From final list of candidates of the various political parties for the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), only 47 out of the 105 serving senators have return bids. TAIYE ODEWALE reports
Composition of the Senate
By provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), each of the 36 states of the federation, is allocated three seats in the Senate and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja) 1, totalling 109, the composition of the Senate since the advent of the fourth republic in May 1999.
However, due to exigencies, unforseen circumstances and even death, different sessions of the Senate from the fourth to the present 9th Senate, had always ended with membership less than the 109 it started with.
For instance, the present 9th Senate as constitutionally provided for, took off with 109 membership in June 2019, now has 105 serving senators now as result of new political appointment secured by three and litigation being faced by the fourth person in far away London.
The three senators who have left the red chamber for new political positions on elective template are the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Adamu Abdullahi, who represented Nasarawa West, the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari, who represented Borno North and the Deputy Governor of Zamfara state, Senator Mohammed Hassan who represented Zamfara Central.
Aside the three that are out of the 9th Senate now and the one battling with litigation abroad, six out of the remaining 105, are seeking governorship positions of their respective states having secured their party tickets for that purpose.
The six senators are the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo – Agege (Delta Central), Aisha Binani Ahmed (APC Adamawa Central), Uba Sani (APC Kaduna Central), Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central), Sandy Onor (PDP Cross River Central) and Albert Akpan Bassey (YPP Akwa Ibom North East).
These are aside six others who made similar bids but failed either at party primary level or nullification of nomination by judicial pronouncements.
The affected six in this category are Senators James Manager (PDP Delta South), Obinna Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central), Gershom Bassey (PDP Cross River South), Emmanuel Bwacha (APC Taraba South), Hadejia Ibrahim Hassan (APC Jigawa North East) and Sankara Danladi Abubakar (APC Jigawa North West).
Out of the remaining 93, three contested for presidential ticket of APC without alternative plan of re – securing senatorial tickets for return bids into the Senate.
The three senators in this category are Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central), Rochas Okorocha (Imo West) and Robert Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North).
Failed bid of Lawan and 52 others
Though the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (APC Yobe North), contested for presidential ticket of his party on the 6th of June this year but immediately after losing the ticket along with other contenders to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he made spirited attempt with support of party hierarchy, to retrieve the APC Yobe North senatorial ticket won by Bashir Machina in the primary election conducted on May 28, 2022.
Lawan’s effort on retrieving the ticket hit the rock with a High Court judgement in Damaturu last week Wednesday, which proclaimed Machina as the authentic winner of the ticket and ordered APC to forward his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the authentic candidate of the party for 2023 general election.
In accepting the verdict, Lawan in a personally signed statement on Thursday last week said: “Yesterday, Wednesday, 28th September, 2022, the Federal High Court in Damaturu delivered judgement on the rightful candidate for Yobe North senatorial district for the 2023 National Assembly elections.
“The said judgement disqualifies my candidature and therefore my participation in the elections.
“After due consultations with my political associates, supporters and well-wishers, I have decided not to appeal against the judgement. I accept the judgement.
“At this juncture, I deem it appropriate to thank His Excellency, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam for the leadership role in the APC political family in Yobe state. I also thank His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni for the support and brotherhood.
“To my constituents, I thank you all for your unflinching support, loyalty and unreserved commitment to the course of building our people and Yobe North senatorial district and indeed Yobe state.
“I want to assure you that I will continue to serve you in my personal and any other capacity at all times.
“We journeyed together for a long time, and this journey will remain a life long journey. It has been a wonderful relationship and it can only get stronger. I am indebted to you all. Alhamdulillah.”
Other senators who lost out
As far the coming 10th Senate is concerned after the 2023 general elections, serving senators who attempted to make a return bid through securement of party tickets but lost out at primary election level are Jika Haliru (NNPP Bauchi Central), Bulkachuwa Adamu (APC Bauchi North), Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South) and Amos Bulus Kilawangs (APC Gombe South).
Others are Frank Ibezim (APC Imo North), Danjuma Laah (PDP Kaduna South), Mandiya Bello (APC Katsina South), Gaya Kabir Barkiya (APC Katsina Central), Abdullahi Yahaya (PDP Kebbi North), Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi Central), Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West) and Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central).
Also in the category of failed return bids were Senators Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North), Tolu Odebiyi (APC Ogun West), Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central), Tofowomo Nicholas (PDP Ondo South), Balogun Kola (APC Oyo South), Gyang Itsifanus (PDP Plateau North), among others.
The 47 senators with party tickets for return bids
Those in the category of securing party ticket for return bids based on outcome of February 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections are Senators Orji Uzor Kalu (APC Abia North), Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia South), Elisha Abbo (APC Adamawa North), Yaroe Dauda (PDP Adamawa South), Uche Ekwunife (PDP Anambra Central) Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North ), Ifeanyi Ubah (PDP Anambra South) and Francis Alimikhena (PDP Edo North).
Others are Senators Lawal Gumau (APC Bauchi South), Barinada Mpigi ( PDP Rivers South East ) , Gobir Abdullahi (APC Sokoto East), Aliyu Wamako (APC Sokoto North), Abdullahi Danbaba (APC Sokoto South), Isah Shuaibu Lau (APC Taraba North), Ibrahim Gaidam (APC Yobe East), Bomai Mohammed (APC Yobe South), Sahabi Ya’u (APC Zamfara North) Philip Tanimu Aduda (PDP FCT) .
Fate of those who will eventually make it into the 10th Senate among the 47 Senators from the February 25 , 2023 general elections, will be decided by electorates in their various senatorial districts.