Payback time as constituents pick senatorial candidates

Senatorial candidates

It is the season of “one good turn deserves another” for some senators, who are back in their constituencies to renew their mandate ahead of next year’s National Assembly election. The Nation report that the parties’ primaries afford constituents to call the shots.

The rescheduled primaries to pick the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidates in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will hold today, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) said yesterday through a statement by APC Acting National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena.

Also yesterday, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) announced its senatorial candidates after the conduct of the party’s senate primaries in some states.

But despite Nabena’s announcement, two factions of the APC in Delta State held parallel primaries and produced different candidates.

Ahead of today’s primaries, the APC released a list of the aspirants it cleared to feature in the exercise, which it said would hold in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The names of some applicants who appeared before the Senate Screening Committee were not included on the list.

The APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole had said the party would apply rewarding system to encourage elective office holders for their loyalty to the party, especially, when it was hit by a gale of defection.

Emerhor, Omo-Agege emerged from parallel primaries

  • Nwaoboshi, Urhoghide, Momoh gets PDP Delta tickets

Olorogun O’tega Emerhor emerged the winner of the primary organised by a faction for the Delta Central Senatorial District, in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area.

The other primary, expected to favour incumbent Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, was still being held at the Police Camp in DCS, Udu Local Government Area was still being held as at the time of filing this report.

In Edo South and Edo North senatorial districts, Matthew Urhoghide, Abubakar Momoh emerged as the candidates of the PDP.

If he wins the election next year, Urhoghide, will returning to the Red Chamber to represent the Edo South zone. Momoh, a former House of Representatives member will be upgrading from his Federal Constituency to represent the North Senatorial Zone, should the lection favour him next year.

Urhoghide, who was the sole aspirant at Image Garden, Government Reservation Area, Benin City, venue of the primary, garnered 891 yes votes.

Incumbent Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North Senatorial District won the PDP primary with 506 votes. He was trailed by Ned Nwoko (453 votes) and Paul Osajie (216 votes).

Olujimi, Faseyi, Adewale get PDP tickets

  • Protests in APC office over mode of primary

Senate Minority Leader Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, Senator Duro Faseyi and a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary Obafemi Adewale got the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tickets yesterday.

Senator Olujimi will be flying the party’s flag for the Ekiti South Senatorial District, Faseyi was returned unopposed to fly the PDP ticket in the Ekiti North Zone and Adewale, who was former Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner will represent the PDP in the Central district.

Mrs. Olujimi was elected by affirmation by delegates from all the six local government areas that make up the senatorial district at a primary conducted yesterday in Ikere-Ekiti.

Party leaders and delegates from Ekiti Southwest, Ikere, Ise/Orun, Emure, Gbonyin and Ekiti East local government areas elected Mrs. Olujimi by voice vote.

But protest yesterday rocks the Ekiti APC Secretariat over the mode of primary being proposed by the party to pick its National Assembly candidates.

Aggrieved supporters of some of the aspirants marched on the party secretariat on Ikere-Ekiti road in Ado Ekiti over modalities for the primaries.

They berated the APC state executive committee for adopting indirect primary and not direct primary to choose candidates.

The party secretariat was cordoned off by the police, prevented the protesters from gaining access.

The protest was carried out by supporters of Osinkolu and House of Representatives aspirants- Bimbo Daramola, Kayode Babade, Pastor Yemi Olayinka and Mrs. Toyin Ajakaye.

A one-time senator, who is seeking the Ekiti North senatorial ticket, Senator Ayo Arise, announced his withdrawal from the race, for lack of confidence in indirect primary.

Other aspirants, Cyril Fasuyi, Dr Olusegun Osinkolu, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, Sir Kayode Otitoju, Femi Ajepe and Bamisaiye will today battle to clinch the zone’s senatorial ticket.

However, Arise said he would remain a loyal party member and that he would mobilise support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at next year’s election.

The protesters accused the Paul Omotoso-led APC executive of compromising the yet-to-be conducted primary by adopting indirect option instead of the direct modality mandated by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC.

The leadership of the APC in Ekiti explained that its adoption of indirect mode of primary was not aimed at scheming out any contestant as being alleged in some quarters.

Its spokesman Ade Ajayi condemned what he called a violent protest staged with the backing of some national assembly aspirants.

Logistics forces Oyo APC to shift primaries

Logistics yesterday forced the Oyo chapter of the APC to shift the conduct of the National Assembly in designated centres by 24 hours.

It was learnt that materials for the election were still being expected last night from the APC National Headquarters in Abuja.

In the race for the three senatorial slots are Top Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Fola Akinosun (South); Senator Teslim Folarin; Temitope Olatoye Sugar, Local Government & Chieftaincy Commissioner Bimbo Kolade (Central). The aspirant for the North Senatorial zone, Fatai Buhari, has no challenger.

In the opposition PDP, a chieftain of the party in Oyo Central, Bisi Ilaka was declared unopposed. Former Deputy Governor Azeem Gbolarumi and a former Information Commissioner Bayo Lawal are jostling for the Oyo South ticket.

