It was mixed fortunes for a number of incumbents as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressive Congress, APC held their primary election in various states of the Federation on Sunday.
Prominent among those who lost were a three-term senator and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerije and the Senate Majority Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba.
The Chairman, Mobilisation and Organisation committee of the PDP in the South-West, Buruji Kashamu, however, won in the Ogun East Senatorial District.
There were pockets of crises during the PDP senatorial and All Progressives Congress House of Representatives primaries in various parts of the state.
Kashamu defeated emidayo Oriola and Daisi Akintan.
His main rival and a former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, was said have earlier withdrawn from the race. But his name was still mentioned at the venue of the primary election by the electoral officers as one of the contestants.
In Ogun-West, Waliu Taiwo emerged winner with 191 votes, having defeated four other contestants.
Voting by delegates in Ogun-East and Ogun-West was peaceful but it was different in Ogun Central where it was postponed till Tuesday because of tension.
Trouble began when some hoodlums were said to have invaded the PDP secretariat in Abeokuta, the venue of the Ogun Central primary. This made some politicians to allege malpractice by their rivals.
One of our correspondents gathered that the loyalists of the two contestants – a former member of the House of Representatives, Lanre Laoshe and wife of Chief Edwin Clark, Dr. Bisola Sodipo-Clark – almost had a direct confrontation.
According to the state secretary of PDP, Semiu Sodipo, the two contestants were ‘uncooperative.’
He said, “There was tension among the delegates of the two contestants and so we had to postpone the primary till Tuesday.”
The APC House of Representatives primaries in the state were marred with violence in some centres.
At the Centenary Hall, Ake, Abeokuta, one of the venues of the primaries for the Abeokuta South Federal constituency, policemen had to fire tear gas canisters to disperse the delegates.
It was gathered that when it was obvious that a contestant favoured by the leadership of the party in the state was losing, they truncated the process through a directive.
“We learnt a directive was issued from above that the voting should be discontinued,” one of the politicians who pleaded anonymity told one of our correspondents.
Also in Ijebu Ife, the venue of the primaries for Ijebu East/ Ijebu North/ Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, political thugs reportedly opened fire on delegates.
As of press time, many of the APC primaries had yet to be concluded.
The APC spokesman in the state, Sola Lawal, did not pick his telephone when one of our correspondents called him.
Politicians in the camp of the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, cleared the three Lagos senatorial districts during the PDP senatorial primaries. They beat the aspirants loyal to the leader of the party in the state, Chief Olabode George.
In the Lagos-Central Senatorial District, Mr. Ade Dosunmu, who was the governorship candidate of the party in 2011 beat a former Commissioner for Physical Planning, Mr. Hakeem Gbajabiamila, who had the support of George.
In Lagos-West senatorial district, Mr. Segun Adewale (aka Aeroland), clinched the ticket by defeating Moshood Salvador.
In Lagos-East, Mrs. Olabisi Owolabi-Salis, beat Gbenga Osinowo to win the primary election.
Results of the House of Representatives primaries of the APC so far announced show that , Ademola Akiolu, a son of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan, lost his bid to represent the Lagos Island Federal constituency.
He was defeated by Enitan Badru.
In the Ifako-Ijaye Federal Constituency, Mr. Adewale Elijah, defeated the incumbent, Mr. Yomi Ogunnusi, who is the current deputy chairman of the House Committee on Finance.
In Ikorodu, Jimi Benson, who is a son of an Ikorodu leader, Mr. Babatunde Benson (SAN), scored 695 votes out of 941 votes to clinch the APC ticket. Earlier, the lawmaker currently representing the constituency, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had stepped down.
In Agege, the Chairman of the Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area, Mr. Taofik Adaranijo, defeated the current lawmaker representing the constituency, Dr. Samuel Adejare, to clinch the ticket of the party.
Mr. Taiwo Adenekan won in the Ajeromi federal constituency.
