The fall of political juggernauts in National Assembly elections



Uba Group

What could be described as a shocker in the just concluded National Assembly elections is the loss of the senatorial seats of some prominent Nigerian governors who are known in the country’s political arena for calling shots in their domain. Also, a lot of the experienced lawmakers, including ranking members, who sought re-election, were disappointed, as they lost out to presumed political neophytes. But these candidates that managed to poll an intriguing vote’s margin are known to be strong men in the political landscape of their territory.

The fate of many Nigerian governors gunning to be relevant in politics, even after the end of their tenure in 2023, has already been decided by the election results conducted on Saturday, February 25. The outcome of the election revealed that the biggest politicians can be defeated even in their own territory.

While some of the politicians won, others lost their home base to opposition parties and even a party that is less than a year old, the Labour Party. The Labour Party candidates in some states defeated candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the candidates of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

The election was not an easy contest for candidates who belonged to the PDP and the APC as they saw a new level of opposition in the polity because some were defeated hands down in their own constituency.


Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State lost his senatorial bid to the Labour Party candidate for the district, Okechukwu Ezea. Ugwuanyi, the People’s Democratic Party candidate for the Enugu North Senatorial District election held on Saturday 25 February, is rounding off his second term as governor.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross State equally lost his senatorial ambition to the incumbent senator representing the Cross River North, Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe of the PDP, who polled 76,145 votes.


Governor Darius Ishaku, the PDP candidate, lost his senatorial election to the candidate of the APC, David Jimkuta. Declaring the results of the election in Wukari, the INEC returning officer for the election, Solomon Adeyeye, said Jimkuta polled 85,415 votes to defeat Governor Ishaku of the PDP who polled 45,708 votes.


The Governor of Plateau State, who is also the Director General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, lost his bid to clinch the Plateau South Senatorial District seat. The APC candidate lost his senatorial election bid to Rtd AVM Bali Ninkap Napoleon of the PDP. While announcing the results, the Returning Officer, Meshak Goyit declared that Bali Napoleon of PDP scored a total of 148,844 votes to defeat Governor Lalong of APC with 91,674 votes while Tobias Nda of LP scored 17,325 votes.


The Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, also lost his senatorial election bid to the candidate of the PDP, Muhammad Adamu Aliero. Aliero, a former governor of the state, won the Kebbi Central senatorial election, defeating the incumbent Bagudu. Bagudu is the chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, the body of APC governors. Aliero polled 126,588 votes against Bagudu’s 92,389 votes, as declared by Abbas Bazata of the Federal University Birnin Kebbi.


The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, failed to secure the senatorial seat to represent his people in the National Assembly. Ortom lost election for the Benue North West Senatorial seat to his former aide, Titus Zam, of the APC. Declaring the result, the Returning Officer, Rufus Shaa’ato, said Zam polled 143,151votes to beat Ortom of the PDP who polled 106,882 votes, while Mark Gbillah of the Labour Party (LP) polled 51,950 votes.


The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi won the February 25 parliamentary election, to represent Ebonyi South Senatorial zone in the Nigerian senate’s next legislative tenure. Umahi, who is the candidate of the APC, scored a total of 28,378 votes to defeat his rivals, Linus Okorie of the Labour Party, who scored 25,496 votes and Eleje of All Progressives Grand Alliance who scored 11,398 votes.



Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State won the senatorial seat of Niger North Senatorial District under the platform of the APC. Sani-Bello scored 100,197 votes to defeat his closest opponent of the PDP, Shehu Abdullahi who scored 88,153 votes.


After a long court battle, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, finally won, by a landslide, the Senatorial election for Yobe North, in Yobe State. The Senate President, candidate of the APC, reclaimed his seat of power having polled 91,318 votes.


In Anambra State, Tony Nwoye, a former House of Reps member, is heading for the senate for the first time to represent Anambra North constituency after defeating incumbent, Stella Oduah of the PDP. Nwoye ran on the platform of the LP. Meanwhile, PDP’s Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere is also going to the lower chamber for the first time to represent Ideato North and South. Ugochinyere ran on the platform of the PDP.

The candidate of the Young Progressives Party, Ifeanyi Ubah, emerged winner of the Anambra South senatorial district election. Ubah retains his seat after scoring 73,115 votes. He defeated his closest rival, Chris Azubogu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, who polled 45,369 votes.


