When he joined the governorship race in Akwa Ibom State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2006, Nsima Ekere brought freshness, excitement, instant connection with the youths and a troove of ideas on how to build a peoplecentred government that was lacking in the politics of the state.
He was the youngest aspirant and his background as a successful businessman with strong social investments was direct challenge to the politics-as-usual of his home state. Indeed, in a state where government is the only business, Ekere’s pledge to raise world-class entrepreneurs resonated positively everywhere but it also ruffled the feathers of vested interests and political rent-takers. When he lost that primaries and was later picked as running mate to the eventual winner, Obong Godswill Akpabio, the system revolted, forcing him to withdraw his candidacy.
He returned in 2011, running as deputy to Akpabio. But his tenure as the state Deputy Governor was short-lived as he resigned on October 31, 2012. His decision to contest the governorship in 2015 received a major boost being an indigene of the Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District whose turn it was to produce the governor.
Ekere’s plan did not find accommodation in Akpabio’s calculations. Whereas, Akpabio’s intendment was to pick his successor from Akwa Ibom South senatorial zone, Udom Emmanuel, hurriedly drafted into politics as Secretary to the State Government, and not Ekere, was his preferred choice. Both men hail from neighbouring local government areas; while Ekere is from Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Emmanuel, who is now the incumbent governor, is from Onna Local Government.
Ekere, along with other aspirants were shut out of the PDP primaries and eventually out of the party. He was to pitch his tent with another influential politician in the state, Umanah Okon Umanah, in the All Progressives Congress, APC. Both of them had worked assiduously together to transform the APC in Akwa Ibom. He had actually supported Umanah in the 2015 governorship election in order to upstage PDP’s Udom Emmanuel. Their effort had, however, fallen through. Interestingly, about six years after his ill-fated governorship odyssey, Ekere is once again engrossed with the same enterprise, this time round on the APC platform.
The state-wide calculations and permutations remain the same: Akwa Ibom South Senatorial zone is to produce the governor of the state for eight years since the other two zones, to wit: Akwa Ibom northeast and Akwa- Ibom northwest senatorial zones had already produced governors for two terms of eight years each from 1999 to 2015 with Architect Victor Attah and Godswill Akpabio respectively. Ordinarily, Emmanuel Udom should have been allowed to effortlessly retain his mandate for a second term that will terminate in 2023 to pave way for the governorship position to rotate to the northeastern zone of the state.
However, his below-par performance, growing unemployment in the state ranked second highest in the country and rapidly decaying public infrastructures, have prompted widespread calls for change in a state where two terms have almost become standard for all governors. It is Ekere’s audacity at disruptive politics that has understandably excited the Akwa Ibom polity ahead of the 2019 governorship election.
The concern has been the fate of the statewide zoning arrangement if Ekere wins. Will he serve for only one term and allow power to rotate to the northeastern zone? At a recent meeting with leaders of the northeast zone, Ekere had assured he would not deny them their rights come 2023. In fact, he has said repeatedly that what one cannot achieve in four years as governor, he cannot achieve in eight, which has been interpreted to mean that he can deliver on his vision in one term of four years.
As it is, the politics of 2019 and journey to 2023 are primary for now. What happens in 2023 going forward is in the womb of time and should be left for time to decide. It is in the context of the political exigencies of the moment preponderated by the alignment and realignment of political forces, and coupled with the imperativeness of playing mainstream politics, that the APC machinery in Akwa Ibom has become massively capacitated and Ekere’s aspiration has received an unimaginable state-wide boost.
Interestingly, Akpabio, who stood between him and the PDP governorship ticket ahead of the 2015 governorship election, is now in the APC with him. Akpabio joined the APC after the structures of the party had been clinched by Ekere, Umanah, Senator John Akpan Udoedeghe, a former minister and others whom he met on ground. And there are feelers that Umanah, a strongman of Akwa Ibom politics and current Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, has since decided to throw his weight behind Ekere.
In the circumstance of the political alignment and realignment of forces, the former governor, Akpabio, who is currently a senator, is likely to have been saddled with a fait accompli in Ekere, who, according to feelers has been able to build pervasive political structures in the nooks and crannies of the state. As current managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ekere has done very well for Akwa Ibom State and in deed the entire region in just 20 month of taking charge.
