By Gbenga Oke
MOVES by some outgoing state governors to go to the Senate suffered a setback at the just concluded 2015 general elections as only four of them made it while four sitting governors lost their bids.
Before the 2007 elections, the idea of governors running to the Senate after governing their states for eight years looked unattractive but since the 2007 elections, former governors have found a new home in the National Assembly.
6th National Assembly (2007-2011), five governors
The sixth National Assembly had Senator David Mark as Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
The Assembly had five former governors, namely: George Akume who was former Governor of Benue State; Chimaroke Nnamani (former Governor of Enugu State); Adamu Aliero, former Governor of Kebbi State; Bukar Ibrahim, former Governor of Yobe State and Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State.
7th National Assembly (2011-2015), six governors
The seventh National Assembly witnessed more former governors joining the fray. Bukar Ibrahim, George Akume and Ahmed Makarfi retained their seats. They were joined by former Governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, former Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje and former Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr Abdullahi Adamu.
8th National Assembly Winners (2015-2019), 12 govs
In the 8th Assembly, there will at least 10 former governors. They include George Akume, Bukola Saraki, Adamu Abdullahi, Danjuma Goje, Sani Yerima,
Godswill Akpabio – (Akwa-Ibom)
Governor Godswill Akpabio will conclude his term as Governor of Akwa-Ibom State by May 29, 2015. The man with the popular acronym of “uncommon transformer” will then move to the Senate to continue his political sojourn. For Akpabio, he has always maintained that the decision of some serving governors to go to the Senate should not be a threat to serving senators or any Nigerian as this will bring healthy competition for Nigeria’s democracy.
Akpabio polled 422,009 to defeat Chief Inibehe Okorie of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who recorded 15, 152 votes and he will be representing Akwa-Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the Senate.
Jonah Jang — (Plateau)
Air Commodore Jonah David Jang was elected Governor of Plateau State in April 2007 but prior to that, he had previously served as Military Governor of Benue State and Gongola State.
He is also the factional Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. Mr. Jang won with 234,455 votes, defeating the APC Candidate Eunice Sambo, who scored 221,274 votes. Jang has been declared winner of the senatorial election for Plateau North.
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano)
Mohammed Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso was Governor of Kano State between 1999 to 2003. He was re-elected for a second term as Governor on 26 April 2011. Mr. Kwankwaso contested on the platform of the APC against the incumbent Bashir Lado of the PDP. Mr. Kwankwaso scored 758, 383 votes to defeat Mr. Lado who got 205, 809 votes and he has been declared winner of Kano Central Senatorial District.
Governor Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto)
Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko was elected governor of Sokoto State in April 2007 under the platform of the PDP. He defected to the APC in 2014.
He scored 225,642 to defeat the present senator representing the zone on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Maccido who scored 65, 692. He will be representing Sokoto North Senatorial District.
Theodore Orji (Abia)
Theodore Ahamefule Orji was elected governor of Abia State on May 29, 2007 and re-elected on April 26, 2011. He was formerly a career civil servant and served as the Chief of Staff to Abia Governor Orji Uzor Kalu.
Governor Theodore Orji was declared winner for Abia Central Senatorial zone with 65,653votes against his rival, Mr Emmanuel Nweke of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), who polled 46,070 votes.
Sam Egwu (Ebonyi)
Sam Ominyi Egwu is a member of the PDP. He was Governor of Ebonyi State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed him Federal Minister of Education in December 2008. In the last election, he was elected to represent Ebonyi North Senatorial District.
However, some governors failed in their bid make it to the Senate.
Gabriel Torwua Suswam (Benue State)
As a sitting Governor, many believed the Senate contest between him and the former PDP Chairman, Chief Barnabas Gemade who contested on the platform of APC will be a tight one. But it was not so as Gemade polled a total of 140, 715 votes while Suswam had 118,603 votes.
Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger State)
He is one of the most outspoken governors in this outgoing dispensation. He is also the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and his loss to David Umaru of the APC still remains a mystery.
Many had thought the Governor who is always loud will defeat his opponent but the reverse was the case as David Umaru polled149,443 votes against Gov Babangida Aliyu who managed to score 46,459 votes.
Governor Isa Yuguda (Bauchi State)
There were evidence of disaffection between Isa Yuguda and other PDP stalwarts in the state ahead of the general elections and this played a major role in the PDP te losing all seats to the APC.
It was also evident that Operation flush PDP out’, which became the slogan after the Presidential elections will affect Yuguda as the state voted en-mass for General Buhari.
Yuguda was roundly defeated by Ali Wakili of the APC who polled 341, 708 votes to defeat Governor Yuguda who got 115, 575 votes.
Governor Saidu Nasamu Dakingari (Kebbi State)
Governor Saidu Dakingari is hardly heard except on rear occasions. He was a bit prominent during the administration of the late Yar’Adua because he got married to the former’’s daughter. His plan to proceed to the Senate just like his former boss, Adamu Aliero received stiff opposition from the state as he was defeated by APC’s candidate, Bello Argungu, who scored 139,197 votes while Dakingari got 70,148 votes.