A former House of Representatives Majority Leader Mrs Mulikat Akande Adeola will slug it out with businessman, Salawudeen for Oyo North ticket in today’s election.

Ex-governor Suswam gets PDP ticket unopposed

Former Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam has been returned unopposed as the PDP senatorial candidate for Benue Northeast Senatorial District.

Suswan went into Zone A primary as a sole candidate following the defection of Senator Barnabas Gemade from the PDP to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), two weeks ahead of the primaries.

Suswam, who took a shot at the Senate after bowing out of office in 2015, lost the senatorial to Gemade, who was forced out of the PDP to fly the APC ticket.

Ogola loses PDP primaries in Bayelsa

Delegates yesterday stopped the ambition of Senator Foster Ogola to return to the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The senator, representing Bayelsa West, was rejected by delegates, who voted for Works & Infrastructure Commissioner Lawrence Ewrudjakpor.

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (Bayelsa East) on Monday said he will not be seeking re-election into the National Assembly.

Kano aspirant backs out of race

One of the APC aspirants for the Kano Central Senatorial district, Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (a.k.a Lado) announced his withdrawal from the race and donated his campaign structure to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

In a statement, the senator said he was withdrawing from the race based on the intervention of the Ganduje and as a mark of respect for the governor.

A former governor in the state, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, who recently returned to the party, is believed to be the party’s choice for the senatorial seat. He will now slug it out with Hajia Laila Buhari for the ticket.

Kalu, Haruna cleared to run in Abia, Kogi

The APC NWC yesterday cleared former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Yusuf A. Haruna to contest the party’s primaries for the Abia North and Kogi Central senatorial districts.

Melaye wins Kogi West ticket

Senator Dino Melaye was yesterday affirmed as the PDP flag bearer for the Kogi West Senatorial District.

There were six contenders in the race. Four of them were not cleared by the party’s screening committee. The other two stepped down for Melaye, who recently defected from the APC.

Those who stepped down for Melaye were: former Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioner Tolorunjuwon Faniyi and House of Representatives members representing Kabba/Bunu/ Ijumu Federal Constituency Tajudeen Yusuf.

Those who did not get the party’s nod were House of Representatives members Sunday Karimi (Yagba Federal Constituency); former acting Kogi State Governor Clarence Olafemi, Henry Ojuola and Ganiyu Salaudeen all from the Yagba Federal Constituency.

The primary was conducted at the Prestige Hotels in Kabba.

The Returning Officer for the exercise, Mr. Jude Sule said that Melaye scored all the delegates’ votes from the seven LGAs of Kogi West.

The exercise which was peaceful was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security personnel.

Melaye after the exercise, said the affirmation was “Shocking but not surprising bearing in mind that he has represented the axis wonderfully at the upper champer of the national assembly.”

He however appealed to all other aspirants who might be aggrieved, to let go of their anger and join hands with him to rid the state and the country of the “bad governance of APC, both at the state and national level.”

At Idah, Kogi East, venue of the PDP senatorial primary for the district, tension was said to be high, where seven aspirants including the incumbent Senator Attai Aidoko contested the shadow primary.

As at the time of filing this report, the exercise was yet to commence, and it I’d believed it will be postponed.

Senator Ahmed Ogembe, was reportedly affirmed as the PDP flag bearer for the district, though conflicting reports had it that other aspirants were waiting for the election materials from the party headquarters in Abuja.

Ogembe is the serving senator representing Kogi East.

Enugu East PDP inconclusive

The Returning Officer for the PDP primary in Enugu East Senatorial Zone, Abdulrahman Yunusa, declared the election inconclusive due to shortage of ballot papers.

Delegates from Enugu East, North, South, Isiuzo and Nkanu East concluded their voting while voting for delegates from Nkanu West Local Government Area, which incidentally was the host council, did not hold.

Yunusa, however, said that the polls of the remaining council area would be done early today.

“After the remaining one council polls tomorrow, I shall officially declare the winner of the primary for Enugu East Senatorial Zone and return the winner as the candidate of the PDP ahead of the general elections,’’ he added.

The contestants for the seat are incumbent senator Gil Nnaji, former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, a lecturer at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Gab Agu, Prince Lawrence Eze, Chief David Nkwo and Chief Joshua Mba.

Three Abia PDP senators emerge

Three Abia senators on the platform of the PDP yesterday clinched the party’s tickets for the 2019 general elections in the state.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) went through the crucible of a keenly-contested race to grab his ticket, his counterparts from Abia North and Abia Central, senators Mao Ohuabunwa and Theodore Orji, literally got theirs without stress.

Abaribe, who seeks to return to the Upper Chamber for the fourth tenure, polled 413 votes to defeat three other contestants.

The contestants included: Education Commissioner Prof Ikechi Mgboji, a former state lawmaker, Emeka Stanley and Chief Solomon Ogunji, an aide to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu. (The Nation )

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