© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
NASS Elections: Saraki, Akpabio, Sani… Big names who won’t be at 9th Assembly
THE 2019 general election has thrown up major surprises especially in the National Assembly as results are gradually trickling in from the various states.
Many career politicians who could be described as traditional election winners did not make it into the two legislative chambers, according to the results so far announced.
Perhaps the biggest name is the current Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who lost in all the local government areas in his Kwara Central senatorial district alongside the two other senatorial candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was a clean sweep for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara as Buhari also won the presidential election in the state.
Saraki was defeated by Ibrahim Oloriegbe, a medical doctor by training. Oloriegbe polled a total of 123, 808 votes against Saraki’s 68, 994.
Here are the other top politicians who will not be members of the ninth National Assembly:
IBRAHIM DANKWAMBO (PDP):- is the present governor of Gombe State on the platform of the PDP, but the much talked about ‘power of incumbency’ was not enough to help him realise his senatorial ambition.
Dankwambo was defeated by the candidate of the APC, Sa’idu Alkali.
Umar Gurama, the Returning Officer for the senatorial election in Gombe, announced that Alkali scored 152,546 votes while Dankwambo got 88,016 votes.
ABIOLA AJIMOBI (APC):- popularly referred to as “Constituted Authority” in Oyo State, but his senatorial ambition came to a halt on Saturday as he lost to the opposition candidate, Kola Balogun, of the PDP.
Ajimobi garnered a total of 92,217 votes while his opponent, Balogun polled a total of 105,720, a difference of 13,502 votes. Again, the power of incumbency failed the governor.
Ajimobi won only in three out of the nine LGAs in the state.
MAO OHABUNWA (PDP):- won the Abia North Senatorial seat in 2015, defeating the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor-Kalu. The election was later cancelled by the court and a re-run ordered, but Ohabunwa won it a second time.
He was not third-time lucky, however, as Uzor-Kalu, now an APC member and ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, emerged victorious after Saturday’s elections.
The returning officer for the election, Charles Anumodu, announced that Uzor-Kalu had a total of 31,203 votes, and Ohabunwa scored 20,801.
However, Ohabunwa’s campaign team is alleging malpractice on the part of the INEC officers and wants the election to “be cancelled completely”.
ANDY UBAH APC):- It was a battle of three Uba’s in the Anambra North Senatorial District election. The serving senator representing the district is Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba, popularly known as Andy Uba. He was first elected into office in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015, both on the platform of the PDP. But he left the PDP in 2017 to join the ruling APC.
Andy Uba’s younger brother, Chris Uba, was the PDP candidate for Saturday, but both brothers were defeated by Ifeanyi Ubah, another popular politician who had contested for the governorship position of Anambra State.
Ubah, a businessman and owner of capital oil, contested on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and scored a total of 87,081 votes. Andy and Chris Uba got 13,245 and 62,462 respectively, according to the result announced by the returning officer, M.N Umenweke, a law professor at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
BINTA GARBA (APC):- Though not a popular name in the Nigerian Senate deserves a mention as she is the only female Senator from Northern Nigeria.
Garba, a first-time Senator, was defeated in the Adamawa North Senatorial Election by Ishaku Abbo of the PDP. She scored 63, 219 votes while her opponent got 79, 37 votes.
SHEHU SANI:- He is the current Chairman of the Senate Committee Chairman on Local & Foreign Debts. Having fallen out with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Sani left the APC and joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
He lost his Kaduna Central Senatorial Seat to Uba Sani, the candidate of the APC who scored a total of 167,373 votes. Shehu Sani scored a paltry 11,799. He has already called for the cancellation of the election, complaining that the exercise was characterised by irregularities and massive rigging.
GODSWILL AKPABIO (APC)
As at the time of this result, unconfirmed reports have it that things are looking grim for Akpabio, the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom state.
Akpabio had dumped the PDP late in 2018, promising to deliver Akwa Ibom to the ruling APC, but going by the results declared so far, the PDP is leading in both the presidential and the national assembly elections.
Two of the three senatorial districts in the state have been won by the PDP; and should Akpabio lose his seat, it would mean a clean sweep for the party in the state.
Already, the APC in Akwa Ibom State is calling for the cancellation of the elections, citing the late arrival of electoral materials, as well as the non-use of smart card readers during the accreditation of voters.
“The purported elections (should) be cancelled and a new date set for fresh Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state,” read a statement signed by Ini Okopido and Augustine Ekanem, the Akwa Ibom APC Chairman and Secretary, respectively.