In Imo State, INEC has announced the winners of the Saturday 25th National Assembly elections. Though in a few federal constituencies, the electoral umpire has yet to conclude the processes. Also declarations made so far by the INEC have been rejected by some political parties and their candidates. In Aboh Mbaise/ Ngor Okpala federal constituency, Mattew Nwogu of Labour Party was declared winner of the election having defeated Albert Agulanna PDP and his APC counterpart. Nwogu scored 19,813 votes to beat his PDP counterpart who scored 15,400 while APC came second by pulling 8,234 votes. A serving lawmaker Mirriam Onuoha of the APC defeated Chikwem Onuoha of Labour Party in Okigwe Federal Constituency.

The ex-deputy speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Jonas Okeke of PDP stopped the third term bid of Chike Okafor of APC in Okigwe federal constituency. In Mbaitoli/ Ikeduru Federal Constituency, it was inconclusive but Uche Ogbuagu of the Labour Party was leading followed by Akarachi Amadi of the APC.

In Oru East/ Orlu/ Orsu Federal Constituency, Canice Nwachukwu of APC defeated Kingsley Onyegbula of PDP while Engene Dibiagwu of APC also stopped a serving lawmaker Kingsely Uju of PDP from making his second term bid in Oguta ta/ Ohaji Egbema/ Oru West federal constituency. The Nkwerre/ Nwangele/ Isu/ Njaba federal constituency was declared inconclusive but Ugonna Ozurigbo of the PDP is leading followed by Harrison Nwadike of the APC. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere of PDP was declared winner of the election in Ideato North/ Ideato South federal constituency having defeated the LP candidate Paschal Obi.

In Ezinihitte Mbaise/ Ahiazu Mbaise Federal Constituency, Emeka Chinedu of PDP defeated Darlington Amaechi Labour Party. In the election conducted in the three Senatorial constituencies in the state, Osita Izunaso was declared winner of the election for Imo West district (Orlu zone) having defeated the LP contestants. Izunaso pulled 73,687 votes to beat Charles Ugochukwu Ahiz who scored 32,496.

In Imo East (Owerri zone) a serving senator Onyewuchi Ezeanwa pulled 100,631 votes to defeat his opponent in PDP who gathered 87,229 votes. In Imo North (Okigwe zone) the APC candidate Patrick Ndubueze floored PDP and LP candidates to be declared winner of the election.


Chief Whip of the Senate and candidate of the APC, Orji Uzor Kalu, retained his seat as he emerged victorious in the Abia North Senatorial elections The former governor of Abia State polled a total of 30,805 votes to defeat his major opponent, Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP, who polled 15, 175 votes while Nnamdi Iroh of the Labour Party got 25,540 votes. BAYELSA STATE The Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Henry Seriake Dickson, has also been re-elected.

Interestingly, a week before the poll, nine candidates stepped down for Dickson and declared their support for his re-election bid. Dickson received 115,257 votes, beating out Peremobowei Ebebi of the APC, who received 17,541 votes, to be declared the senator-elect.


Candidates of the APC have all been declared the winners of the three senatorial seats in Lagos State, recording landslide victories across the National Assembly slots. Former Deputy Governor, Idiat Adebule, won the Lagos West senatorial election, polling 361,296 votes to defeat her main challenger of the PDP, Segun Adewale, who scored 248,653 votes.

INEC also returned Tokunbo Abiru as the winner of the Lagos East senatorial election. The INEC Returning Officer for the election, Simeon Adebayo Oladipo, who declared the results in Somolu, said Abiru polled 178,646 votes to defeat the candidate of the PDP, Akodada Nicholas Adekunle, who garnered 80,249 votes. Abiru is the incumbent senator representing the senatorial district. Lagos Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun, defeated PDP’s Gomez Adewale Francis to clinch the Lagos Central Senatorial District.

Eshinlokun garnered 131,828 votes, while Francis polled 69,320 votes and OIadeji Blessing Tunde of the Young Progressives Party scored 14, 941 votes to become the second runner-up. APC has also cleared the House of Representatives seats in Lagos, with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila being elected for the sixth time. APC won 20 of the 24 Reps seats in the just concluded federal elections.


