- The political wave in the build-up to the 2023 general elections has begun to spread across the 36 states of the federation
- States like Benue, Ondo, Kogi, Bayelsa, and a few others have recorded winners and losers in their various primary elections
- However, one of the most talked about is the senatorial primaries of the PDP in Kogi West where former lawmaker Dino Melaye lost to Hon. T.J Yusuf
As party primaries continue across the country and with the big one, the guber primaries, holding today, May 25, drama, intrigues, name-calling, and defections will reign across political parties in the country.
Already, individuals have expressed dissatisfaction after losing their various positions to political opponents.
In this report, Legit.ng looks at some of the dramas breeding animosity among party leaders that may result in the formation of new camps and ideologies.
In Benue State, a House of Reps member, Francis Otta Agbo, who sought a return for a second term to represent the Ado, Okpokwu, and Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, was defeated by Barr. Aida Nath Ogwuche. This development has shaken political activities in the zone to their foundations as many believe Otta deserved a return ticket due to his performance.
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Horse trading, legal actions, and defection are possible in the foreseeable future if not almost immediately.
Efforts by Legit.ng to reach Agbo directly proved abortive, hence a direct reaction could not be obtained at press time. A source, however, told Afripost that Agbo was pushed away because of his longstanding disagreement with Abba Moro, the Senator representing Benue South.
The source could not authenticate his claim but insisted that Otta had been fighting political gladiators in Idomaland.
Similarly, in Kogi State, a former senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial ticket to a serving House Representatives member, Hon. T.J Yusuf. Melaye, after losing alleged a serious gang-up against him and his aspiration.
Though Dino did not give further details on the gang-up, it’s believed that all is not well in the PDP family following his open support for Atiku Abubakar as against other presidential aspirants. It’s yet clear if Melaye will move on without a fight.
In Ondo State, two serving senators lost their re-election bids. Senators Patrick Akinyelure of Ondo Central and Nicholas Tofowomo of Ondo South both lost at the party’s primary which held in Akure. Senator Akinyelure lost to Mr. Ife Adedipe (SAN) while Senator Tofowomo lost to a former deputy governor of the state, Mr. Agboola Ajayi.
Though serious reactions have not emerged from the outcome of the primary yet, it’s safe to say that as incumbent senators, they may seek their tent elsewhere or be the spoilers in the coming national elections.
A reaction from Senator Akinyelure shows that he is not giving us just yet.
The senator 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 about 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.”
The situation was not different in Bayelsa State as the lawmaker representing Ogbia Federal Constituency, Mr Fred Obua was defeated by 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.
Already, the Senate Minority Leader, Enynnaya Abaribe who is eyeing the governorship seat in Abia State has withdrawn from the contest, threatening that a new dimension to his aspiration would be announced soon.
Aberibe complained of an imaginary 3-man ad-hoc delegates before his resignation. There are reports that the senator will be dumping the PDP soon, to pitch a tent with another popular political party in the state. The senator has not said this openly yet.
What is expected to happen
According to history and going by the Nigerian political structure, after every primary, there is usually a serious disagreement among party members. While some will be engaged in the throwing of tantrums, others will proceed to court to challenge the outcome.
It’s expected that the aggrieved may form an alliance to either decamp to other political parties in order to pursue their aspiration or stay in the party to play the job of spoilers.
Those who may likely leave the party, according to a party chieftain who does not want his name in print are those seeking a return to the senate and governors seeking to return to the senate.
“Yes, some will definitely decamp. Someone like Aberibe for instance feels disappointed over the handling of issues and may be quitting to leave for another party.”
Whatever be the case, this is an era we can’t predict as all politicians can move once they feel an opportunity lies somewhere.
2023: APC chairman, Adamu meets with Jonathan ahead of crucial primary, details revealed
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) has intensified their attempt ex-President Jonathan to the party.
However, reports have it that Jonathan will only obliged to the call if only he is assured of an automatic ticket.