With just 38 days to the presidential and National Assembly elections in the next two months, Taiye Odewale puts up an analysis on the fates of 68 out of the 109 serving senators seeking to return to the senate.
Pass mark for 66
After primary elections conducted by the various political parties in September/October 2018, ahead of the general elections slated for February 16 and March 2nd this year, 66 out of about 80 serving senators, who contested for return tickets, succeeded while 8 of the 12 others who contested for gubernatorial tickets in their respective states succeeded with the remaining 33 others knocked out of contests from the coming general elections technically or out rightly.
The 66 senators making return bid contests in the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday , February 16, 2019 are doing so on the platforms of different political parties namely: the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Saraki, Ekweremadu, Akpabio in race to return
Specifically, those making their return bid contests on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the Senate President , Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central), his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu ( Enugu West), Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti South), Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) and Minority Whip, Philip Tanimu Aduda ( FCT).
Others are Senators Duro Faseyi (Ekiti North), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South), Atai Aidoko ( Kogi East), Ahmed Ogembe (Kogi Central), Dino Melaye ( Kogi West), Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa South), Obinna Ogba ( Ebonyi Central), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) , Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North), Stella Oduah (Anambra North), Mao Ohuanbunwa (Abia North) Theodore Orji (Abia Central) and Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South).
Also on the PDP platform for the return bid contest are Senators Albert Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom North East), Gebshom Bassey (Cross River North), Rose Oko (Cross River South), James Manager (Delta South), Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North), Mathew Urhoghide (Edo South) and Clifford Ordia (Edo Central).
From the North East and North West in that category are senators Mohammed Hassan ( Yobe South), Isa Misau ( Bauchi South) , Suleiman Nazif ( Bauchi North), Ibrahim Abdullahi Danbaba ( Sokoto Central), Ubali Shittu ( Jigawa North) , Danjuma La’ah( Kaduna South) , Suleiman Hunkuyi ( Kaduna North) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso ( Kano Central ).
On the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC ) for the contest are the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan ( Yobe North), Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah ( Kebbi south) and Deputy whip of the Senate , Francis Alimekhena ( Edo North).
Others are Senators Oluremi Tinubu ( Lagos Central), Adeola Olamilekan ( Lagos West), Tayo Alasoadura ( Ondo central), Ajayi Boroffice ( Ondo North), Yele Omogunwa ( Ondo South), Abdulfatah Buhari ( Oyo North), David Umoru ( Niger East), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi ( Niger North), George Akume ( Benue North west) and Abdullahi Adamu ( Nasarawa west).
Same with APC
On the APC platform from South East and South South are Senators Benjamin Uwajumogu ( Imo Central), Andy Uba (Anambra South), Andrew Uchendu (Rivers South East), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North West), Nelson Effiong ( Akwa Ibom South) and Ovie Omo – Agege ( Delta Central.
From North East and North West on the APC platform are senators Ali Ndume ( Borno South), Abubakar Kyari( Borno North), Binta Garba Masi (Adamawa North), Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf ( Taraba Central), Danjuma Goje ( Gombe Central) and Lawan Yahaya Gumau ( Bauchi South).
Others are Ahmed Baba Kaita (Katsina North), Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto South), Jibrin Barau (Kano North), Kabiru Gaya (Kano South), Abdullahi Yahaya (Kebbi North) and Mohammed Gumel (Jigawa North).
Those contesting on the platforms of other parties are Senator Victor Umeh (APGA Anambra Central), Monsurat Sunmonu (ADC Oyo Central), Shehu Sani (PRP Kaduna Central) and Barnabas Gemade (SDP Benue North East).
The eight serving senators trying their luck for governorship seats of their respective states across party lines are John Enoh (Cross River), Buruji Kashamu ( Ogun) and Magnus Abe (Rivers State).
Others are, Usman Bayero Nafada ( Gombe), Sonny Ugboji ( Ebonyi) , Hope Uzodinma ( Imo) and Jeremiah Useni (Plateau States).
Though the outcome of the elections, would not change the present membership and power configuration in the Senate but would certainly determine the configuration of the 9th Senate in June .
42 not returning
But 42 of the 109 serving senators have no business with campaign for return to the senate. This is because they will not return to the chamber to resume for the 9th Senate to be inaugurated in June 2019.
The 42 senators, who will not return to the Senate form those who on their own, stepped down for others, while some were forcibly asked to step down, following political intrigues, backstabbing, manourvering, among others, that played out, especially with some state governors who have rounded off their two terms and coming to the Senate.
Of the 42 serving senators already out, 19 voluntarily withdrew from the senatorial race at primary level or went for other elective positions, particularly governorship primaries, 23 others actually bided for senatorial tickets on the platform of their political parties, but due to one issue or the other, lost out.
19 bowed out
The 19 serving senators, who voluntarily bowed out of the race or went for governorship race or for Presidential primary elections, were Senators Ahmed Sani (APC Zamfara East), Bukar Abba Ibrahim (APC Yobe East), Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), Abubakar Kyari (APC Borno North) and Kaka Gabbai (APC Borno Central).
Others include Jonah Jang (PDP Plateau North), Jeremiah Useni (PDP Plateau South), David Mark (PDP Benue South), Philip Gyunka (PDP Nasarawa North), Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako (ADC Adamawa Central) and Usman Bayero Nafada (PDP Gombe North).
Also in this category are Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central), Shaaba Lafiagi (PDP Kwara North), Isiaka Adeleke (PDP Osun West), Sonny Ogborji (APC Ebonyi Central), John Enoh (APC Cross Rivers Central), Gbolahan Dada (APC Ogun West) and Hope Uzodinma (APC Imo West).
23 stopped by fiat
Among the senators, 23 that bided to be governors were stopped in their strides by their governors who either wanted to replace them or send their favoured candidates. In other word, they met their waterloo in the form of opposition from the governors who were bent on ensuring that the senators did not return.
A case at hand is that of Niger State where the governor, Sani Bello, put in place political machinery that ensured that two senators from the State, Senators Aliyu Sabi, Niger North and David Umaru, Niger East, do not return to the Senate. That is because the governor wants them replaced with new senators.
In the category of the 23 serving senators, who contested for return ticket, but lost were: 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).
Also in the category of failed bids are Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP Kwara South), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North), David Umoru (APC Niger East) and Joshua Dariye (APC Plateau Central who is serving a jail term in Kuje Prison, Abuja.