Ned Nwoko PDP (Delta North) won the 2023 Delta North senatorial election. Nwoko of the PDP scored 92,514 votes, to defeat Ken Kanma of the Labour Party, who polled 86,121 votes. INEC also declared the member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Francis Ejiroghene Waive, as the winner of Saturday’s election. The Returning Officer for the Constituency, Mary Edema, announced the results at INEC collation office in Ughelli, Delta State.

Waive is the candidate of the APC and he defeated the candidates of the PDP, Solomon Ahwinahwi and Labour Party in the keenly contested election. Edema said Waive of the APC polled 42,226 votes from the three councils to win the election.


Ireti Kingibe of the Labour Party emerged as the winner of the Federal Capital Territory Senate seat. INEC Returning Officer, Sanni Saka, announced the result on Tuesday, February 28, in Abuja. Ireti polled 202,175 votes to emerge as the winner.


The PDP in Kaduna State has recorded a high number of legislators-elect, who will be first timers in the Senate and House of representatives in the coming 10th National Assembly. Besides, the party recorded victory in the three senatorial zones in the state, comprising Kaduna North, Kaduna Central and Kaduna South.

Dan Amos of PDP was also declared winner of the National Assembly election for the Jema’a/Sanga Federal Constituency of Kaduna State. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai of the APC, the eldest son of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, won the House of Representatives seat in the Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.


In Edo State, a former governor of the state and ex-national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole was declared winner of the senatorial election for Edo North. According to INEC, Oshiomhole defeated incumbent Francis Alimekhena of the PDP by 107, 110 votes to 55, 344 votes. In Edo Central, Monday Okpebholo scored 41, 334 votes to defeat LP and PDP with 32,574 votes and 25,225 votes respectively. It was the first time PDP will lose the seat in the district. Prince Odi Okojie, husband to Nollywood’s Mercy Johnson won the House of Representatives seat to represent the people of Esan in Edo state.

The politician contested to represent the constituency at the House of Representatives on the platform of the APC and won. LP candidate, Neda Imasuen won the Edo South senatorial election as he polled 167,250 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mathhew Iduoriyekemwen of the PDP who garnered 61,749. Valentine Asuen of the APC scored 57,933, candidates of the AA scored 369 votes, ADC, 1909, ADP, 1022, NNPP, 2279, NRM scored 581, SDP 400, and ZLP 2670 respectively.


The incumbent House of Representatives member representing Langtang North,/Langtang South Constituency, Beni Butmak Lar (PDP) won a record fifth term in office in the National Assembly following Saturday’s polls. Lar was declared the winner after polling 42, 008 votes to defeat her closest rival Vincent Venmak Bulus of the ruling APC, who scored 21, 345, and former minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, who came a distant third, in Plateau state.


The APC won in eight federal constituencies in Oyo State. The PDP, on its own part, won four federal constituencies in the state. The four federal constituencies won by PDP include Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/ Iwajowa, Ogooluwa/Surulere, Ibarapa Central, Ibarapa North and Ibadan North West/Ibadan South West. APC also won the three senatorial seats in the state; Oyo South, Oyo North and Oyo Central.

The son of former Oyo State Governor, late Adebayo Alao-Akala, Olamiju, also won a seat in the House of Representatives. The young Akala of the APC won the election to represent the people of Ogbomosho North/South/ Oriire Federal Constituency. The former Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government Area polled 33,268 votes to beat his close rival, Olufemi Onireti of the PDP, who scored 27,126 votes.


In Ogun, former Governor Gbenga Daniel was declared winner of Ogun East. He will replace Olalekan Mustapha, who withdrew during the primary. Daniel recorded a landslide victory with 115,147 votes to defeat the PDP and LP candidates, who polled 58,708 and 13,061 votes respectively.

Daniel will have to lean on the shoulders of a ranking senator, Olamilekan Adeola, who won election to represent Ogun West Senatorial District. Adeola scored 112,887 to defeat his closest rival, Ganiyu Obanibasiri, of PDP, who scored 60,189 votes. Adeola is replacing Tolu Odebiyi, who is the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the March 11 election. Shuaib Afolabi Salis won in Ogun Central.