Political analysts say that presiding over the Commission with an annual budget of over N400 billion and a tenure of four years with an option to renew for another term of four gives him greater personal advantage than the murky waters of state politics.
But a close associate says, Ekere’s politics has never been about him but the burden of responsibility for transformational leadership that benefits the greater number of people and communities across his Akwa Ibom State, which is what he has demonstrated so far at NDDC.
While the Commission under his leadership has judiciously deployed its annual budget to intervene in the nine NDDC states in line with its mandate, it has also taken steps to address a perceived injustice against Akwa Ibom, the leading oil producing state in the country. At NDDC project distributions are weighted along state oil production quotas. Which means that as the number one oil producing state, Akwa Ibom should enjoy the highest number of projects in cumulacumulatve value.
Ekere told the press recently that “this was not what we met on ground. The current Board has been magnanimous enough to redress this.” Which explains why Akwa Ibom is said to be benefitting massively from the current infrastructure development drive of the Commission with more than 400 projects ranging from roads, power, water supply, renovation of classroom blocks, supply of learning facilities, etc.
Akwa Ibom is also the centre of an innovative entrepreneurship development hub undertaken in partnership with SMEDAN and a pilot state for the planned regionwide digital learning initiatives in partnership with the a host of technology firms including Digital Learning Institute and Microsoft.
Besides, Ekere, who is seen as “governor” of the nine NDDC states in terms of directing and influencing the development narratives in the areas, has, by insisting on implementing the NDDC policy of using local talents for local projects, empowered many indigenes of Akwa Ibom State that a grateful state is now urging him to return home and take charge as governor.
Such is the passion he has unleashed that the state government has become so uneasy with Ekere and the NDDC, turning down requests for official visits and chasing contractors out of sites of NDDC projects.
Indeed, the APC is aware that it has an uphill task to dislodge the PDP and Governor Udom Emmanuel in the state. That awareness is panning out well in favour of Ekere who looks good to enjoy the overwhelming support of APC stakeholders in the state. It is possible that he may emerge as a consensus candidate in the interest of a united APC that is expected to go into the general election as a common front in the overall bid to bolster the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the state.
Interestingly, Ekere, who is a native of Ikot Oboroenyin, Edemaya clan, was born on May 29, 1965. If he wins the election, he will celebrate his birthday on the day he will be inaugurated as governor.
Double celebration! He had chaired the Akwa Ibom Investment and Industrial Promotion Cou cil, AKIIPOC, the investment arm of the state government. He was also chair of Ibom Power Company, the independent power generating company owned by Akwa Ibom State. He was recently conferred with an honourary doctorate degree by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Much more than the honour is the massive support of the people that he would leverage on to split the votes of Akwa Ibom South senatorial zones with Governor Udom Emmanuel. Akpabio is expected to deliver his Akwa Ibom northwest to Buhari and by extension the APC and its governorship candidate. Akwa Ibom Northeast senatorial zone which is angling to produce the governor in 2023 is expected to weigh the situation and decide whether to push for Ekere or Udom in political contemplation that will yield fruits from 2023.
Ekere, popularly called ONE, and acronym for Obong Nsima Ekere, attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and graduated with a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Estate Management in 1986. He had attended Regina Coeli College, Essene, Ikot Abasi, and Mary Knoll College Ogoja, Cross River State. He was briefly at The Polytechnic, Calabar, from 1981 to 1982.
A Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (FNIVS); Registered Member, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVRBN; Senior Certified Valuer, International Real Estate Institute, IREI, Minnesota, he began his political career in December 1997.
He had contested and won election into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on the platform of the Grassroots Democratic Movement, GDM, one of the five political parties registered under the Abacha Transition.
He had before joining politics been a passionate private sector player where he was Principal Partner of Ekere and Associates, a firm of estate valuers and real estate development consultants, which was established in 1993. He had, in 1989, set up Gassons Nigeria Limited, an indigenous anti-corrosion, environmental, fabrication/maintenance engineering company.
•Usoro wrote in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
Beneficiaries of PDP’s rot don’t want Buhari to return – Adiukwu
Mrs. Oluremi Adiukwu was a commissioner and one-time governorship candidate in Lagos State. In this interview, she speaks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid. OLALEKAN OSIADE reports
Some people are of the view that Nigerians will reject President Muhammadu Buhari at the polls in 2019. What is your take on that?
