Biggest Losers in National Assembly Elections

From governors who wanted to retire to the National Assembly after their two tenures of eight years to the incumbent federal lawmakers that sought re-election, several prominent politicians lost their bids to go to the Senate and the House of Representatives in the February 25 elections, Udora Orizu reports

Many two-term governors and ranking members of the National Assembly could not realise their political ambitions in the February 25 elections.

Some of the affected politicians in the South-east, some parts of the South-south and Lagos State, according to Premimu Times, lost due to the Peter Obi wave which swept across regions and redesigned the political landscape of Nigeria.

Others in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost due to overconfidence and complacency. Below are some of the major victims

 Ifeanyi Ugwanyi

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State will not be going to the National Assembly this year as he was defeated in the senatorial election by Okechukwu Ezea of the Labour Party.

 Ezea scored 104,492 votes to emerge as the Senator-elect for Enugu North Senatorial District. Ugwuanyi polled 46,948 votes to return second.

The governor is a member of the rebellious G-5 governors.

The people of the senatorial zone were said to be unhappy that the governor who had earlier spent 12 years in the House of Representatives without bringing any dividend of democracy to Igbo Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency, wanted to go to the senate after eight years in office as governor.

Okezie Ikpeazu

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State also lost his senatorial bid as he was defeated by former Minority Leader of the Senate, Eyinnanya Abaribe of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Abaribe scored 49, 693 votes, while the governor had 28,422 votes to come third behind Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chinedu Onyeizu, who scored 43,903.

Ikpeazu, who is described by his opponents as the worst governor in the South-east, lost to the incumbent senator due to his poor performance.

Ben Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River lost his bid to the National Assembly on the platform of the APC as he was defeated by the incumbent senator for Cross River North, Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe of the PDP.

Ayade, who was in the Senate between 2011 and 2015, polled 56,595 votes against Jarigbe, who scored 76,145 votes.

Interestingly, Ayade was the only loser among his party’s three senatorial candidates in the state.

 Abubakar Bagudu

The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, lost to his estranged godfather and former governor of the state, Adamu Aliero in the contest for who was to represent Kebbi Central Senatorial district in the 10th assembly.

Aliero got 126,588 votes while the governor scored 92,389 votes.

Bagudu was in the Senate in 2008, while Aliero has been in the Senate since 2015.

Gabriel Suswam

Former Governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam of the PDP lost his bid to return to the Senate to Emmanuel Udende of the APC.

Suswam, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 103,303 votes while Udende polled 141,405, to emerge Senator-elect for Benue North East senatorial zone.

Samuel Ortom

One of the most notable upsets in this election season was the loss of senatorial bid by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State who is also a member of the G-5 governors.

Ortom, a PDP member, asked his supporters to vote for Peter Obi of the Labour Party, in protest against Atiku Abubakar. But in the Benue North West contest, Mr Ortom was defeated by Titus Zam of the APC despite risking his life to defend the people of the state against herdsmen for eight years .

Simon Lalong

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, is one other influential politician who failed in his bid to go to the National Assembly.

Lalong, who contested on the platform of the APC, scored 91,674 but was defeated by the PDP candidate, Napoleon Bali, who got 148,844.

Darius Ishaku

Another upset is how the incumbent governor of Taraba State failed in his bid to secure the Taraba South senatorial seat under the PDP.

He lost to David Jimkuta of the APC, who got 85,415 votes while Ishaku polled 45,708. Ishaku, who spent a lot of time outside the state, was also said to have performed poorly as governor.

Tanko Al-Makura

Former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Tanko Al- Makura, lost his return bid to represent Nasarawa South on the platform of the APC.

Makura, who had governed the state for two terms, scored 76,813 votes and lost to Mohammed Onawo of the PDP, who scored 93,064 total votes.

Uche Ekwunife

The Senator representing Anambra South also fell to the Obidient wave. However, she was defeated by a familiar opponent, Victor Umeh, the candidate of the Labour Party.

