Saturday, 28 October 2017

15 Senators that may not return to the red chambers in 2019

Unlike in other countries where legislative business is one that requires experience gained by uninterrupted stay at the legislative chambers, Nigeria has been used to frequent changes of its lawmakers across the three tiers of government.
The reasons may not be far-fetched from the peculiarity of our political system and sphere. Except for very few individuals who have remained in the national assembly since 1999, the return rate has continued to drop.
Suanu’s Blog hereby x-rays 15 Senators that may most likely not return to the red chambers in 2019. In no particular order, they include;

1. Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso: He is the Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District and former Governor of Kano State. Kwankwaso is also the leader of the socio-political group, Kwankwasiyya known for their white kaftan and red cap. Sooner after handing over power to his former deputy as Governor, Kwankwaso has been in what appears to be an unending political battle with Gov.Ganduje. With the current Kano State Govenor controlling the state chapter of the APC and majority of its delegates, Kwankwaso may find it difficult to either return to the Senate or achieve an overwhelming home support for his rumoured presidential ambition in 2019. It is unclear if his popularity can still secure him a return should he defects to another political party to pursue his political course.

2. Senator Ike Ekweremadu: The Enugu born Lawmaker is one of the most ranking members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Thanks to the unholy political romance between his party and the Saraki Boys of the APC that he benefitted from and launched himself into retaining his deputy senate presidency position. This has earned him the hatred of some top ranking members of the ruling party, many of who will certainly be plotting against His return to the red chambers in 2019. Aside that, Ekweremadu’s major challenge may be coming from the home front in 2019 as there are strong indications that He will be having a strong opponent to contend with in the 2019 General Elections. Suanu’s Blog has gathered that a former governor of the state who hails from the same Enugu West senatorial district with Dr.Ekweremadu and who is now a chieftain of the ruling APC have concluded arrangements to sack him (Ekweremadu) in 2019 and take his seat in the red chambers. If the plot of the ex-governor succeeds, then the current Deputy Senate President may just not make it back to the senate.

3. Shehu Sani: The President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria turned politician has not been able to differentiate life as a politician in Nigeria from life as is required in civil society activism. Sani has left no stone unturned in criticizing even the fart of Gov.Nasir Elrufai, though they belong to the same political party. Many political observers are of the opinion that Sani’s unending criticism of Elrufai isn’t out of love for Kaduna People but towards replacing Gov.Elrufai in 2019. But there are serious fears, Sani may lose the war from both fronts as he may not smell the Kaduna State Government House or be able to return to His seat in the red chambers. This may not be unconnected to a silent plot by Gov.Elrufai to cut Sani to shape by ensuring that He doesn’t get the party’s ticket for reelection in 2019. If this works out, defecting to another party and contesting therefrom may not secure the needed success Senator Sani desires to retain his seat. If the odds turn out entirely against him, then we may just miss him at the red chambers in 2019.

4. Senator Dino Melaye: No senator today is as controversial as the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District. The former member of the House of Representatives and acclaimed anti-corruption activist has continued on his war path with his state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. A quick way to punish Melaye is the ongoing plot to recall him that he has consistently accused his state governor of masterminding. Apart from the likely secret hand of Gov.Bello in ending Melaye’s political career, a sizeable number of Melaye’s constituents appear to be genuinely angry at his style of representation, and his extravagant and flamboyant dispositions while they are at constant war with poverty back home. If Senator Dino survives the recall plot against him, strong forces against him back at home will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that he doesn’t return to the red chamber in 2019 by denying him a return ticket.

5. Senator Ben Bruce: Known more as a business magnate, Bruce felt the necessity of the juicy nature of Nigerian politics and opted to have a taste of it. With zero popularity in his home state of Bayelsa, the Twitter Senator had made an unsuccessful attempt to become the governor of the oil rich in 2011. Bruce however launched a return to the political scene in 2015 when when he contested for the senatorial seat of Bayelsa East under the umbrella of the PDP. The unarguably fact remains that Senator Ben Bruce never merited that victory right from the primary election (if any actually took place). He was simply imposed on the people and benefitted from the known undemocratic tendencies that characterized the PDP era. As strange as it was, Ben Bruce was said to have defeated an immediate ex-former of the state of Bayelsa. With stories of underperformance, underrepresentation and accusation of been an Abuja-based senator, it is unclear if Bruce may return to the senate in 2019. Especially if the mercenaries of Gov.Dickson which perfected his victory should withdraw their arsenal or if the people should revolt against him and demand for a more people-friendly representative or perhaps if the opposition party should bring up a more viable, vibrant and dogged candidate against Bruce, the tsunami may just push him back to his Silver bird gallery.

6. Senator Theodore Orji: If not for the pursuit of sheer greed, the likes of Chief Theodore Orji shouldn’t be anywhere close to our legislative chambers. Known best as one of the architects of Abia’s underdevelopment, Orji currently represents Abia Central Senatorial District under the PDP. He has been among the sleeping/dormant gang in the national assembly with little or no contribution to show for being there. If His constituents wake up to the reality that they need a better representation, if he is confronted with a virile opposition candidate or if the rumoured rancor between him and his successors lingers, then He may simply be retired from the red chambers in 2019.

