Tension as 80 Senators battle for return tickets across party lines


In what looks like a coincidence, about 80 out of the 109 serving senators across party lines are today or latest by tomorrow, going into the primaries for return tickets.
Taiye Odewale examines their chances of getting the tickets and aspirations of the remaining 18.
Battling for renewal of mandate At this time in every pre – election year, politics do take the centre stage particularly within the executive and the legislative arms of government but the latter being composed of mainly elected public officers, is usually most affected, the very reason the National Assembly last week postponed its resumption date for two weeks for the 469 members to sort out themselves in any of the primaries they will be going for, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
While three out of the serving 109 senators (excluding the newly elected ones from Katsina North and Bauchi South Senatorial Districts respectively), will be going for Presidential primaries on the platform of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 12 others are contesting for gubernatorial tickets across party lines.
But two have backed out of any contest while the remaining 80, are fighting for return tickets to the senate.
Saraki, Mark, Jang for presidential primaries Specifically , the likes of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his immediate predecessor, Senator David Mark and Senator Jonah Jang from Plateau States are running for presidential ticket of PDP at the Port Harcourt convention coming up this Saturday (6th October, 2018).
13 senators gun for gube tickets In the gubernatorial contest category across party lines are Senators Jeremiah Useni (PDP Plateau) who has already won, Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara), Sonni Ogbuoji (APC Ebonyi), Sam Anyanwu (PDP IMO), Suleiman Hunkuyi (PDP Kaduna ) and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba).
Others are, Senators Philip Gyunka (PDP Nasarawa), Abdulaziz Nyako (ADC Adamawa), Ademola Adeleke (PDP Osun), Shaaba Lafiagi (PDP Kwara), Magnus Abe (APC Rivers), Abubakar Kyari (APC Borno) and Abdulfatai Buhari (APC Oyo).
Neither senate nor guber tickets In the category of those not contesting for any elective political offices are Senators Bukkar Abba Ibrahim (APC Yobe ) and Ahmed Sani Yerima ( APC Zamfara).
Strikingly while the gubernatorial contests can be said to have been largely conducted by both the APC and PDP across the States and presidential primaries slated for this Saturday, the Senatorial primaries of both parties are taking place today.
93 in the trench for return ticket Senators seeking reelection through the primaries are the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu ( PDP Enugu West), Gilbert Nnaji ( PDP Enugu East), Chukwuka Utazi ( PDP Enugu North ), Theodore However, if about 60 out of the 80 senators seeking return tickets succeeded at the end of the day in the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for February 16, 2019 , the 9th Senate may then be seen as a clear departure from the past.
Orji ( PDP Abia Central), Mao Ohabunwa ( PDP Abia North), Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), Stella Oduah ( PDP Anambra North), Victor Umeh (APGA Anambra Central), Andy Uba (APC) Anambra South), Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi Central ), and Obinna Ogba (PDP Ebonyi North).
Others are senators Benjamin Uwajumogu ( APC Imo North), Hope Uzodinma ( APC Imo West), Ovie Omo-Agege ( APC Delta Central), James Manager (PDP Delta South), Peter Nwaoboshi ( PDP Delta North), Francis Alimekhena (APC Edo North), Clifford Ordia (PDP Edo Central), Mathew Urhoghide ( PDP Edo South), Nelson Effiong (APC Akwa Ibom South), Godswill Akpabio (APC Akwa Ibom North West), Bassey Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East) and Mathew Uchendu ( APC Rivers East).
Also in the contest are Senators Ben Murray Bruce ( PDP Bayelsa South), Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central), Fostal Ogola (PDP Bayelsa West), Rose Oko (PDP Cross River South), John Enoh (APC Cross Rivers Central), Adesoji Akanbi (APC Oyo South), Monsurat Sunmonu ( ADC Oyo Central), Robert Ajayi Boroffice ( APC Ondo North) , Tayo AlasoAdura ( APC Ondo Central) and Yele Omogunwa (APC Ondo South ).
Others are Senators Buruji Kashamu (PDP Ogun East), Lanre Tejuoso (APC Ogun Central , Gbolahan Dada (APC Ogun West), Abiodun Olujimi ( Ndume Gemade Ekweremadu Ibrahim PDP Ekiti South ), Duro Faseyi (PDP Ekiti North), Fatimah Raji Rasaki (APC Ekiti Central), Olusola Adeyeye ( APC Osun Central), Babajide Omoworare (APC Osun East), Oluremi Tinubu ( APC Lagos Central), Gbenga Ashafa (APC Lagos East ), and Solomon Olamilekan (APC Lagos West).
Also in the race to return are Senators Rafiu Ibrahim ( PDP Kwara South), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North) David Umaru (APC Niger East ), Mustapha Sanni Mohammed (APC Niger South), George Akume (APC Benue North west ), Barnabas Gemade (SDP Benue North East ), Joshua Dariye (APC Plateau Central), Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa West), Suleiman Adokwe (PDP Nasarawa Central), Dino Melaye (PDP Kogi West), Ahmed Ogembe (PDP Kogi Central) and Attai Aidoko (PDP Kogi East ).
The long list of return tickets seekers also include , Senators Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna Central), Danjumah Lah (PDP Kaduna South), Kabiru Gaya ( APC Kano South), Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North), Shittu Ubali (PDP Jigawa South), Ibrahim Gumel ( APC Jigawa East), Sabo Mohammed ( APC Jigawa South), Abdullahi Danbaba ( PDP Sokoto North ), Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East), Aliyu Wammako (APC Sokoto Central), Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), and Umar Kurfi (APC Katsina Central).
Others are Senators Bala Ibn Na’ Allah (APC Kebbi South), Adamu Aliero ( APC Kebbi Central), Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi North), Ali Ndume (APC Borno South), Gabai Kaka ( APC Borno Central), Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North), Mohammed Hassan ( PDP Yobe South), Isa Misau (PDP Bauchi Central), and Suleiman Nazif (PDP Bauchi North.
Final list of senators in this category are Philip Aduda (PDP FCT), Binta Garba Mashi (APC Adamawa North), Ahmed Abubakar (PDP Adamawa South), Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP Taraba South), Joshua Lidani (PDP Gombe South), Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central).
At the primary level alone, the number of senators seeking for return tickets may reduce from 80 to about 50 to 60 out of which percentage of success at the general elections may also not be more than 60 percent, which at the end of the day, which would ultimately make the total number of senators returning from the 8th Senate to the 9th Senate in June next year not be more than 40 as it has been since 2003.
However, if about 60 out of the 80 senators seeking return tickets succeeded at the end of the day in the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for February 16, 2019 , the 9th Senate may then be seen as a clear departure from the past.
Whether it will be so or not, time will tell.

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