Nigerian voters are among the most enlightened electorate around the world, even our aged parents in the rural areas are more enlightened than we think when it comes to deciding who they vote for. So, those calling for change must tell the good people of Nigeria what they may not know about the gains of the present administration. It is the people who will decide. Come to think of it, the change they are calling for, who will it benefit? Is it the people of Nigeria who yearned for good governance for 16 years, while the PDP was in power, or a few PDP chieftains who are tired of life outside government just four years in the cold? I don’t think they are thinking about the people. I strongly think they are only calling for change to satisfy their desire to grab power again.
Check the list of people opposing the Buhari government; I mean look deep and see those calling for change today, they include parliamentarians, policemen, Customs officials, Immigration officials and civil servants, who benefited from the corruption of the past. They are unhappy with the honesty of the present government and are calling for change, so that they can go back to business as usual. They are worried, not for you and me, but that another four years of Buhari will crumble whatever remains of their dreams of endlessly looting of the country. They are bothered that their hidden loots would be discovered. They are afraid of policies of the current government that has made it difficult for them to continue to steal from the people while pretending to be working for the people.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be getting more popular. Aren’t you worried about that as the clock ticks to the elections?
Nigerians will still reject PDP in 2019. Mark my words, PDP will perform worse than it did in 2015. The leaders of the party also know they cannot win. The process and outcome of their convention showed that they cannot win. They know Nigerians are yet to forget how they raped the country for 16 years. Buhari came and within three and a half years, he has done so much. I want to believe the change they are calling for will not happen because we already have the change we desire. So, to the best of my knowledge, Nigerians across the country are waiting to ask the PDP and its candidates a lot of questions, when they hit the streets to campaign for the 2019 general elections. It will be a time to answer for the many years of atrocities committed by that political party and its leaders against the people of this country. I am very confident that PDP and its flag-bearers would be rejected by Nigerian voters at the polls. I am waiting to hear what they will campaign with. What on earth will they tell Nigerians? Will they come with the same promises they failed to fulfill in 16 years? Will they deny all the atrocities? I am sure Nigerians will never return PDP to power.
But the party is banking on its promise on restructuring to win the presidential election. Isn’t that a good strategy?
PDP can never restructure Nigeria and it is not good for the party to promise what it cannot do just because it wants to win election. I can say this categorically because I have been a chieftain of the PDP for many years. I operated at the very top of the party’s echelon for all those years. I was part of many decision making processes within the PDP and as such, I can say I know what the party and its chieftains hold dear. Restructuring is not one of the things PDP believes in. They can jump on the band wagon now and proclaim their readiness to restructure Nigeria for the purpose of deceiving people and winning elections. The leaders of the PDP and some of us, who were with them, but left because of their insincerity, know that PDP has no plan to restructure the country.
Importantly too, restructuring means different things to different people in Nigeria today. It is a term that is now being misunderstood. It is only due to this misunderstanding of the term that we will still be seeing people, who previously openly opposed the call for restructuring, now saying they plan to carry out restructuring. When APC was championing restructuring all these years, PDP opposed it. Why the sudden change in tune as election approaches? By the time you interview six people, you are likely going to have six diverse meanings and or explanations for the same word. For me, restructuring is another simple way of describing true federalism. The reorganisation of the status quo, hopefully, for a better result, is what I understand restructuring to mean. There is no better way to explain the term in the context of what Nigerians want and what Nigeria needs now than to equate it with true federalism.
It is not the same as mere constitutional amendment. It is far more than that. Constitutional amendment is one of the ingredients needed to make restructuring possible. There are others like referendum. For me, restructuring is more than just the redistribution of power, resources in the country. That is what this is all about to some people. That is why somebody can tell you resource control is the solution to the country’s problem. Others will say it is zoning that will solve all our problems. I don’t think so. I believe these are just part of the issues we need to consider when discussing the whole issue. True federalism will address all these and more. So, Nigerians must be careful of what they believe. PDP cannot and will not carry out any restructuring even if it returns to power for 100 years. They had 16 years to do it, why didn’t they? APC has started the process; let us allow the current administration enough time to finish it.
The agitation for restructuring is as old as our democracy, if not older. Yet, no government has successfully addressed the call. But if you ask me, I will say before now, it has been a deliberate omission on the part of successive administrations. It is not possible to say that no government understood the call enough to address it. That was definitely not the case. Rather, I will say it is because the previous ruling parties benefit from the lopsided arrangements. With the centre as strong as it is, any ruling party would not be very eager to make a change. The power at the centre is quite enormous and anyone ruling will not want to whittle this down. Making the required change will need great selflessness and patriotism.