Mr. Abiodun Faleke, who currently represents the Ikeja Federal Constituency will again fly the party’s flag in the February poll.
In the Oshodi Federal Constituency 1, Mr. Muyiwa Olabimtan, defeated Mr. Lateef Raji, who is the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
Also, Wole Diya, younger brother of a former Chief of General Staff, Maj.Gen Oladipo Diya (retd.), won the primary to represent the APC at the Somolu Federal Constituency.
Diya, a former member of the House of Representatives polled 199 votes to defeat Sesan Olanrewaju who scored 192 votes and Gbenga Abdullahi who polled 76 votes.
A former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Bola Tinubu, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, who is the immediate past chairman of the Ejigbo LCDA, won in the Oshodi federal constituency 2
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, who is running for a fourth term, won at the Surulere Federal Constituency 1 by a landslide.
The state Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development Umar Arisekola-Alao of Oyo State, lost his bid for the APC ticket in the Ibadan North Federal Constituency.
The incumbent, Abiodun Awoleye, was declared winner with Arisekola-Alao coming second.
However, Dapo Lam-Adesina who is the son of the state’s former governor Lam, won his bid to fly the party’s flag in the Ibadan South-East/North-East Constituency. He is currently serving as the state’s Commissioner for Industry, Applied Science and Technology.
In Akinyele/Lagelu local government areas, a member of the state House of Assembly beat Adigun Hammed to the ticket while Mathew Abioye picked the ticket in Surulere/Ogo Oluwa.
At the end of voting in Irepo/Oorelope councils, Bosun Oladele was declared winner while Saheed Fijabi beat Kola Ajadi and Rotimi Ajanaku to pick the ticket for re-election in Ibadan North-West/South-West.
The son of a former Governor of Ondo State, Gboyega Adefarati,, was among the losers in the contest for APC ticket.
Adefarati lost the Akoko South West/East to Babatunde Kolawole, while Friday Olemija won in the Akoko North East/West.
In Ilaje/Ese Odo Federal Constituency, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, emerged the candidate after defeating Benson Enikuomehin.
Also, in Akure South/North, a former state House of Assembly lawmaker, Afe Olowookere, defeated his closest rival, Shaka Yusuf.
In Ondo West/East, there was a consensus arrangement among the party delegates. Dele Olanubi emerged as the candidate.
In Abia North , Chukwumerije was beaten by Mao Ohuabunwa, who polled 103 votes. Onuoha Ogba polled 67 votes while Chukwumerije came third with 21 votes.
The state governor, Theodore Orji and incumbent Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe won in Umuahia Central and Abia South respectively.
Orji who was the sole aspirant in his senatorial district scored 221 out of the total 222 vote cast. One vote was voided.
Abaribe scored 169 votes to defeat Chief Onyekachi Oje, who got only two votes.
Four incumbent members of the House of Representatives lost their bids to return to the House while four others won.
The successful incumbents are Chief Uzor Azubuike (Aba North/Aba South federal constituency); Nkiruka Onyejiocha (Umunneochi/Isuikwuato constituency); Nkem Abonta (Ukwa East/Ukwa West constituency); and Nnenna Ukaeje (Bende federal constituency).
A former Commissioner for Finance, Sam Onuigbo, defeated the incumbent Udo Ibeji to pick the ticket for Umuahia/Ikwuano federal constituency, while Uko Nkole crushed Arua Arunsi, in Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency.
Solomon Adaelu humiliated the incumbent Eziuche Ubani, in Osisoma/Obingwa/ Ugwuanagbo constituency, while Darlington Nwokocha picked the ticket for Isialangwa North/ Isialangwa South federal constituency. The incumbent lawmaker, Chinenye Ike, withdrew from the race.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, polled 423 votes to beat Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo and Chief Inibehe Okorie in Akwa Ibom North Senatorial District.
Ekpo and Inibehe Okorie scored no votes.
