By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was on the verge of losing out in the control of the National Assembly for the first time after a National Assembly election yesterday.
With results trickling in from the states after last weekend’s National Assembly elections, the PDP was losing in a number of constituencies that had in the past safely laid in its comfort. As results trickled in yesterday it emerged that the party had lost the Senate seats it won in 2011 in Kogi, Kaduna, Kwara, Sokoto, Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa, Benue States.
Among the most notable losses were Senators Ahmed Makarfi, who lost his Kaduna North Senate seat to a former commissioner in his own administration, Ahmed Hunkuyi, Senator Smart Adeyemi who in one of the most surprising developments lost his Kogi West Senate seat to Dino Melaye among others.
Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Gabriel Suswam of Benue State also lost in their separate bids to proceed to the Senate. Both men lost to candidates of the APC. Suswam’s loss of the Benue Northwest Senate seat to the incumbent came after he successfully picked the PDP Senate ticket from Senator Barnabas Gemade in a race the later alleged was fraught with irregularities.
The outlook of the new Senate inevitably puts the PDP as the minority party in the chamber. The hustling for principal positions is set to immediately kick off and with indications that the position of Senate President could go to the North Central it opens a potential battle between two of the leading opposition leaders, Senators Bukola Saraki and George Akume.
Those insisting that the position would go to the North Central say that it had always been the practise for the Senate President to come from the same section of the country as the president. All through the Olusegun Obasanjo years in power, the Senate presidents came from the south and it did not shift to the north until 2007 when President Umaru Yar‘adua became president in 2007. However, with the death of Yar‘adua the position remained in the North.