And what Nigeria lacked all along are selfless and genuinely patriotic leaders. Unless we put such people who will look beyond personal interest and group satisfaction and consider national interest above party interest, it will be difficult to get a ruling party or government that will holistically and genuinely address the agitation for restructuring. That is the difference now. President Buhari’s selflessness is making it possible for the current government to move fast, very fast, towards restructuring. To those who see nothing being done yet, I want to tell them to be more patient. If we have to do it, let us do it well once and for all. There is no better way than for us to sit down and discuss the issue as a people. That is the only way because it has become an issue in Nigeria and we cannot wish it away. It must be handled with maturity and wisdom. For once, the people must be allowed to say what they want. PDP cannot speak for Nigerians about restructuring.
The PDP says it has repositioned and rediscovered itself. Do you agree with the party on that?
By their fruits we shall know them. If truly they have repented of their sins as they say, many of us would not have left the party. Nigerians must beware, PDP cannot change. The impunity that ruined the party continued well beyond 2015. I was a candidate in the last convention of the party to elect national officers. We all know what transpired. A few people are still dictating the pace in PDP and such selfishness is driving people away from them. Those who had proved beyond any doubts that they have no good intentions towards the party are not being sanctioned. A few people will threaten to deal with the party and the whole party will go begging. They will quickly change their plan and agree to the dictate of just one person or group of persons irrespective of what the majority want.
If you now consider how money-for-votes and systematic rigging was brazenly perpetuated during their national convention, you will quickly remember that ‘a leopard cannot change its spot.’ At that convention, PDP got reduced to a regional party as the South-West chairmanship candidates were frustrated by in such brazen manner. The party is still not bigger than individuals or groups within the party. Those who want to be leaders through the courts are also not allowing the party to have peace. When they have ensured that impunity had been dealt with, and individuals or groups no longer dictate for the majority, they can say PDP is truly ready to repent of its terrible ways.
Opposition cannot derail my government – Abubakar
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauch State speaks in this interview with ALI GARBA on the controversies that trailed the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, his emergence as governor in 2015 and efforts aimed at reconciling aggrieved members of the party
The battle for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in Bauchi State has been won and lost, what is your next move having secured the ticket?
Let me begin by thanking Allah for his mercies that he has always bestowed on me. I must also thank the good people of Bauchi State for reposing confidence in me for repeating what they did in 2015, as the political soothsayers said, I came from the blues, so to speak and everybody saw me coming, but I did and Allah in his infinite mercies gave me the victory as the candidate and ultimately, the victory as a governor. People failed to realize the kind of fight I had to fight in 2015. I had the sitting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that is the party in power from Bauchi State. I had the minister of the Federal Capital Territory from Bauchi State and I had a PDP sitting governor in Bauchi, yet Allah in his infinite mercy gave me the victory. I had strived to remain true to the oath I swore to work for the good people of Bauchi State and to be fair to all manner of people in Bauchi State without showing any preference to anybody.
Ours has been a very difficult task; people need to understand the basis upon which we were operating before they understand whether or not we are doing well. Take for example, our wage bill, which is as a result of a bloated civil service that we inherited; we have a total of 105,000 people on the payroll. The payroll is N5.7 billion every month, so you can imagine that some months, we will go to Abuja and we will be unable to get the amount needed to pays salaries, yet for close to two years, salaries have been a thing of the past in Bauchi State. It is no longer an issue. You are witnesses to the fact that any period there is a celebration of any religious festival in the state, I pay salaries before the end of the month. So I have conquered that problem, but what that means is that at the end of the day, I have little or nothing to take care of other aspects of the work for the people of Bauchi State. But that notwithstanding, we have strived to work for the good people of the state. I say without any fear of contradiction that the three years plus of APC government is better than the 16 years of the PDP and anybody who has lived in this state will tell you that.
What steps are you taking to bring harmony in the APC in the state and to reconcile with aggrieved aspirants?
