Nigeria: Big Winners and Losers in the Ninth Senate

The Nigerian Senate (file photo).
27 February 2019

Yesterday's confirmation of the defeat of Senator Godswill Akpabio in last weekend's Senate election brought to 24 the number of incumbent senators who lost their bid to return to the Senate, Nigeria's most prestigious exclusive club.

Several other senators glancing defeat in the face also resorted not to bid for a return ticket or in some other cases, sought the governorship of their states or quietly retired.

There were, however, some like Senator Ben Murray-Bruce who upon the zoning permutation in his constituency opted not to seek for re-election.

Before Senator Akpabio's uncommon defeat, the country had been gripped by the news of the defeat of the president of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki in his own constituency. Senator Saraki's defeat was shocking given the level of control and influence he had held in the state since he ventured into the politics of the state in 2003.

Besides the 24 senators who would be bidding the Senate bye at least in the next four years, there were some other big names who also fell in the bid to join what is unarguably Nigeria's most exclusive club.

Senator Victor Umeh, the former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA who came into the Senate late also lost his second term bid to Senator Uche Ekwunife who he replaced.

Senator Andy Uba's bid to become Senate President was a campaign issue he sought to win over the electorate in Anambra South. However, that bid was apparently not reckoned with by his constituents who apparently opted for Chief Ifeanyi Ubah.

Others who lost include Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North), Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South), Nazif Gamawa (PDP, Bauchi) Tayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo Central), Yele Omogunwa (Ondo South) and Suleiman Hunkuyi (PDP, Kaduna North).

Other senators who lost out included Shittu Ubali (PDP, Jigawa North East), Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna Central), Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe South) and Binta Masi Garba (APC, Adamawa North) and Nelson Effiong, APC, Akwa Ibom South.

The losers also included Senators Hamman Isa Misau (PDP, Bauchi Central), Ahmed Ogembe (PDP, Kogi Central), Attai Aidoko (PDP, Kogi East), Barnabas Gemade (SDP, Benue North East), David Umaru (APC Niger East), Monsurat Sunmonu (ADC, Oyo Central), Rilwan Adesoji (ADP, Oyo South), Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), Duro Faseyi (PDP, Ekiti North),

While the jury is still out on the fate of Governor Rochas Okorocha following claims that the governor and his proxies coerced the returning officer to declare Okorocha as winner, the failure of a number of other high profile officers to win has also grabbed the attention of the public.

Among the high profile candidates who failed to make it were Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of Delta State who for the second time in as many times failed to make it to the Senate. In 2015 he stepped away from the contest with Senator James Manager in the primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Having defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Uduaghan got the ticket of the party a month or two after he joined but again fell to Senator Manager in the election declared yesterday.

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State who failing his failure to get the presidential ticket of the PDP resorted to the Gombe North Senate seat, but lost out to Alhaji Saidu Alkali.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi who served in the Senate from 2003 to 2007 representing Oyo South also lost his high profile bid to return to the seat.

Another major loser was Mr. Bala Bantex, the outgoing deputy governor of Kaduna State who was defeated by the incumbent Senator Danjuma Lah in the contest for Kaduna South Senatorial District.

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