OrderPaperToday – The just concluded political party primaries cannot be discussed without the associated drama, intrigues, confusion, and violence in some cases, that characterised the process.
With the game going down to a battle of the highest bidder, it is clear that not much of a difference has been made as it relates to conducting transparent and fair primaries, as well as strengthening internal democracy in the parties.
As it has become the norm, Governors of the two major parties known to be highly influential, call the shots and determine who gets what ticket; especially in the legislative arm of government as they fund the party structure. Most affected are lawmakers in the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) where dozens of aggrieved members have resigned their membership and defected to other political parties to pursue their aspirations.
And with majority of these Governors serving out their second and final term in office, a number of federal lawmakers who constitute a clog in the wheel of their legislative ambitions have become casualties. The effect of this trend on governance is altogether a topic for another day.
Following this development, over 70% of the ranking legislators, as well as principal officers in the Senate and House of Representatives, have been affected and would therefore not be returning to the National Assembly.
Interestingly, some also ran for the presidential and governorship tickets of their parties; with only a few emerging victorious and others losing out completely.
Here’s how the presiding and principal officers of the 9th National Assembly fared at the just concluded primaries:
President of the Senate
Chances of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan returning as the lawmaker representing Yobe North Senatorial District in the 10th National Assembly remain doubtful.
Following his run in the June 7 Presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he lost to former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, the Yobe Senator has been struggling to seize a return ticket for himself.
Sheriff Machina who was the only aspirant to purchase the APC nomination form for Yobe North Senatorial District emerged unopposed as the party’s candidate. He was also said to be holding the Senatorial ticket in trust for Lawan as an alternative plan in the event he loses out in his ambition to be the APC presidential candidate.
Unfortunately for Lawan, Machina has continued to defy calls on him by the party machinery to withdraw for the Senate President. It is not exactly clear how this episode will all end.
Lawan has been in the National Assembly since 1999; first as a member of the House of Representatives and later, as the Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District since 2007.
Deputy President of the Senate
Senator Omo-Agege tops the list of lawmakers at the Red Chamber who will not be returning to the National Assembly, as he did not participate in the Senatorial primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He was however elected as the APC Governorship candidate in Delta State having polled a total of 1,190 votes, of the total 1,235 accredited delegates present at the governorship primaries in Asaba.
The Delta Central Senator was first elected into the Upper Legislative House as a member of the 8th Senate (2015 – 2019) and emerged Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate inf the 9th National Assembly on 11 June 2019.
Senate Majority Leader
It is yet to be known if the erstwhile Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi will be returning to the Senate, as he lost the Kebbi North Senatorial primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He rejected the outcome and described it as shambolic and a child’s play, prompting him to dump the party for the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
It is believed however, that his name will be submitted by the PDP as its candidate for the Senatorial seat ahead of the 2023 election.
A former Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in Sokoto and Kebbi States was first elected to the Red Chamber in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.
READ ALSO: Senate Majority Leader dumps APC
Senate Minority Leader
The immediate past Minority leader of the 9th Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe currently serving his third term in the National Assembly has a herculean task to face if he must return as a member of the 10th Senate.
Having set out earlier in the year to run for the Governorship ticket of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, he faced stiff opposition from the state chapter of the party.
The Abia lawmaker would later withdraw from the governorship primaries less than 24 hours to the exercise and thereafter resigned from the PDP and his position as Minority Leader of the Senate.
Abaribe, a former Deputy Governor was elected to the Senate in April 2007, to represent the Abia South Senatorial District of Abia State.
Largely regarded as one of the most vocal lawmakers in the 9th National Assembly through his contribution to debates on national issues, he was re-elected in 2011, 2015, and 2019 when he was appointed as the Minority leader of the Senate.