In 2015 when I won the governorship primaries of the APC, I visited each and every contestant in his home to solicit for their support and back the APC during the elections. Some agreed while some did not. Some, who agreed, later changed their minds. I will give you an example; Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, I visited him twice. The first time I visited him, he said that he would consider, later on, he invited me to come and meet with his campaign organization. I went back, I met with them and we reached an agreement. and today, the chairman of Giade local government who was Dr Lame Director General of campaign is my appointee. So, I have shown good faith in every respect and I am going to attempt the same thing. I have already spoken to the elder brother of one of the aspirants to speak to him and I want to build on that because my aim is to as much as possible have harmony in the APC.
On the disagreement between members of the National Assembly and I, a lot of people choose to report bad news, they don’t care about good news. When we started, out of the 12 members of the National Assembly, there were only three with me, today, nine of them are with me and I think that is a great achievement and a giant stride at peacemaking. We have ran the most harmonious relationship between the legislative, executive and judicial arms of government in the last three years plus and that attests to the fact that I am a peace maker.
Did you initially objected to indirect primary election?
That is not correct. There was a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the APC in which the President and the Vice-President were present. A decision was taken at the meeting that the presidential primaries will be done direct, while for states, their state executive committees should meet and determine for themselves the mode they prefer. In my own state, I was not even there when the state executive committee met on the issue; I was in far away China with Mr. President. They were the ones who decided on indirect, but the national headquarters of the party turned that decision to direct. So naturally, I went to the national headquarters of the party and drew their attention because when I first saw it, I thought it was a typographical error. I went and told them that the state executive committee chose indirect and you said direct. When they insisted, I said okay, let’s do direct primaries. We did direct primaries, yet my opponents are not satisfied. So, I don’t know which one they want us to do. May be, we have to invent another mode of primaries before they will now accept.
There were allegations that you used the state apparatus to manipulate the governorship primary election, how true is that?
I don’t know anything about that. In the first place I did not conduct the election. If you have followed developments, the state executive committee of the party met while I was in China with Mr. President. They took a decision in line with the decision of the National Executive Committee of the APC that they wanted indirect primary. This same people that are crying foul now, were the ones who said that if an indirect primary is conducted, all the delegates belong to the governor, so the delegates will elect the governor and not them, but if a direct primary is conducted for them, the governor is not popular with the people, so they will elect them and not the governor. Now that the direct primary has been conducted, they are still crying foul. So, I don’t know what we will now do to appease them. Maybe, we will ask the Almighty God to send angel from above to come and conduct this election before they can accept the result.
We have done everything within our powers, the national headquarters sent a committee, comprising of two professors as chairman and secretary and very eminent personalities as members of that committee. We sat with all the contestants in the morning before any activity commenced, they asked all the questions, they gave all their complains and all their questions were answered. They accepted and consented to what the committee planned to do. The rest they say is now history. When they realized that they were losing the election, they went out to address the press and cried foul. They said we were intimidated them, intimidating how? This is a contest within the APC; some of them claimed that they were the owners of APC. It is a contest in their homes, so why are they crying foul? They said that I am the outsider, they own APC, they did merger, they did everything before I even joined and it was a contest within the APC.
I think that members of the committee sent from the national headquarters of the party conducted themselves very well. They were even celebrating when the chairman of the committee said that he was not going to follow tradition; that he was not going to pay me a courtesy visit as governor of the state. I told the chairman ‘don’t worry sir, I understand, you do not have to.’ The first day they said the election was going to take place, we used officials and members of the party to conduct the election, but when the chairman heard of the cries of these other contestants, right from Abuja, he contacted the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and asked them to have members of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to conduct the election and I did not object. So, there is no truth in the allegations they are making. They are just bad losers. They did the same thing when I was a new entrant in the party. They went up to the Supreme Court with their case, boasting that they will kick me out and swear in one of them. It did not come to pass. So, I am not losing sleep, I will do my best to live in peace within the rank and file of the APC.
Are you not worried that the rancour within the APC may affect your chances in the 2019 election?
That has not crossed my mind at all and let me tell you that rancour is the second name of politics. Politics is about disputes and settlement of disputes. If you join politics and everywhere is quiet, then you should be concerned that something is wrong somewhere. So, we will disagree, but we will find a way of agreeing and that is what politics is about. Rancour or no rancour, what gets you elected is what you succeeded in achieving for the people. I think my stake here is to work for the good people of Bauchi State and they are appreciative of my works. If anyone of you have followed trends of events, there are local government areas of the state where the first day of election failed, the people resolved that they were going to come out the following day to double their support for their governor because they suspected something was planned against the governor. The result of the election you have seen is restricted to the number of ballot papers brought from Abuja. If they have brought the ballot papers equal to the number of APC registered members, you would have seen that this number is just a fraction of what we have gotten in the election. So, we are on course, we don’t have any fear.
