Primaries: 42 senators lose return tickets

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Primaries: 42 senators lose return tickets
There are indications that high turnover of senators will hit the 9th Senate in 2019 as 42 of the 109 serving senators, representing 38.5 per cent failed to secure return tickets in the just-concluded nationwide senatorial primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sixty-seven of the 109 serving senators, representing 61.5{429ec46b645ac00b65c8c8b2c81ba17be4362e4a8cb29daa55309a03a6af8c22} secured return tickets from various parties.

A study carried out by New Telegraph on the outcome of the primaries, however, indicates that there is no certainty that the 67 senators who got return tickets will scale the final hurdle of return bid on Saturday, February 16, 2019, which is the day for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Out of the 42 senators that didn’t secure tickets back to the apex chamber, some voluntarily withdrew from contesting the primaries, some opted for governorship tickets of their parties and others contested for return tickets but failed. One of the senators, Joshua Dariye could not secure return ticket as he is currently serving a 14-year jail term. Generally, those who did not secure return tickets are: 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: Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu East), Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa Central), Ben Murray Bruce (PDP Bayelsa West), Fosta Ogola (PDP, Bayelsa South), Ahmed Abubakar (APC Adamawa South), Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), David Umoru (APC Niger East) and Joshua Dariye (APC, Plateau Central). Also among those not returning to Senate in 2019 are: Senators Ahmed Sani Yerima (APC, Zamfara East), Bukkar Abba Ibrahim (APC, Yobe East), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South), Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), Buruji Kashamu (PDP, Ogun East), and Kaka Gabbai (APC, Borno Central). Others are: Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau North), Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau South), David Mark (PDP, Benue South), Philip Gyunka (PDP, Nasarawa North), Sam Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako (APC Adamawa Central) and Usman Bayero Nafada (PDP Gombe North). Also in the category are: Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Shaaba Lafiagi (PDP, Kwara North), Ademola Adeleke (PDP, Osun West), Sonny Ogborji (APC, Ebonyi South), John Enoh (APC, Cross Rivers Central), Gbolahan Dada (APC, Ogun West) and Hope Uzodinma (APC, Imo West). Senators Enoh, Ogborji, Nyako and Useni are now governorship candidates in Cross River, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Plateau states respectively.

In Bayelsa, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, denied Senator Ogola (Bayelsa West) the PDP return ticket. Ewhrudjakpo, who is Governor Seriake Dickson’s ally, polled 247 votes to defeat Senator Ogola who polled two votes at the PDP primaries. The ‘common sense’ Senator Bruce withdrew from the race. In Enugu, Senator Gilbert Nnaji lost the PDP ticket to former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani for Enugu East senatorial district. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rule and Business, Baba Kaka Garbai, lost the Borno Central ticket to Governor Kashim Shettima. The first term senator, who contested for the Borno governorship ticket of APC, was the returning officer for the governor in the senatorial primary.Senator Fatima Rasaki lost the Ekiti Central senatorial district ticket to former member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele. Rasaki recently defected from PDP to APC where she lost a return ticket. In Kwara State, Senator Lafiagi contested for the PDP gubernatorial ticket and lost.

He has been replaced by Alhaji Abubakar Sanni, Deputy Chairman of the old PDP. In Kwara South, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim stepped down his ambition to accommodate the emergence of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed. In Osun State, the three senators lost their return tickets.

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