 Umeh polled 103,608 votes while Dozie Nwankwo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) emerged as runner-up with 69,702 votes, leaving the incumbent in third position with 49,532 votes.

Ekwenife and Umeh’s rivalry go way back to 2015 when the two first fought for the senatorial seat. Ekwuenife won that first face-off and repeated the feat in 2019.

Ahmad Babba-Kaita

Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita’s loss of his senatorial seat was arguably the greatest shock in Katsina State due to his popularity. Babba-Kaita, who is representing the Katsina North on the platform of the PDP lost his reelection bid to Nasir Zangon-Daura of the APC.

 Babba-Kaita had a running battle with both President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Masari, which led to his exit from the APC.

 Bala Ibn Na’Allah

Another popular senator who lost his reelection bid is Bala Ibn Na’Allah of the APC. He lost to the PDP’s Garba Maidoki for Kebbi South Senatorial District.

Na’Allah got 70,785 while Maidoki polled 75,232 votes to clinch the seat.

Kabiru Gaya

Former Governor of Kano State, Senator Kabiru Gaya’s 16 years reign in the Senate was ended by Kawu Sumaila, a former member of the House of Representatives.

Gaya, the candidate of the APC scored 192,518 votes but that was not enough to beat Kawu of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), who got 312,857 to emerge the representative of Kano South Senatorial district.

Philip Aduda

Another major upset in the election was the defeat of Philip Aduda, a four-time senator representing Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He defeated by Ireti Kingibe of the Labour Party (LP).

Kingibe scored 202,175 votes to emerge the winner, as against Aduda of the PDP who came second with 100,544 votes.

Senator Stella Oduah and Mrs. Ebele Obiano

In Anambra North Senatorial District, two “heavyweights”—Stella Oduah of the PDP, who is the incumbent senator and the state’s former First Lady, Ebele Obiano of APGA, were swept away by Tony Nwoye of the Labour Party.

Nwoye, a former governorship candidate in the state, polled 94,779 votes to defeat Oduah who polled 50,146 votes and Obiano who scored 48,212 votes.

Oduah, a former Minister of Aviation, has been in the Senate since 2015, while Obiano exited the Government House with her husband last year.

Ndudi Elumelu

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, who represents Anochia/Oshimili federal constituency of Delta State, Ndudi Elumelu was also defeated by the candidate of the Labour Party, Ngozie Okolie, who polled 53,879 votes to Elumelu’s 33,456 votes.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

The Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha also lost her re-election bid to the Labour Party candidate, Amobi Ogah.

Onyejeocha has been representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency in Abia State since 2007. However, her 8,752 votes were less than the 11,822 votes scored by  Ogah.

Abiodun Olujimi

The Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi also got swept away on 25 February.

The former Senate minority leader, who polled 36,191, was defeated by a former newspaper catoonist, Yemi Adaramodu of the APC, who polled 63,189.

Bashiru Ajibola

Senator Bashiru Ajibola, a former university don and Senate’s spokesman, was also defeated in Osun State. In his case, he was a victim of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s growing influence in the politics of the state.

Governor Adeleke, whose election was nullified by the state governorship election petition tribunal, appears to be ready to show his opponents that he is in charge ahead of the determination of his appeal by the Court of Appeal.

 Chinedum Orji

Chinedum Orji, who is the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and son of former governor of the state, SenatorTheodore Orji had a nightmarish experience on the election day as his quest to move to the National Assembly on the platform of the PDP was truncated by Obi Aguocha of the Labour Party.

Bankole Wellington (Banky W)

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Eti Osa Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Bankole Wellington once again lost his bid for a seat in the House of Representatives, this time around to a relatively unknown candidate of the Labour Party, Attah Thaddeus.

The Labour Party candidate polled 24,075 votes against Wellington who polled 18,666 votes.

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