Unending defection in Reps
PHILIP NYAM reports on the gale of defections in the House of Representatives, which began on June 2, 2016, when two members elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dumped their platform for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and has continued unabated
The framers of the Nigerian Constitution were not unmindful of the harm unguarded defection of legislators could cause to the polity, which explained the wisdom behind the provision of section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The section states that: “A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if (g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected; provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”
But this constitutional provision aimed at curbing lawmakers both at the federal and state levels from jettisoning the platforms on which they were elected at the slightest reason, seems to have been defeated given the way legislators have been jumping ship at will in the present dispensation.
In the House of Representatives, the defection journey began on June 2, 2016, when two members of the opposition PDP abandoned it for the ruling APC. Since these two lawmakers opened the floodgate, it has been one defection after the other, peaking with the defection of 37 lawmakers from APC to PDP and ADC on July 24, 2018.
Hon. Tony Nwoye representing Anambra East/West federal constituency of Anambra State and Hon. Emmanuel Udende representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo federal constituency of Benue State were the first to jump ship from the PDP to the APC on June 2, 2016. Udende has since returned to the PDP but was not lucky as he was denied a ticket to contest the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
On February 21, 2017, Hon. Emmanuel Isaac Ukoette, representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency of Akwa Ibom defected to the APC. His defection was shocking to many considering the fact that Akwa Ibom is a predominantly a PDP state. On March 22, 2017, Hon. Hassan Anthony Saleh representing Ado/ Ogbadibo/Okpokwu federal constituency of Benue State, who was elected on the platform of the PDP, defected to the APC.
However, he has returned to the PDP although he could not secure a ticket for the 2019 polls. On May 17, 2017, Hon. Edward Pwajok, who represents Jos South/ East federal constituency of Plateau State elected on the platform of the PDP defected to the ruling APC. Pwajok, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Plateau State, had his defection witnessed by the state governor, Simon Lalong. It was the turn of Hon. Ben Nwankwo and Hon. Anayo Nnebe, both from Anambra State defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on April, 14, 2017.
The duo claimed that there was division in the state chapter of the PDP. On December 18, 2017, Hon. Raphael Igbokwe, representing Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte federal constituency of Imo State defected from the PDP to the APC. Two days after (December 20, 2017), Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma representing Egor Ikpoba Okha federal constituency of Edo State defected from the PDP to the APC.
He claimed that PDP shut the door against him after the court ruling in favour of Senator Ahmed Markafi against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. The defection assumed an alarming dimension when on July 24, this year a total of 38 lawmakers dumped the parties on which they were elected. Thirty-two defected from APC to PDP, four left APC for African Democratic Congress (ADC), while one left PDP for United Progressive Party (UPP). The lawmaker, who dumped ADC, was uncertain of the party to join.
The members that defected from APC to ADC were Sunday Adepoju (Ibarapa East/Ido federal constituency of Oyo State), Olugbemi Samson (Oluyole federal constituency of Oyo State), Taiwo Michael (Egbeda Ora federal constituency of Oyo State) and Olasupo Abiodun (Iseyin/Iyesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency of Oyo State).
Those who dumped APC for PDP were Garba Umar (Samaila/ Takai federal constituency of Kano State), Olayonu Tope (Ifelodun/ Offa/Oyun federal constituency of Kwara State), Ahmed Garba (Bichi federal constituency of Kano State), Kabiru Marafa (Sokoto), Za kari Mohammed (Baruten/Kaima federal constituency of Kwara State) and Abubakar Amuda-Kanike (Ilorin east/Ilorin South federal constituency of Kwara State).
Others were Aliyu Sani Madaki (Dala federal constituency of Kano State), Hassan Saleh (Ado/Ogbadibo/ Okpkwu federal constituency of Benue State), Aliyu Ahman- Pategi (Edu/Moro/Patigi federal constituency of Kwara State), Mark Gbillah (Gwer West/Gwer East federal constituency of Benue State), Shehu Usman (Kano State), Aminu Shagari (Shagari federal constituency of Sokoto State), Nuhu Danburam (Kano), Razak Atunwa (Ilorin West/Asa federal constituency of Kwara State.
