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Senate

By Dayo Johnson, Henry Umoru, Samuel Oyadongha, Marie-Therese Nanlong, Chioma Onuegbu, Emem Idio, Femi Bolaji  & Shina Abubakar

THERE were major upsets during the Senate and House or Representatives primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held across the country, yesterday.

Akinyelure, Tofowomo lose in Ondo

In Ondo State, two serving senators in Ondo lost their re-election bid.

Senators Patrick Akinyelure and Nicholas Tofowomo, who represent Ondo Central and South Senatorial Districts respectively lost at the party primary, held in Akure.

While Senator Akinyelure lost to Mr Ife Adedipe, SAN, Senator Tofowomo was defeated by a former deputy governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi.

In the Northern Senatorial area, Adetokunbo Modupe defeated Foluso Adefemi to emerge the party’s candidate.

Speaking with Vanguard, Adedipe, who said this was the first time he would be contesting for elective office, said: “It is the PDP that has won and not Ifedayo. It is the party that conducts a free and fair election. My fellow aspirant should see this as a vote for all of us.  We will require all hands on deck. This primary is based on existing law. What the law is, what they have followed.”

But reacting to his defeat, Senator Akinyelure said: “As a ranking Senator and with all I have done for them in Ondo Central Senatorial District, the three ad-hoc delegates that favoured Olusegun Mimiko, were instructed to vote me out. I am happy for this but I know my God will never fail.

“The election was so transparent but I know that with the volume of what I have done for Ondo Central Senatorial District, I did not expect to be paid this way. But I have a destiny that nobody can stop.”

Serving Reps member loses as winners emerge in Bayelsa

Another upset was recorded in Bayelsa State as the lawmaker representing Ogbia Federal Constituency, Mr Fred Obua, yesterday, lost his bid to return to the National Assembly for a second tenure as he lost the primaries to the chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area, Ebiyon Marvin Turner.

Turner also defeated the incumbent member representing Ogbia Constituency 1, in the State House of Assembly, Chief Metema Obordor and the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson.

Elsewhere in Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency, Mr Rodney Ambaiowei was declared winner, while the ticket for Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency was clinched by Mr Oboku Oforji, the incumbent lawmaker representing Yenagoa constituency I. Prof Steve Azaiki, the incumbent PDP member representing the Federal Constituency did not contest the primary as he chose to serve a single term.

Ishaku, deputy clinch PDP Senate tickets

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, emerged the PDP senatorial flag bearer for Taraba South.

His Deputy, Haruna Manu, also won the ticket for Taraba Central Senate seat in the 2023 general elections.

Ishaku, who was unopposed polled a total of 154 votes to clinch the ticket.

For Taraba central, Manu defeated Muhhamad Abana with 143 votes

The Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Shuaibu Isa Lau also polled 92 votes to emerge the flag bearer of PDP for Taraba North.

His closest contender and former Commissioner for Agriculture, David Kassa polled 73 votes.

Bassey, Enoidem, Sampson win in A-Ibom

In Akwa Ibom State, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Aniekan Bassey; a former National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mr Emmanuel Enoidem and former Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr Ekong Sampson emerged as senatorial candidates of the party in the state.

Bassey emerged winner for Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) Senatorial district, Enoidem for Akwa Ibom NorthWest (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial district and Sampson for Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial district.

For Uyo Senatorial district held at Ibom Hall ground, Bassey polled 272 votes, Enoidem  got 329 votes for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial primary, while at Special Protection Unit of Nigeria Police Force Base 27, Awa Iman in Onna LGA, Sampson scored 368 votes to emerge winner for Eket Senatorial primary.

There was heavy security presence at all the three designated centres where the primaries held across the state.

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Fielding questions from newsmen after the exercise was concluded at Ibom Hall Uyo, the member of PDP Senate Primary Election Committee, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Edward Odugbesan, described the exercise as peaceful and orderly.

But reacting to the boycott of the exercise by some aspirants, who alleged a pending Court matter over Ad-hoc delegate Congress, party’s state chairman, Mr Aniekan Akpan said: “In Akwa Ibom, we work on the directive of the National Working Committee of the party and that ends it. Akwa Ibom State is just a chapter of the party.”

Adeleke’s ex-campaign DG emerges Osun West candidate

In Osun State, former Director-General of the Senator Ademola Adeleke campaign organisation,  Mr Lere Oyewumi, yesterday, emerged the Senatorial candidate for Osun-West District.

The former council chairman, in the primary held at Iwo, defeated his kinsman and former Chief of Staff to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Elder Peter Babalola with 278 votes to 43.

The exercise in Osun-East was postponed.

The party’s Director of Media, Oladele Olabamiji, said the exercise for Osun-East Senatorial district was postponed due to security issues.

Earlier on Sunday, Soji Adetunji emerged the party’s candidate for Ifelodun Federal Constituency; Nathaniel Arabambi, for Ikire federal constituency; Wole Oke, Obokun/Oriade federal constituency; and Bamidele Salaam, Ede federal constituency.

Others include Adewale Mahruf, Osogbo federal constituency; Clement Akanni, Ila federal constituency; and Taofeek Ajilesoro, Ife federal constituency

Lar, Gyendeng, others emerge winners

In Plateau State, the lawmaker representing Langtang North/Langtang South federal constituency and a four-term member, Beni Lar, picked the ticket to contest for a fifth term in 2023. 

Peter Gyendeng, who represents Barkin Ladi State constituency, won his election as he seeks to represent the Riyom/Barkin Ladi Federal Constituency.

The State PDP Publicity Secretary, John Akans, said the primaries were transparent and peaceful, and  “all the aspirants were happy with the transparent manner in which the election was conducted. The House of Assembly primaries that started on Sunday ended peacefully in all parts of the state. The results have been declared and the people are happy with the outcome of the exercise. The House of Representatives primaries have been concluded and results declared in some constituencies.”

Rivers gov primary under threat 

In Rivers State, there are strong indications that PDP primary to pick a candidate for the party to contest the election was under threat.

The lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, Farah Dagogo, was removed and prevented from the screening exercise of his party after submitting all the required documents.

Consequently, Dagogo has gone to court to challenge the action.

Dagogo, in a suit before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, is asking the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, or any of its officers or agents from monitoring the conduct of the PDP primary election for the governorship position for Rivers State scheduled for May 26, 2022.

He is also urging the court not to allow INEC to send any of its representatives on the scheduled fixed primary without his name on the list of contestants for the primary election, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.

Dagogo is seeking “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC either by itself or any of its officers or agents from monitoring the conduct of PDP primary election for the gubernatorial position for Rivers State on May 26, 2022, or any other date fixed, without the name of the Plaintiff on the list of contestants for the said primary election pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.”

Meanwhile the  Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo has ordered the PDP and INEC to show reasons why the party’s gubernatorial primaries should hold in Rivers State without the plaintiff, Farah Dagogo.

Justice Taiwo ordered the PDP and INEC to show cause on May 23, 2022, why Dagogo’s application seeking injunctive orders against the PDP and INEC in respect of the PDP gubernatorial primary election for Rivers State should not be granted.

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