PDP Primaries Produce Factional Candidates Nationwide as Top Senators Fail to Secure Ticket
Dramatic upsets and a gale of parallel elections rocked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries held yesterday to elect candidates to contest for countrywide senatorial seats in the 2015 elections.
Parallel primaries were held in different locations in Anambra, Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Enugu states.
Also, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) and Uche Chukwumerije, both three-term senators, led the pack of high profile incumbents that lost out in the primaries. In another, Aloysius Akpan Etok lost his bid to return to the Senate after his dramatic last minute withdrawal to pave the way for Akwa Ibom State governor Godswill Akpabio. Another senator losing out is Nenadi Usman who also lost her seat to represent Kaduna South in the Senate.
However, it was a sweeter tale for other Senate bigwigs: Senate President David Mark, his deputy Ike Ekweremmadu and deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi all won their respective primaries.
As expected, all PDP governors eyeing Senate seats won at yesterday’s primaries. They are: Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Jonah Jang (Plateau).
Recall that the governors of Delta and Enugu states, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Sullivan Chime, dropped their bids to come to the Senate in 2015.
The deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu yesterday emerged the PDP candidate for Enugu West senatorial district for the 2015 election.
He was returned unopposed after polling a total of 294 out of the 299 votes cast by the accredited delegates.
Ekweremadu became PDP’s sole aspirant after the state governor, Sullivan Chime, withdrew from the race. In his acceptance speech, the deputy Senate president dedicated the victory to Governor Chime, describing his victory as an act of God.
Meanwhile, three parallel primaries were yesterday held in Enugu East senatorial district.
While Gilbert Nnaji, the senator currently representing Enugu East, emerged victorious in the primary conducted at Nkwo Nike in Enugu East local government area, the former chief of staff, Enugu Government House, Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo, emerged victorious in the primary election held at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
Former minister of information Mr Frank Nweke jnr emerged victorious in another primary conducted at a different location in the state.
The result of the primary held to elect the senatorial candidate in Enugu North was still being awaited at press time yesterday.
In President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state, Bayelsa, drama played out with parallel PDP Senate primaries taking place.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas, Downstream Sector, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, and former director-general, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr Ben Murray Bruce, emerged PDP flag bearers for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa East senatorial districts in the 2015 general election.
Senator Heneiken Lokpobiri and Dr Foster Oguola emerged in separate primaries at the Bayelsa West senatorial district.
This was contained in the result declared by the chief returning officers in the three senatorial districts and coordinated by the chairman, Bayelsa State National Assembly Primaries Electoral Committee, General Idi Adamu (rtd).
Niger State governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Senator Zainab Kure have picked the PDP senatorial tickets of Niger East and Niger South respectively while Hon. Halidu Abba was returned unopposed for Niger North.
For Niger East, Aliyu defeated Alhaji Adamu Idris Kuta with 281 votes against 86 votes to pick the ticket yesterday in Minna. In Bida, Senator Kure defeated the Immediate past chairman of PDP in the state Hon Abduraman Mahmud Enagi with 328 votes to 8 votes to clinch the ticket for Niger South.
There was no contest in Niger North as Hon Halidu was the only candidate of the party. He was just affirmed by the delegates at Kotagora, the headquarters of the zone.
Senator Suleiman Adokwe secured PDP’s senatorial ticket for Nasarawa South Zone. He scored 163 votes to defeat Alhaji BalaZakari who scored 46.
Hon. Philip Gyunka is set to replace Sen. Solomon Ewuga in the Senate after defeating four other contestants for Nasarawa North in the primaries conducted in Akwanga yesterday. He polled 89 votes to beat Prof Onje Gye-Wado, a former deputy governor, who got 55.
Two other contestants, Ezekiel Maichibi and Sen. John Damboyi, scored zero votes while the fifth contestant, Musa Umaru, withdrew at the last minute.
Maichibi and Sen. Danboyi, however, filed a petition before the electoral committee and left the premises of the election.
Speaker of Katsina State House of Assembly, Yau Umar Gwajo-Gwajo, yesterday emerged the PDP senatorial flag bearer for Daura zone.
The speaker was the consensus candidate and received the endorsement of over 2,000 delegates who affirmed his candidacy in line with the provisions of the electoral law.
Former special adviser on Security Matters to former Kwara State governor Bukola Saraki, Yinka Aluko, yesterday emerged the winner of the PDP primaries for Kwara Central, after polling 83 votes to defeat AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq.
The chairman, Mobilisation and Organisation of the PDP in the South West, Buruji Kashamu, has been elected as senatorial candidate for Ogun East senatorial district in the 2015 election.
At Ijebu Ode, venue for the, Kashamu garnered 365 to beat two other aspirants, Dayo Oriola – four votes, and Taiwo Akintan – zero votes .
