Intrigues, suspense and confusion characterized the ongoing primary elections of political parties across the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The two major political parties – the All Progressive Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-are worst hit as many aggrieved members resigned their membership and defected to other political parties to pursue their aspirations.
At least, 14 serving senators and 23 House of Representatives members may not be returning to the National Assembly. While some contested for governorship tickets and won, others lost their return bids to their rivals.
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Aishstu Dahiru, APC Senator representing Adamawa Central, and Senator Sandy Onor, won governorship tickets of the APC and the PDP in Delta, Adamawa and Cross River states respectively.
A former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, among other big names, was defeated at the nomination exercise for senatorial ticket.
Umeh lost the APGA ticket to the House of Representatives member for the Anaocha/ Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Dozie Nwankwo, who emerged as the winner of the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone by polling 162 votes against Umeh’s 151.
Governor Rotimi Akereodolu of Ondo State allies also lost their bids to fly the flag of the party for various elections.
A former member of the House of Representatives representing Akure South/Akure North Federal Constituency, Mr Derin Adesida, emerged as the winner of the primary having scored 68 votes to defeat the incumbent, Mayokun Alade-Lawson, said to be the governor’s anointed who scored 37 votes.
The same scenario played out at the Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency, as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Bamidele Oloyeloogun was defeated by the incumbent, Tajudeen Adefisoye who polled 70 votes against the speaker’s three.
Also, in Ondo West/East federal constituency, Hon. Abiola Makinde defeated three other aspirants with 96 votes including the governor’s anointed, Olumbe Akinkugbe, who got nine votes.
Kalu, Oshiohmole, Ortom, Shekarau, others win
Meanwhile, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu and the former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, have emerged as the consensus candidates of the party to contest for senatorial election next year.
The serving senators representing Kano South and North senatorial district, Kabiru Gaya and Barau Jibrin, have got the APC party flag bearer while the senator representing Kano Central, Ibrahim Shekarau, secured his ticket under the new but fast-growing the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP.
Governor Ganduje’s son, Engr. Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, also secured the APC party ticket for Dawakin Tofa, Rimingado, and Tofa federal constituency while the incumbent, Tijjani Ahmad Jobe, secured his ticket under NNPP.
The serving member representing Kano Municipal federal constituency, Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada, lost his bid to secure the governorship ticket and thereby paving way for Ganduje’s former Commissioner of Special Duties, Muntari Ishaq Yakasai, to clinch the APC party ticket.
Meanwhile, at the time of filling in this report, results of thirteen other members of the House of Representatives were still been expected.
Governor Ortom, after keeping everyone in suspense also declared his intention to succeed his friend and one of the longest-serving federal lawmakers from this part of the country, Senator Orker Jev, representing Benue North-West Senatorial District. Senator Jev relinquished the senatorial position to his friend who was returned unopposed at the senatorial primary election.
Also not going back in 2023 is fifth-term Senator, James Manager representing Delta South senatorial district, who had his eyes on the governorship position, but lost the PDP gubernatorial ticket in Delta.
In Delta, only incumbent Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of All Progressives Congress, APC, is returning unopposed on his party platform.
Eight out of the nine House of Representatives seats in the state are occupied by the PDP with the APC holding the Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu federal constituency.
Of all the eight PDP seats, three of the incumbents: Hon Efe Afe, Sapele/Okpe/Uvwie federal constituency; Hon Ben Igbakpa, Ethiope federal constituency; and Hon Nicholas Ossai, Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency were edged out by their rivals.
For the Isoko federal constituency, Hon Leo Ogor did not seek another term having held the seat for five consecutive terms.
An incumbent senator from Bayelsa State and former state chairman of the PDP, Senator Moses Cleopas, lost his primaries to ex-Secretary to the State Government, SSG, and two-time Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson.
Incumbent House of Representatives member for Ogbia federal constituency, Hon Fred Obua, was dislodged by the chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area, Ebinyo Turner, in the PDP primaries.
Prof Steve Azaiki of PDP representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma federal constituency opted to serve a single term by not contesting the just concluded primary, which Hon Oboku Oforji, a member of the state House of Assembly from Yenagoa won.
However, the three senators, Christopher Ekpenyong, Ikot-Ekpene senatorial district; Akon Eyakenyi, Eket senatorial district; and Bassey Albert Akpan, Uyo senatorial district did not seek nomination for re-election due to zoning arrangements in their respective districts.
However, Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong Udoh and Hon Nsikak Ekong lost out in Ekpene and Ikoni/Ini federal constituencies’ seats.
As of yesterday in Edo State, House of Representatives member, Hon. Joe Edionwele representing Esan Central/Esan West/Igueben federal constituency lost his third-term return bid, while Sergius Ogun representing Esan North East/ Esan South-East did not seek another term as it was gathered that no third term is allowed in Edo Central.
In Edo North, the current member in the Senate, Francis Alimikhena, Friday night, resigned his membership in APC, paving way for Oshiomhole to clinch the ticket unopposed.
Senators Gershom Bassey and George Sekibo crashed out in the governorship primaries of their party in Cross River and Rivers states respectively and also not returning.
In the House of Representatives, Hon Daniel Asuquo lost his third term ticket for Akampka/Biase federal constituency and Hon. Chris Agibe representing Boki/Ikom federal constituency was also defeated.
In Rivers state, a serving senator, Bari Mpigi, effortlessly picked the PDP ticket for Rivers South-East senatorial district.
Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, got Rivers West senatorial district ticket, following the decision of the incumbent, Senator Betty Apiafi to drop from the primaries as Banigo was the nominee of Governor Nyesom Wike.