The incumbent Senator representing the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Mr. Aloysius Etok, withdrew his aspiration to drum support for Akpabio.
A former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Bassey Albert, emerged winner in the North-East Senatorial District .
Albert emerged winner with a total of 363 votes, followed by a former State House of Assembly member , Mr. Usenobong Akpabio, who scored five votes. The incumbent senator, Ita Enang, had only three votes.
Enang is the Senate Committee Chairman on Rules and Business.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas, Downstream Sector, Senator Emmanuel Paulker and Chairman, Silverbird Group, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, emerged winners in the Bayelsa Central and East senatorial districts respectively.
Paulker polled 174 votes against Austin Febo, who scored 17 votes.
In Bayelsa-West, Foster Ogola scored 69 votes to emerge winner while the Secretary, South South Peoples Assembly, Ayakeme Whiskey, polled 27 votes in a parallel election.
In a parallel primaries conducted by a faction of the party, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, was declared winner after polling 93 votes.
In Bayelsa East, Murray-Bruce was declared winner after polling 138 votes to beat Mr. Anthony Ikoli (SAN), who came a distant second with 11 votes.
Senate President, David Mark, was returned unopposed after his only challenger, Mike Onoja, stepped down. Mark polled 384 votes. Nine votes were declared invalid.
Onoja, withdrew from the race shortly before voting commenced. He said his decision was in the “interest and unity of the Idoma nation.”
Mark, was quoted as saying “Whatever makes for the peace, unity and overall development of the Idoma nation would be my guiding principle. We can work together for the common good of Idoma nation because we want to be exemplary. This is not about me but the interest of Idoma people.
“PDP will work hard and win elections in a free, fair and transparent system. We are on the ground enough to win our elections creditably.
Senate Leader, Ndoma-Egba(SAN) failed to secure his fourth term bid following his defeat by the member representing Obubra/Etung constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. John Owan-Enoh.
Owan-Enoh polled 217 votes to defeat Ndoma-Egba and Ambassador Mark Egbe, who secured 37 and 20 votes respectively.
The atmosphere was tense at the Ikom Local Government Area secretariat where security personnel almost outnumbered the delegates.
Dressed in white attire, Ndoma-Egba left the scene of the exercise at 3.40pm after casting his vote. At about 5.45pm the returning officer, Mr. Uko Enaku, pronounced Owan-Enoh the winner.
Reacting to his victory, Owan-Enoh said the outcome was an indication that the people of the district needed a change in their representation.
Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, was returned unopposed in Enugu-West.
This followed the withdrawal of Governor Sullivan Chime from the race.
Ekweremadu received 294 votes out of the 299 cast. The remaining five votes were rendered invalid as a result of irregularities.
Ekweremadu said, “I want to dedicate this victory to Governor Chime – he equally made personal sacrifices to pave way for the peace we have today.”
The story was however different in Enugu North and Enugu West Senatorial districts where parallel primaries were held.
Three separate primaries were held in Enugu East which produced three candidates. They are incumbent senator, Gil Nnaji; a former Chief of Staff to the governor, . Ifeoma Nwobodo; and a former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jnr.
The primary election which produced Nwobodo held amid tight security at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, while the primaries that were won by Nnaji and Nweke took place at Nkwo Nike, and Ozalla, respectively.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Nwabueze Okoye, emerged from another primary election in the senatorial zone.
A similar scenario played out in Enugu North. Three aspirants, including the former Commissioner for Transport, Chuka Utazi, and a former National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, contested in separate primaries.
Governor Jonah Jang and incumbent Senator Joshua Dariye won Plateau North and central districts.
Jang had 273 votes while Ibrahim Kasai had 18.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs. Olivia Dazyem, was the returning officer in the election conducted under tight security.
The serving senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district , Suleiman Adokwe, won his bid to fly the party’s flag.
Adokwe defeated Bala Zakari by scoring 163 votes.
Source: The Punch