By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – WHAT may be described as election tsunami has hit the senate following the recent declaration of the National Assembly election results which took place last Saturday as some Senators regarded as ‘big boys’ like Senators Chris Ngige, Smart Adeyemi, Olubunmi Adetunbi among others lost their bid to come back to the Red Chamber.
Also on the losing list was the Senate Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central who lost his seat to the All Progressives Congress.
But apart from Senator Ningi, other principal officers like the Senate President, David Mark who is returning to the senate for the fifth times, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the Minority Leader, George Akume among others retained their seats.
Senator Chris Ngige representing Anambra Central from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, lost the seat to a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Kogi West, who is one of the prominent PDP Senators lost his seat to Hon. Dino Melaye, while the PDP candidate from Ekiti North took over Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi of the APC.
Senator Mark scored 99,538 votes to defeat his opponent of the APC, Daniel Onje, who scored a total vote of 50,115, while Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP Abia South scored 1011433 to beat his challenger from the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, that had 70,502 votes.
Senator Bassey Otu who was forced out of the PDP won the senate seat for Cross River South, on the platform of the Labour Party defeating governor Liyel Imoke’s candidate and godfather of Calabar politics, Chief Geshorm Bassey of the PDP as well as Senator Banabas Gemade who also lost the PDP primary ticket to governor Suswan was returned on the APC platform.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Deputy Senate President, Uche Anichukwu, said that Ekweremadu, PDP, Enugu West was declared winner having polled 120,075 out of the 123,286 valid votes cast in the Saturday, March 28 senatorial election.
According to Anichukwu, the result, which was announced at Awgu Collation Centre by INEC returning Officer, Professor Fab Onah, showed that 10 candidates contested the election with Ekweremadu’s closest rival, Honourable (Mrs) Luisa Achieze of APC, who scored 2,314 votes.
Senator Ekweremadu in his acceptance speech said his election was a renewal of a political covenant with his people.
He thanked the electorate of Enugu West, the PDP family, clergies, traditional institutions and his members of staff for standing by him when the going was tough.
He said, “About six months ago, it was rather difficult for many people to believe that we would get to this point but eventually, we are here today. It is another evidence that there is God in heaven and I give Him all the glory.
“My commitment to Enugu people and Enugu West in particular has been renewed today. For me, I have the responsibility to serve them much better. I am conscious of the fact that my primary responsibility as a parliamentarian is to make laws and to oversight the executive.
“Also, I am committed to seeing to it that my people are well catered for by providing infrastructure and attracting projects generally to Enugu State and Enugu West in particular. I am committed to empowering the people to ensure they earn a living.”
He, however, stressed that unity of the people, irrespective of political leanings and disagreements was imperative for accelerated development, assuring that his representation would accommodate everyone.
“As for all those who were not particularly in support of my re-election before now, I bear no grudges. I would like to say that we are indeed one people and we are going to march together to the Promised Land; let everybody come and let us work together in the interest of our people.”