanimu Aduda, secured return ticket.
All in all, at the level of primary election alone, 58 out of 109  senators are out of the race for the 10th Senate in 2023, some of whom will not even make it at general election, clearly showing sign of tsunami as far as numbers of senators who will not return are concerned.

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