Meanwhile, the primary for Ogun Central was postponed.
Plateau State governor Jonah Jang was declared winner of the Plateau North senatorial primaries of the PDP held at Treasure Inn Hotel, Rayfield, Jos.
Jang polled 73 votes to defeat his closest and only opponent, Ambassador Ibrahim Kassai, who polled 18 votes.
Former governor of Plateau State and the Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Chief Joshua Dariye, won the ticket of the PDP for the Plateau Central zone.
Dariye got 104 votes to beat Alexander Molwus who received 84 votes, Satty Gogwin who had 12 votes, as well as Emmanuel Go’ar and Andrew Abbas who got 14 votes each.
The PDP senatorial primaries in the Plateau South Senatorial Zone was still ongoing by the time of filing this story at 7 pm yesterday.
Senator Odion Ugbesia of Edo Central and a diehard loyalist of the chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, yesterday scored 62 votes against Clifford Ordia who polled 141 voted to stop the incumbent lawmaker’s return bid to the red chamber in a freely contested primaries.
Former Ebonyi State governor Dr Sam Egwu, former state PDP chairman Chief Obinna Ogba, the embattled Speaker of the state House of Assembly Hon Chukwuma Nwazunku and the defunct chairman of Ezza South local government area Chief Laz Ogbe emerged PDP Senate candidates in the Chief Joseph Onwe-led faction of the primaries.
Others who emerged at the primaries include the senator representing Ebonyi South Sunny Ogbuoji, the younger brother to the national president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and former chairman of Afikpo North LGA Chief Idu Igariye, the member representing Ohanaivo federal constituency Hon Linus Okorie, and the member representing Abakaliki/Izzi federal constituency Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga among others.
The primaries which were conducted amidst tight security witnessed low turn-out of party faithful following a court injunction restraining the INEC from recognizing any primaries conducted by the state deputy chairman of the party, Chief Joseph Onwe.
Senators Adetunji Adeleke, Babajide Omoworare and Sola Adeyeye emerged All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates for the February 2015 senatorial elections for Osun West, East and Central senatorial seats.
Also, Chief Francis Adenigbagbe Fadahunsi, a retired deputy comptroller-general of Nigeria Custom Service, and former minister of Youth Affairs, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, emerged the senatorial candidates for the PDP in Osun East and West senatorial districts respectively.
Fadahunsi defeated former National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) boss, Chief (Mrs.) Remi Olowu with 265 votes to 116 to clinch the PDP ticket for Osun East at yesterday’s poll.
The other two Senatorial candidates of the APC had earlier emerged. Senator Babajide Omoworare and Professor Sola Adeyeye were returned as the candidates of the party for Osun East and Osun Central senatorial districts.
The result of PDP senatorial primaries for Osun Central was still being expected at the time of filing this report.
Chief Kunle Alao and Dr Daisi Aina are the two aspirants seeking the party’s nod to contest 2015 senatorial election in the district.
In a keenly contested primary held in Ikom, Hon John Enoh of the House of Representatives defeated the Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, and one other candidate to clinch PDP’s ticket for Cross River Central.
Out of the 276 total votes cast, Enoh, according to the returning officer, Mr. Oko Enagu, polled 217 votes while Ndoma-Egba had 37.
Governor Theodore Orji at the Umuahia Township Stadium clinched the PDP senatorial ticket for Abia Central. He was the sole candidate and polled 221 votes in an open secret ballot system that recorded only one void vote
At the Enyimba Stadium, Senate spokesman Enyinnaya Abaribe recorded a land slide victory with 169 votes to pick the ticket to represent Abia Central for a third term.
His only rival Chief Prince Ojeh got only 2 votes. The primaries which was peaceful and transparent recorded six void votes
Similarly, in the primary held at the Ohafia local government secretariat, Mao Ohuabunwa beat his closet rival, Chief David Ogba Onuoha, by 103 to 67 votes while the incumbent, Senator Uche Chukwumereije, came a distant third with 21 votes.
Chief Hope Uzodinma, incumbent senator representing Orlu, Imo State clinched the PDP ticket in the senatorial primary election held in the state yesterday. He defeated his closest rival with 200 votes.
A retired deputy director with Pension Office, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr Danjuma La’ah, yesterday defeated the incumbent senator representing Kaduna South Senatorial district, Sen. Nenadi Usman, at the primaries.
La’ah defeated the senator and former minister of finance with a six votes, polling 129 votes to Nenadi’s 123 votes.
Senator Ahmed Makarfi, representing Kaduna North, won the primary unopposed. He is to face either Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed or Suleiman Hunkuyi of the APC in next year’s election.
