Upsets, Triumph From Nigeria’s National Assembly Elections
The 2019 general elections are set to record major upsets and, in some cases, very shocking outcomes, as already being indicated in the results of the National Assembly polls being announced across the country.
Whatever the case may be, the 9th National Assembly promises to throw up many new faces, from the South to the North of the country, with many unlikely candidates emerging to redefine the political landscape.
Against the expectation of many, the Oyo State governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Oyo South Senatorial District yielded to the superior firepower of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Kola Balogun.
Governor Ajimobi could not but congratulate his PDP rival shortly after the announcement of the result.
“I hereby accept the result as announced. Although there were a number of grievous infractions and established electoral malpractices, I have decided to let go in the interest of peace. I, therefore, congratulate the declared winner, Hon. Kola Balogun,” he said.
In a statement on Monday, Governor Ajimobi said there was nothing to feel sad about because his party won two out of the three Senatorial seats and nine out of 14 federal constituency seats.
Governor Ajimobi may not have been lucky, but his counterparts in Ogun and Imo States, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha, have clinched Ogun Central and Imo West Senatorial seats respectively.
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All the senatorial seats in Ekiti State were swept by the APC, with the former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, who defected to the APC emerging winner of Ekiti South Senatorial District, defeating Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi, who is currently occupying the seat.
While Olubunmi Ajetumbi of the APC won the Ekiti North seat by beating Senator Duro Faseyi of the PDP, Opeyemi Bamidele of the APC beat his closest rival, Obafemi Adewale of the PDP to take the Ekiti Central senatorial seat.
Governor Amosun, who has had a running battle with the leadership of the APC over the choice of the governorship candidate of the APC in his state, thrashed his closest rival, Solomon Sanyaolu, of the PDP with a whopping 88,110 votes to 33,276 votes.
The governor, who dedicated his victory to the people of the state, vowed to resume the campaign for his preferred governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, of the Allied Peoples Movement.
The scenario in Ogun State played out in Imo State, where Governor Rochas Okorocha of the APC defeated his closest rival, Jones Onyereri, of the PDP who raised the alarm that the returning officer was forced to declare Okorocha winner of Imo West Senatorial District election.
Like his Ogun State counterpart, Governor Okorocha has been at daggers drawn with the APC leadership at the national level, causing a split in the state chapter of the party, and forcing him to throw his full weight behind his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu’s quest to take over as the state chief executive under the platform of the Action Alliance.
In Anambra State, businesswoman and former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, is making a return to the Senate to represent Anambra North Senatorial district after trouncing her closest rivals, Emmanuel Chinedu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Mr. Nelson Onubogu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
She has promised to continue to represent her people well, adding, “it is a duty to further improve the livelihood of the people of my senatorial district.”And call it a battle of the “Ubahs” in Anambra State and you would not be wrong, as businessman and chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, emerged winner of the Anambra South Senatorial district seat.
Running under the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Ifeanyi Ubah, who previously contested for the state’s governorship seat and failed, beat the Uba brothers, Chris Uba of the PDP, and serving senator for the district, Sen. Andy Uba of the APC.
In neighboring Abia State, a former governor of the state, Orji Kalu of the APC is joining the 9th Senate to represent Abia North Senatorial District. Kalu who is battling alleged N7.6bn fraud charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), defeated his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who is currently occupying the seat.
Embattled Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is also returning to the upper legislative chamber to represent Delta North Senatorial District, having defeated his closest rival Doris Oboh, of the APC, in what could be termed a landslide victory after polling 186,423 votes against Oboh’s 36,350 votes.
A few would recall the name, Ndudi Elemelu of the PDP, as a former lawmaker who once represented the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State. He has now staged a comeback to the green chamber.
He defeated the APC candidate, Paul Adingupu, in the election conducted in four local government areas that make up the constituency in the state, namely: Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Aniocha North, and Aniocha South.
Up North, a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has been declared the winner of Kano Central Senatorial District. The APC candidate who defected to the ruling party from the PDP in the run-up to the general elections, defeated his rival, Aliyu Sani-Madawakingini of the PDP to emerge the winner.
Just like Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State, another serving state chief executive whose hope of making it to the upper legislative chamber has been dashed is the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo. He was defeated by Senator Saidu Akali of the APC for the Gombe North Senatorial District seat, denying him the chance to join his colleagues who are also seeking refuge in the Senate, having completed their second tenure.
The Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura of the APC, has also joined the league of former governors headed for the Senate after displacing the senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District, Suleiman Adokwe of the PDP, in an election that seemed like a walkover.
Perhaps, the most striking upset is the defeat suffered by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was out-maneuvered in the Kwara political chess game by the APC candidate, Ibrahim Oloriegbe. It was an election that pitched the progeny of the established Saraki dynasty against a population that yearned for what they described as political freedom, united by the sing-song “Oto ge” (‘enough’ in Yoruba).
Saraki’s close ally in the lower chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, however, managed to secure his re-election after defeating his APC rival, Abubakar Abdullahi, to represent the Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa, Dass Federal Constituency.
The red chamber may yet witness some drama as controversial Senator, Dino Melaye of the PDP, has defied all hurdles before him and made his way back to the Senate, defeating his rival, Smart Adeyemi, of the APC to emerge winner of the Kogi West Senatorial District.
Melaye’s win is remarkable, coming against the backdrop of the efforts made by his constituency to recall him and the face-off with the Nigeria Police, culminating in his eventual hospitalization, leaving him with little or no time to campaign for his re-election.