7. Senator Buruji Kashamu: He is an internationally wanted drug baron and billionaire who in a bid to avoid arrest and extradition dabbled into politics. He currently represents the people of Ogun East Senatorial District in the national assembly. Buruji appears to still enjoy the massive support of his people despite the illicit stories that continually trail his person and character. Thanks to the hunger among his people that continually pushes them to his residence to line up to collect cash and rice during festive period. Kashamu’s major problem is from his party, the PDP. He was/is a strong supporter of Sen.Ali Modu Sheriff who many believed was on a mission to give the PDP a final burial except for the Supreme Court that saved the party. After the defeat of Sheriff, some top members of his party have refused to forgive Kashamu. Even at that, Kashamu has also refused to give up. He has shifted the battle to his state chapter of the PDP securing several injunctions against the position/decision of his party concerning the state leadership of the party. If the battle continues, Kashamu may end up been pushed finally out of the party and thereby will lose a chance of seeking reelection under the party’s platform. With some of his men having defected from the PDP to another party, it is unclear if Kashamu can still retain his seat at the senate if he decides to join them any time soon if the heat in the PDP becomes unbearable for him.

8. Senator Osinakachkwu Ideozu: He is the only surviving senator from Rivers State on the platform of the PDP. He is one of the beneficiaries of the Wike political dynasty in Rivers State which was hatched in 2015. Ideozu just like others benefitted from the widespread rigging that characterized the 2015 General Elections in the state. Fortunately for him, he survived the series of rerun legislative elections and judicial interpretations that shaped the Rivers State elections. As the state chapter of the APC consolidates on its narrow victories and plans to massively take over the state in 2019, there are indications that Senator Ideozu may be swept away especially if Gov. Wike fails to deliver Him.

9. Senator Mao Ohuabunwa: Representing Abia North Senatorial District, He is one the senators that had a sustained battle before securing his seat at the red chambers. Sen.Mao’s major challenge came from a former governor of Abia State who contested against him in 2015. While Mao managed to have won at first attempt, his victory song was cut  short by the Court of Appeal which annulled his declaration as winner. He however narrowly won the rerun election that held on March 6, 2016. Having defected from the PPA to the ruling APC, Dr. Uzor Orji Kalu may not have given up on going to the senate. Considering the lean line between the votes of Mao and Kalu, add that to the fact that despite his defection, he still retains majority of his previous support base and the new support and advantages that may accrue to him from his new party, a decision by the Abia billionaire to contest for same position in 2019 may pose a serious threat to the return of Senator Mao to the red chamber. Specifically while Mao scored, 26009 votes to win, Kalu got 25814 (a difference of just 195 votes) while Bourdex Onuoha scored 13633 votes. Interestingly, both Bourdex and Kalu have defected to the ruling APC.

10. Senator David Mark: He is one of the privileged lawmakers to have endured the red chambers from 1999 till date. The former Senate President was almost knocked out of the national assembly by a young vibrant Comrade Dan Onjeh during the 2015 elections. While Mark’s initial victory was annulled, he reclaimed his mandate through a rerun election held on February 20, 2016. After the narrow victory that returned him, Mark has remained deaf and dumb in the national assembly with some Nigerians referring to him as Chairman of the Sleeping Committee. If Mark chooses not to retire in 2019, then there are strong indications that he may not be that lucky again due to the general non-performance that is characterizing his current mandate at the senate.

11. Senator Jonah Jang: This is obviously a member of the Mark’s sleeping committee who has remained so dull and dormant at the senate. The former plateau state governor who is one of the oldest senators represents Plateau North Senatorial District. He is one of those ex-governors who see the senate as a retirement joint to continue to be paid with tax payers’ money for doing nothing absolutely. Being a member of an opposition party in his state plus his sealed lips and sleeping eyes at the senate, any strong opponent in the 2019 general elections may ensure Senator Jang doesn’t return to continue his slumber in the red chamber again.

12. Senator Ali Ndumi: The former Senate Leader who has been on suspension represents Borno South in the national assembly. Apart from his legislative headaches and the recent controversies of landing a heavy slap on the face of a member of the Borno State House of Assembly, the embattled lawmaker is not a peace with his state governor, Kashim Shettima who Suanu’s Blog gathered is against Ndume’s bid to succeed him. If the former house of representatives member does not put his political house in order and seek reconciliation with those at war with him, they may use the mercenaries of the party at their disposal to deny him the elective ticket of the party to seek reelection into the senate in 2019 or any other political office he may opt for.

13. Senator Biodun Olujimi: The rugged woman of Ekiti politics represents Ekiti South in the senate and also occupies the position of the deputy minority whip. The former deputy governor of Ekiti State is currently at war with her former boss and current governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose. Suanu’s Blog gathered that Olujimi’s recent war with Gov. Fayose is due to her ambition to contest the 2018 governorship election in which Gov.Fayose has already anointed his current deputy to be the sole candidate of his party, PDP. With majority of the party members including delegates been loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose, He doesn’t only have the powers to scuttle the governorship ambition of Olujimi but to also frustrate her alternative return to the senate in 2019 for not being loyal to him.

14. Senator Stella Oduah: The former Aviation Minister known for her multi-million naira scandal represents Anambra North at the national assembly. She benefitted from the easy access granted to her on the platform of the PDP due to her cordial relationship with ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. However with the exit of Jonathan and her recent stand against the decision of the party over the conduct of its governorship primary election in Anambra State, Ex-Governor Peter Obi who seems to solely hold the key of the PDP in the state in His pocket may decide to mobilize his men to pay her back in 2019 by denying her a return ticket of the party to the senate.

15. Senator Isah Hamma Misau: If you cannot remember anything about Sen.Misau, at least you will remember the ongoing IGPGate. The senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District has leveled weighty against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and in the process has indicted others including Gov. Ambode, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and even the President’s Wife, Aisha Buhari. Political sins they say are never forgiven. Considering the embarrassment that his allegations have caused to some very high profile persons mentioned in his ongoing war with the IGP, there are indications that the affected persons may use the apparatus loyal to them in the Bauchi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC to ensure that Sen. Misau is denied a reelection ticket on the platform of the party.

How these will turn out to be is just to be determined by the outcome of the 2019 General Elections. The list above however may not be exclusive.