Deji Elumoye writes that the Ninth Senate billed for inauguration in June will have 16 ranking senators who have spent between eight and 16 years in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly
Every four years when elections into parliamentary seats are held in the country, more than 50 percent of federal legislators don’t get re-elected. This year is not an exception. However, there a couple of federal lawmakers, especially Senators who have been able to weather the storm in their senatorial districts and have consistently won re-election for a record three and five times. So, in the 9th Senate to be inaugurated in June, 16 ranking Senators will stand out among the 109-member Senate as having spent between eight and 16 years in the hallowed chambers.
Top on the list is Senator Ike Ekweremadu who has spent 16 solid years in the Senate and has been re-elected for a record fifth time by voters in Enugu West senatorial district. He has been Deputy Senate President since 2007. Ekweremadu, started his political career in I999 as a local government chairman in his home state, Enugu before contesting for the Senate seat in 2003. He is passionate about devolution of power and sponsored the state police bill along with 76 other Senators which is at the second reading stage at the Senate. Ekweremadu has been consistent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on which platform he has been re-elected five times to the Senate.
Another fifth timer is Senator James Manager, representing Delta South since 2003. Well respected among his colleagues, Manager who is a PDP Senator, is Chairman of Senate Committee on Power. He had in the past sponsored many bills and he will bring to bear on the 9th Senate his legislative experience spanning over 16 years.
Senator Ahmad Lawan was elected Senator in 2007 after serving as a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007. He is the Leader of the Senate. At the beginning of the 8th Senate in June, 2015, the APC Yobe South Senator was the choice of the Presidency for the coveted Senate Presidency seat but was outsmarted, by Dr. Bukola Saraki who emerged Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly. As Senate Leader, he introduces debate on issues, motions and bills presented before the Senate.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has been representing Abia South senatorial district since 2007. He was deputy governor of Abia state during the first term of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu in 1999. Abaribe is Chairman of the South East Senate caucus. Last year, he was detained for days by the Department of State Service (DSS). The PDP Senator is usually critical of government policies and takes his time to fault many government appointments on the floor of the Senate.
Senator Ali Ndume represents APC Borno South in the Senate since 2011 having served as a two-time member of the House of Representatives (2003 to 2011). At the inauguration of the eighth Senate on June 9, 2015, Ndume emerged as Senate Leader before he was removed in February, 2017. He is a committed Buharist who defends the President’s policies at any point in time during plenary.
Senator Philip Aduda is Senate Minority Whip and has been in the Senate since 2011. Popularly called Landlord by his colleagues because the National Assembly is domiciled in his senatorial district, Adudah, a PDP FCT Senator had earlier served as a two-time member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011.
Senator Danjuma Goje is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation. His committee will be busy once Senate resumes plenary on March 12 scrutinising the 2019 Appropriation Bill submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly last December. Goje who represents APC Gombe Central has been in the Senate since 2011. He was a two-time governor of Gombe state from 2003 to 2011.
Senator Kabiru Gaya is APC senator representing Kano South and has been in the Red Chambers since 2011. He was a former governor of Kano state during the Third Republic.
Senator Adamu Aliero has been a ranking APC Kebbi central Senator since 2011.He had earlier served as Kebbi state governor.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, is also a third time Senator representing Lagos Central on the platform of APC. She is the wife of the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and is Chairman of Senate Committee on Environment. In the 7th Senate, she was the Chairman of the Senate committee on Women Affairs.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu has been in the Senate since 2011. The APC Senator from Nasarawa West senatorial district is Chairman of Senate Committee on Agriculture. At the inception of the Fourth Republic, Adamu served as governor of Nasarawa state for two terms (1999 to 2007).
Senator Ajayi Boroffice has been in the Red Chamber since 2011 and he represents Ondo North senatorial district on the platform of APC.
Senator Teslim Folarin is staging a come-back to the Senate having earlier served in the fifth and sixth senate from 2003 to 2011. He was the Senate Leader during the sixth Senate from 2007 to 2011 when he represented Oyo Central on the platform of PDP. He had since defected to the APC under which platform he won the senatorial election.
Senator George Sekibo, like Folarin, is also staging a come-back having served in the sixth and seventh senate. He is coming to represent Rivers East on the platform of PDP.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir is a third time Senator representing APC Sokoto East. He is Chairman of the Senate services committee.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha has been a PDP Senator representing Taraba South since 2011.He is Senate Deputy Minority Leader.