Salis is the former Chief of Staff to the state governor. He will be replacing the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun at the red chamber. Also, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka will lead the pack of newcomers to the House of Representatives. Ogun has nine House of Representatives seats. Isiaka, a first class accounting graduate of University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and three-time governorship candidate in the state, won the Egbado North and Imeko-Afon Federal Constituency election.

Isiaka had contested on the platform of the People’s Party of Nigeria in 2011, PDP in 2015 and African Democratic Congress in 2019. Adegbesan Joseph of the APC won the ticket to represent Ijebu-North/East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency.

He defeated the current Deputy Minority Whip, Segun Adekoya of the PDP. The Returning Officer, Adeyemi Bamgbose said, Adekoya polled 25,450, votes while the APC candidate garnered 35,708 votes. The House of Representatives member representing Remo-North Federal Constituency on the platform of APC, Mrs. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, won the election. She polled 32,686 votes, defeating Bola Oluwole of the PDP, who scored 24,658 votes, and Damilare Michael George of LP who polled 8,111 votes. In the Egbado-South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, APC candidate, Abiodun Akinlade, was declared winner of the election.

The Returning Officer, Ola Jacob, said Akinlade polled 26, 171 to defeat the PDP candidate who polled 22,573 votes. In Abeokuta South Federal Constituency, Afolabi Afuape of the APC was victorious, polling 19,891 to beat Toyin Amuzu of PDP, who scored 13,663. Afuape was a Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state.


In Ekiti State, incumbent Senator Biodun Olujinmi (PDP) lost to Yemi Adaramodu (APC) by 63189 votes as against 36051 votes for Ekiti South. But Opeyemi Bamidele scored 69,351 votes as against 26181 votes recorded by Lateef Adegbite (PDP to retain his seat for Ekiti Central. In Ekiti State, five elected candidates into the National Assembly are going into the House for the first time.

There are three Senate seats and six House of Representatives for Ekiti, out of which one Senate candidate representing Ekiti North, is new, while the other two are returning either as senator or member of the House of Representatives. APC candidate, Cyril Fasuyi, polled 54, 224 to defeat his PDP challenger, Funso Ayeni, who scored 39,976.

Fasuyi, a businessman, was the Director General of the Biodun Oyebanji governorship campaign, being a new entrant to the upper legislative chamber, he would be learning the ropes of the legislative process.

Four candidates who won election to the House of Representatives are also new to the legislative business, while two others, including Femi Bamisile representing Ekiti South 2, as well as Olusola Fatoba, representing Ekiti Central 1, are returning to the green chamber. The candidate representing Ekiti North Federal constituency 1, Rotimi Akintunde, polled 25,517 to defeat his closest rival, Daramola Abimbola, who scored 14,542 Akintunde was a Nollywood actor and the former SSA Communication to the immediate past governor, Kayode Fayemi. He would be going to the National Assembly as a green horn, hoping to learn the art of legislation fast.

The candidate for the Ekiti Central 1, Omoleye Abiodun, who scored 29,296 to defeat the PDP challenger who was a former media aide to ex-governor, Ayodele Fayose, Lere Olayinka, who scored 11, 504. Omoleye was former caretaker Chairman of Ijero Council and the Chief of Staff to Fayemi. He would be relying on his experience in government to provide the desired legislation. The APC candidate for Ekiti North 2, Kolawole Akinlayo, scored 23,701. He defeated his PDP challenger, Ajayi Babatunde, who scored 20,186. Akinlayo is an oil magnate and private businessman.

He has no legislative experience. The candidate of the APC for Ekiti South, Air Vice Marshall (AVM), Ojuawo Rufus, defeated the closest challenger, Akomolafe Heinrich, by 30,699 to 19, 699. Ojuawo, a retired AVM, is an aviation expert, who supervised the construction of the Ekiti International Cargo Airport that is expected to bring his experience to bear in the relevant standing committees of the House of Representatives.


The PDP won all the three senatorial seats in Rivers State in the result released by INEC. In a statement by its Public Affairs Officer, Geraldine Ekelemu, in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the commission announced the winner of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District as Mpigi Barinada of PDP with 53,734 votes to defeat his closest APC rival, Ngoofa Nyimenuate, who polled 24,123 votes.