Politics

Names of Lawan, Akpabio on APC senatorial candidates list spark row

By TUNDE JOSHUA

During the weekend, names of 109 senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) believed to have been forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) surfaced online and flooded the social media.

But two of the names attracted comments from Nigerians as APC members and nonmembers alike expressed surprise about the inclusion of Ahmad Lawan, current President of the Senate as candidate for Yobe North and former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio for Akwa Ibom North West.

It was a known fact that Lawan bought a N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms to contest the APC presidential primary which he lost. There was no evidence that he obtained senatorial form, neither did he participated in the party’s senatorial primary election. Rather, Bashir Machina won the primary contest and was declared elected as APC senatorial candidate in Yobe North.

There has been insinuation of attempts to pacify Machina to drop the senatorial ticket for Lawan to continue the parliamentary career which he started in 1999.

Attempts were allegedly made by party leaders in Yobe State and at the national level but Machina held to his gun that he will not surrender his mandate to anybody.

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So, it came as a surprise to see that the name of Bashir Machina was replaced with that of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. Other names on the list for Yobe State are that of the state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam for Yobe East and Senator Mohammed Bomai for Yobe South. Repeatedly vowing to resist attempt to make him swallow the hard pill of withdrawing for Lawan, Machina was said to have decided to take legal steps to reclaim his mandate.

On the other hand, on the Akwa Ibom list was the name of Senator Gofdswill Akpabio whose election as a candidate was nullified on the ground that INEC did not reckon with the process through which he emerged. Recalled that INEC rejected the primaries which produced Godswill Akpabio as APC candidate in Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district Akwa Ibom State APC Chairman, Mr. Stephen Ntukekpo, had said he was directed by the party at the national level to carry out a re-run over alleged infractions. According to the result of the rerun senatorial primary election, Akapbio emerged the winner with 478 votes, while DIG Ekpo Udom (rtd), who won the first primary, secured just three votes. But the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, said the commission would only recognize the winner of the primaries monitored by INEC.

He denied the claim that the commission monitored the re-run APC senatorial primaries, where Akpabio emerged the winner, The Trumpet gathered.

“The primaries were concluded on the 27th of last month, so I don’t know what you are talking about. The one that was conducted was monitored by INEC and the report has been submitted to Abuja. “INEC is not aware of any senatorial primaries conducted on Thursday (June 9) that was monitored by INEC, none,” he stated.

The REC also affirmed that the APC has no governorship candidate in the state, saying the governorship primary where MrAkanimo Udofia emerged the winner was not monitored by INEC. In a counter- allegation, Akpabio’s camp said Igini, as the INEC resident electoral commissioner in Akwa Ibom State is encouraging illegality. He was alleged to have pitched his tent with a state party executive that is not recognised by law.

“The duly recognised exco of the party in the state is led by Stephen Ntukekpo and not by Austin Ekanem that had been sacked by the Appeal Court. Igini claimed to have observed the primaries conducted by the sacked exco and vow not to recognise the one legally known. Igini is not INEC,” said on the loyalist of Akpabio. While the response and clarification of INEC is being awaited on the two candidates, questions are being asked as to why the ruling party should allow such row which no doubt, rub on its integrity.

However, four serving governors of the party have secured APC senatorial tickets of the district to contest the 2023 polls. Ebonyi State governor, David Nweze Umahi secured the Ebonyi South ticket, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu secured the Kebbi Central ticket, Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello secured the Niger North ticket while Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam secured Yobe East ticket.

Three former governors also are in the race for seats in the Red Chamber come next year. They are, former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who is APC candidate for Ogun East senatorial district.

The rest are former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima who won the Borno Central ticket and former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul Aziz Yari who picked the Zamfara West ticket.

APC list of senatorial candidates ABIA STATE Chief Hon. Emeka Atuma (Abia Central), Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North) and Hon. Blessing Nwagba (Abia South) ADAMAWA STATE Abdulaziz Nyako (Adamawa Central) Elisha Cliff Ishaku (Adamawa North) Adamu Ismaila (Adamawa South) AKWA IBOM STATE Emaeyak Ukpong (Akwa Ibom North East) Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North West) Martins Udo-Inyang (Akwa Ibom South) ANAMBRA STATE Okelekwe E. Boniface (Anambra Central) Ify E. Anaozuonwu (Anambra North) Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji (Anambra South) BAUCHI STATE Uba Nana Umar (Bauchi Central) Sirajo Tanko Mohammed (Bauchi North) Shehu Buba Umar (Bauchi South) BAYELSA STATE Timipa Orunimighe (Bayelsa Central) Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East) ***** Wilson Dauyegha (Bayelsa West) BENUE STATE Hon. Emmanuel Udende (Benue North East) Titus Zam (Benue North West) Daniel Onjeh (Benue South) BORNO STATE Kashim Shettima (Borno Central) Mohammed Tahir Monguno (Borno North) Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South) CROSS-RIVER STATE Hon. Eteng J. Williams (Cross-River Central) Hon. Martin Orim (Cross-River North) Asuquo Ekpeyong (Cross-River South) DELTA STATE Ede Dafinone (Delta Central) Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North)