Also on the list were Salisu Zakari (Ningi/Warji federal constituency of Bauchi State), Hassan Omale (Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro federal constituency of Kogi State), Rufai Chanchangi (Kaduna South federal constituency of Kaduna State), Abdulsammad Dasuki (Tambuwal federal constituency of Sokoto State), Sani Zoro (Gumel/ Maigarari/Tarkar/Gargarawa federal constituency of Jigawa State), Benjamin Okolo (Bassa/ Dekina federal constituency of Kogi State), Funke Adedoyin (Ekiti/ Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Adun federal constituency of Kwara State), Bode Ayorinde (Owo/Ose federal constituency of Ondo State), Bashiru Salihu (Sokoto State) and Barry Mpigi (Rivers State).
The rest were Nasiru Sule (Gwarzo/Ikabo federal constituency of Kano State), Segun Ogunwuyi (Ogbomosho North/ Ogbomosho South/Oriire federal constituency of Oyo State), Lawal Rabiu (Lere federal constituency of Kaduna State), Sani Mohammed Rano (Rano/Bunkure/Kibiya federal constituency of Kano State), Dickson Tarkighir (Makurdi/ Guma federal constituency of Benue State), Musa Ado Tsamiya (Gezawa/Gabasawa federal constituency of Kano State and Emmanuel Udende (Katsina Ala/ Ukum/Logo federal constituency of Benue State). Hon. Tony Nwulu, representing Oshodi/Isolo federal constituency of Lagos State defected from the PDP to the UPP.
The gale of defection resumed last week, when three members of the lower chamber changed parties. While two members dumped the ruling APC for the PDP, the third left the PDP for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Yisa Orker-Jev representing Buruku federal constituency of Benue State formally announced his defection from the APC to the PDP.
Similarly, Hon. Joseph Akinlaja who represents Ondo East/West federal constituency of Ondo State dumped the PDP for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), while Olatoye Temitope representing Lagelu / Akinyele federal constituency of Oyo State jumped ship from APC to Action Democratic Party (ADP). Announcing his defection, Orker- Jev, who resigned from the APC on July 24, without declaring a new platform, said: “On the 24th of July, 2018 during plenary, I announced my resignation of membership of APC. I said then that I would make my next step known after due consultation with my people.
The consultations took place and I registered my membership with the PDP on the 4th of August, 2018. Meanwhile, the last may not have been heard of the defection in the House as more members are likely to dump the two main parties – APC and PDP – in the coming. New Telegraph investigation reveals that most them are aggrieved because they were denied tickets to seek re-election in 2019. At least, more than half of members of the House lost their bid to secure their parties tickets to seek reelection in 2019.
Some of the lawmakers who lost out in the primaries include Abiodun Akinlade (APC, Ogun), Nnenna Ukeje (PDP, Abia), Dickson Tarkighir (PDP, Benue); Hassan Saleh (PDP, Benue), Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi); Emmanuel Udende (PDP, Benue) and Emeka Ujam (PDP, Enugu).
Others are Bukar Goni Lawan (APC, Yobe), Mohammed Sani Zoro (PDP, Jigawa), Linus Okorie (PDP, Ebonyi), Mohammed Zakari (PDP, Kwara), Abubakar Chika Adamu (APC, Niger), Abdullahi Kontagora (APC, Niger), Prestige Ossy (APGA, Abia), Saliu Adamu (APC, Niger), Aliyu Ahman Pategi (PDP, Kwara) and Joan Onyeamachi Mrakpor (PDP, Delta)
Politics17 hours ago
Abe hails S’Court verdict, Amaechi insists on primaries
Metro and Crime16 hours ago
I gave fake prophesy to get money –Church founder
Metro and Crime16 hours ago
Teenage guards held for attacking, robbing Innoson Motors’ lawyer
Metro and Crime16 hours ago
Robbers invade police division, injure DPO, others
Politics16 hours ago
Biya: Seventh term for Cameroon’s strongman
Politics15 hours ago
Unending defection in Reps
Metro and Crime16 hours ago
Flood: Anambra residents cry out over looming epidemic
Politics14 hours ago
Beneficiaries of PDP’s rot don’t want Buhari to return – Adiukwu