UPDATED: Return Ticket: How did Buhari supporters in Reps, Senate fare?

OrderPaperToday- A major step towards next year’s elections is the primary election, where different political parties pick their best and most popular candidates to contest in the general elections next year.

Before last month’s primary elections were concluded, several politicians currently occupying elective seats made several frantic moves in an attempt to increase their chances during the elections. These moves included showing support for particular politicians and defecting to different parties when it seemed like their party could not continue to support their dreams.

In the National Assembly, some lawmakers are popular for their support of the president of the country, constantly speaking in his defence and refuting any criticisms levelled against him. This article seeks to determine whether or not those famous for their support were able to clinch tickets which will allow them to be voted for in next year’s general elections.

Seventeen popular pro-Buhari lawmakers from the green and red chambers were considered in this analysis.

Out of the 17 aforementioned lawmakers, 2 received automatic tickets, 9 won their local primary elections and 1 lost out in his primary. One lawmaker did not seek reelection, 1 lost in the primaries but still received the party’s ticket, and 3 were convinced to remain in the party after threatening to defect, but did not emerge flag bearers for their party.

The two lawmakers who received automatic tickets are Senator Abdullahi Adamu, representing Nasarawa West and Senator Binta Garba for Adamawa North Senatorial District, who is the only female Senator from the North in the 8th Senate.

Others who did not have the luxury of getting an automatic ticket had to battle their way through gruelling primaries, other equally keen politicians and a plethora of other factors.

Those fortunate enough to win their primaries included Abdulmumin Jibrin representing Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency, Kano state emerged unopposed as he was selected to contest as a sole candidate in the direct primaries of his state.

He is the leader of Parliamentary Solidarity Group (PSG)- leading the cause of President Buhari in the lower chamber.

He could arguably be referred to as the most Pro-Buhari reps member in words and action.

He was also suspended for alleging that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the green chamber passed the 2016 budget with about N40 billion.

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta central, who defected from the Labour Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and allegedly championed the red chamber invasion in April, when the mace was stolen.

He won the party’s ticket after a parallel primary election for Delta central was conducted by the Jones Erue-led state executive committee, against O’tega Emerhor.

Siomilarly, Senator Andrew Uchendu polled a total of 1,632 out of 1,800 votes cast to defeat Allwell Onyeso who scored 70 votes, winning his senatorial district. He only started representing Rivers East in 2017 after winning a legal battle in the same year.

In Senator Barau Jibrin’s case, he emerged as the winner of Kano North senatorial zone following the exit of Mohammed Gwarzo from the race.

Solomon Olamilekan is an ally to the APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu, who is supposedly helping President Buhari in the South-West. He won his re-election bid with 378,906 votes.

Another staunch Buhari supporter is Ali Ndume, Senator representing Borno south Senatorial district, who defeated 3 aspirants after securing a total of 2,005 votes.

Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma emerged flag bearer of Ikpoba-Okha and Egor federal constituency in Edo state for the APC. He became part of Buhari’s camp in October last year after being ‘sidelined’ from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when the party ousted Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction.

Babba Kaita, recently sworn in as Buhari’s Senator to fill the Katsina North senatorial seat, clinched his return ticket after beating Umar Katsayal, with 2,384 votes to nil.

The chief whip of the green chamber and popular Buhari supporter, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, also received the APC ticket to represent Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano state.

Senator Kurfi Umaru from Katsina Central was the only one who did not win his primary elections despite being tagged a ride or die for President Buhari. He was defeated by the former Managing Director of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Kabiru Abdullahi Barkiya who polled 1,466 votes while Kurfi, the serving senator came fifth with 141 votes.

On Senator Abu Ibrahim’s part, he decided not to seek re-election for the Katsina South senatorial seat.

The Senator representing Imo North, Benjamin Uwajumogu, was lucky to have made the Independent National Electoral Commission’s provisional list despite him losing his primary elections to NNamdi Obiaraeri.

Lastly, there were some lawmakers who seemed committed to President Buhari and his causes but were unable to win the party’s ticket due to internal crises and clashes with their governors. All of these conspired against them in the polls during the primary elections.

Senator Lanre Tejuosho (Ogun Central) was one of the Senators who defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in July but turned around at the promise of a return ticket. Unfortunately, he did not secure a return ticket and he was replaced by his governor, Ibikunle Amosun.

Senator Shehu Sani, after being beaten by his governor’s preferred candidate, left for the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and secured a ticket to represent Kaduna Central.

Finally, Muhammadu Musa Soba representing Soba federal Constituency of Kaduna state also resigned from the APC on the 24th of October this year, after he lost his ticket to return to the green chamber.

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