Joel-Onowakpo Thomas (Delta South) EBONYI STATE Emeka Kenneth Eze (Ebonyi Central) Onyeka Nwaebonyi Peter (Ebonyi North) Dave Nweze Umahi (Ebonyi South) EDO STATE Monday Okpebholo (Edo Central) Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) Valentine Asuen (Edo South) EKITI STATE Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central) Cyril Oluwole Fasuyi (Ekiti North) Adaramodu Adeyemo (Ekiti South) ENUGU STATE Adaku Ogbu Aguocha (Enugu East) Simon Ejike Eze (Enugu North) Oby Nwofor (Enugu South) GOMBE STATE Mohammed Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali (Gombe North) Joshua M. Lidani (Gombe South) IMO STATE Prince Alex Mbata (Imo East) Hon. Patrick Ndubueze (Imo North) Sen. Osita Izunaso (Imo West)

JIGAWA STATE Ahmed Abdulhamid (Jigawa North-East) Babangida Hussaini (Jigawa North-West) Tijjani Ibrahim Kiyawa (Jigawa South-West) KADUNA STATE Muhammad Sani Abdullahi (Kaduna Central) Suleiman Abdu Kwari (Kaduna North) Bulus Audu (Kaduna South) KANO STATE Abdulsalam Zaura (Kano Central) Sen. Barau Jibrin (Kano North) Sen. Kabiru Gaya (Kano South) KATSINA STATE AbdulAziz Musa Yar’Adua (Katsina Central) Nasiru Sani Zangon Daura (Katsina North) Mukhtar Muhammed Dandutse (Katsina South) KEBBI STATE Sen. Atiku Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi Central) Hussaini Sulaiman Kangiwa (Kebbi North) Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South) KOGI STATE Ohere Abubakar (Kogi Central) Sen Isah Jibrin (Kogi East) Karimi Sunday Steve (Kogi West) KWARA STATE Saliu Mustapha (Kwara Central) Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North) Sen. Lola Issa Ashiru (Kwara South)

LAGOS STATE Hon. Eshilokun Wasiu Sanni (Lagos Central) Sen. Mukhail A. Abiru (Lagos East) Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Lagos West) NASARAWA STATE Danladi Halilu ESQ (Nasarawa North) Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa South) Shehu Tukur (Nasarawa West) NIGER STATE Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East) Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger North) Bima Muhammad Enagi (Niger South) OGUN STATE Shuaib Salisu (Ogun Central) Olugbenga Daniel (Ogun East) Sen. Olamilekan Adeola (Ogun West) ONDO SOUTH Adeniyi Adegbonire SAN (Ondo Central) Ipinsagba Olajide (Ondo North) Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South) OSUN STATE Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central) Israel Famurewa (Osun East) Amidu Tadese Raheem (Osun West) OYO STATE Dr. Yunus Akintunde (Oyo Central) Sen. Fatai Buhari (Oyo North) Sarafa Ali (Oyo South) PLATEAU STATE Hon. Diiket Satso Plang (Plateau Central) Christopher Giwa (Plateau North)

Rt. Hon. Simon B. Lalong (Plateau South) RIVERS STATE Ndubuisi U. Nwankwo (Rivers East) Oji N. Ngofa (Rivers South East) Asita Honourable O. (Rivers West) SOKOTO STATE Ibrahim Lamido (Sokoto East) Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako (Sokoto North) Ibrahim Danbaba Abdullahi (Sokoto South) TARABA STATE Marafa Bashir Abba (Taraba Central) Sani Danladi Abubakar (Taraba North) Danjuma Usman Shiddi (Taraba South) YOBE STATE Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe East) Sen. Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North) Sen. Mohammed Bomai (Yobe South) ZAMFARA STATE Sen. Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central) Sen. Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (Zamfara North) AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar (Zamfara West) FCT Hon. Zakaria Angulu.

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