The Kaduna Central senatorial seat, which is currently occupied by APC’s chieftain Sani Saleh, a one-time senator, Ahmed Mukhtar Aruwa, is the flag bearer of the PDP. Aruwa polled 156 votes to defeat two other aspirants, Ahmadu Inuwa and Talatu Shehu, who scored 113 and 28 votes respectively.
The incumbent, Senator James Manager, clinched the PDP slot to contest for Delta South. He beat a relatively unknown aspirant, Mr. Okorodudu.
However, the senatorial primaries of the party in the two other senatorial districts of Delta State were ongoing at the time of filing this report.
Voting was ongoing at the Ughelli Township Stadium where Chief Ighoyota Amori and Senator Emmanuel Aguriavwodo were slugging out for the Delta Central ticket.
Former chairman of the party in the state, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi and the wife of former PDP national chairman Ahmadu Ali, Mariam, were vying for Delta North ticket.
Senate President David Mark, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam and Chief Mike Mku yesterday won the senatorial tickets of the PDP primaries in the state.
Mark polled 384 out of 389 delegates accredited. Governor Suswam won the ticket with 312 out of 321 delegates while Chief Mku had 168 votes. Suswam and Mark won through affirmation voting, as they had no opponents while Mku defeated Laha Dzever and Terseer Tsumba, a former speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly.
Mark seeks to represent Benue South for the fifth time, Suswam seeks to replace former PDP national chairman Barnabas Gemade for Benue North East while Mku aims to represent Benue North West respectively.
The Senate Chief Whip, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, was endorsed and ratified by 513 delegates from the 13 local government areas of the senatorial.
Major upsets emerged yesterday at the Adamawa State Senatorial primaries in Abuja, as former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan Barr. Ahmed Gulak, former minister of health Dr Idi Hong and Sen. Silas Zwingina emerged candidates for Adamawa North, Central and South senatorial zones.
In Adamawa Southern Zone, Sen. Silas Zwingina scored 274, while Sen. Ahmed Barata got 39 votes. In Adamawa Central, Dr Aliyu Idi Hong scored 242 votes to beat Hon. Aishatu Biyani with two votes.
For Adamawa North, Gulak got 184 votes while all other contestants scored zero. One invalid vote was recorded.
The deputy Senate leader, Senator Abdul Ningi was unanimously returned unopposed during the senatorial elections for Bauchi Central senatorial district.
The immediate past minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, won the PDP ticket for Anambra North senatorial seat.
In a result announced in Nteje, Anambra State, Ms Oduah polled 259 votes to defeat Margery Okadigbo, the incumbent and wife of former Senate president Chuba Okadigbo. Mrs Okadigbo got eight votes.
Other contestants for the ticket included Sam Ikefuna, 10 votes, and John Emeka, 15 votes.
It emerged that five parallel PDP senatorial primaries were held in Anambra yesterday. Stella Oduah won in Anambra North, Uche Ekwunife won in Anambra Central, Annie Okonkwo also won in Anambra Central, Andy Uba won in Anambra South, his brother Chris Uba also won in Anambra South.
PDP picks Reps candidates
In Kogi, the vice chairman, House of Committee on Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf on Saturday won PDP primary to represent Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency of Kogi State for second term.
The lawmaker polled 51 votes to beat two other candidates, Hon. Jethro Funsho and Omolade Ibikunle, who scored 37 and 23 votes respectively.
In Imo, three House of Reps members at the weekend lost their return bids.
The affected lawmakers are Hons. Gerald Ironna representing Ohaji/Egbema, Jerry Alagboso representing Orlu/Orsu and Oru East and Chudi Uwazuruike representing Okigwe West.
In Cross River, amidst sporadic gunfire, Hon. Bassey Ewa scored 88 votes to beat his main rival Alex Egbona and others to grab the PDP ticket for Abi/Yakurr federal constituency. Frank Eta got one vote while Egbona (Governor Liyel Imoke’s former chief of staff) and Patrick Okomisi had zero votes respectively.
For the Calabar/Odukpani Federal Constituency, the immediate past chairman of Calabar Municipal Council, Hon. Eta Mbora, defeated the incumbent, Hon. Nkoyo Toyo, to grab the party’s ticket.
Mbora, a former chairman of Appropriation Committee in the State House of Assembly, polled 48 votes against Toyo’s 40 votes.
Also, incumbent member for Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi Federal constituency, Hon. Essien Ayi, dealt a blow to popular actress and major rival, Kate Henshaw, to pick the party’s ticket for another slot.
For Ogoja/Yala federal constituency, SURE-P helmsman in the state, Jarigbe Agom, defeated the incumbent Hon Rose Oko to obtain the party’s ticket.
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