The Nigerian National Assembly will now wear a new look after many supposedly strong senators lost their constituencies to new entrants in the February 23 elections. Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is currently announcing results for the presidential election in the 36 states and the federal capital territory, results for the national assembly have been trickling in from the commission’s collation centres across the country.
The results, so far, has exposed the frailty of some key political figures. Sitting senators and governors lost out in the bid to get seats in the senate. While some newcomers joined the house of representatives. The election has brought to the limelight “underdogs” like 35-year-old Tajudeen Adefisoye from Ondo state. Here is a highlight of some of the biggest winners and losers in the legislative poll.
Speaker of the house of representatives, Dogara, is getting his fourth run to represent Dass/Tafawa/Balewa/Bogoro constituency of Bauchi state. Dogara, who ran under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 73,609 votes to defeat Dalhatu Kantana, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 50,078.
The constituency, according to Dogara, has “set a record as the first in Bauchi state to return a member to the house of representatives for fourth consecutive term.” Some of his supporters felt his defection from the APC would affect his chances.
Oloriegbe, the APC candidate for the Kwara central senatorial district, coasted to victory in his second battle against Senate President Bukola Saraki. He polled 123,808 votes to maintain a clear lead over Saraki who secured 68,994 votes in the election. The Lai Mohammed-led “O to ge” movement has been adduced as the major reason Saraki lost his re-election. For Oloriegbe, this is a major achievement.
Kalu, former governor of Abia state and APC candidate for Abia north senatorial district, was declared winner in Saturday’s election. He polled 31,203 votes to defeat Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP and incumbent senator, who scored 20,801 votes.
Kalu has been seeking political relevance since he ended his tenure as governor in 2007.
Another surprise and perhaps historic win is that of Adefisoye, the 35-year old candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who was declared winner of the Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency seat in Ondo state. Adefisoye, popularly known as Small Alhaji, polled 16,186 votes to beat his closest rival, Kayode Akinmade of the PDP.
He will be one of the youngest members of the federal house of representatives.
Dahiru of the APC won the Adamawa central senatorial seat, making her the only female senator-elect so far in northern Nigeria. According to INEC’s returning officer, Dahiru scored 188,526 votes to beat Murtala Chibado of the PDP who scored 96,530 votes.
Dahiru’s win seems like a “replacement” of sort as Binta Garba, a senator representing Adamawa north, lost her bid to return to the upper legislative chamber. She is the only female senator from the north in the 8th assembly.