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Aggrieved National Assembly members plan showdown with govs over lost tickets By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin On Friday 24th June 2022Politics & Governance 82

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National Assembly members, who failed to win their parties’ tickets for the 2023 elections, are set for a showdown with state governors and their aides.

Findings by our correspondents showed that in states such as Benue, Kebbi,  Zamfara, Delta, Ekiti and Ogun, governors or their loyalists defeated incumbent Senators and the House of Representatives members to clinch their parties’ tickets during last month’s primaries.

Many of the National Assembly members have defected to other parties, where they would contest against the governors or their aides, who won the parties’ primaries.

Those who are not contesting are believed to be poised to work against the election of those who denied them of tickets.

The All Progressives Congress National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had on Wednesday met APC senators as part of moves to halt the planned defection of members of the red chamber.

No fewer than 13 Senators have already dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party and other parties.

In Zamfara State, an APC member of the House Representatives, Kabiru Ahmed, who is representing Gusau/Tsafe Constituency, lost the ticket to  Alhaji Sanusi Garba Rikiji, a former Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.

According to sources,  Rikiji is close to the state Governor, Bello Mattawale.  Ahmed defected to the PDP, where he was given the ticket to re-contest the seat.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Ahmed said because he was cheated by the leadership of the APC,  as such, he was left with no option but to defect to PDP in order to actualise his ambition.

“I was cheated by the APC leadership, as such, I decided to change the party and joined the PDP and I thank God that I got the ticket to contest for the same position.”

Another APC House of Representatives,  Ahmed  Fulani, lost the ticket following the reconciliation between Mattawale and a former Governor of the state, Abdul Aziz Yari. He was replaced by  Zubairu Abdulmakik. Fulani defected to the PDP where he would contest the 2023 poll.

In the Kaura-Namoda/Birnin Magaji constituency, the incumbent member,  Sani Umar,  could not get the ticket to re-contest as he was replaced with Aminu Sani Jaji.

In an interview with The PUNCH, the APC Publicity Secretary, Yusuf Idris,  said House of Representatives members who could not get the tickets defected to the PDP even before the primaries.

He stated, “Those  members of the House of Representatives who did not get their tickets under the APC had already left the party before the primaries.”

“They refused to participate in the primary and returned to their former party, the PDP where they got the same tickets.”

Okowa’s aides triumph

 Three PDP House of Representative members, Mr Nicholas Ossai, Mr Ben Igbakpa and Efe Afe  failed to secure tickets to contest the 2023 elections.

Ossai, a third-term member representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani Constituency, was defeated by an aide of the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa,   Mr  Nnamdi Ezechi.

Also, Ms Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, daughter of former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, defeated Igbakpa to pick the PDP ticket.

Afe of the Uvwie/Okpe constituency lost to immediate past Commissioner for Water Resources, Evelyn Obiri.

Speaking to one of our correspondents, Ezechi promised to work hard to win the general election.

Efforts to reach Nicholas Ossai and Ben Igbakpa failed as calls put across to them were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.

Ekiti lawmakers

In Ekiti State, one senator and four House of Representatives members lost their bid to return to their positions following last month’s primaries.

It was gathered that some of those who won the National Assembly primaries were close to the governor.

Some of the National Assembly members who lost have, have resolved to seek legal redress to challenge the elections.

The APC Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Olubunmi Adetumbi,  was defeated by Cyril Fasuyi, the Director General of the party’s governorship candidate, Abayomi Oyebanji, who won last Saturday’s poll in the state.

Also, Peter Owolabi ((APC Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1) was defeated in his return ticket bid by Mr Akin Rotimi, a former Senior Special Assistant on Strategic Communications to the state Governor Kayode Fayemi.

However, nothing has been said about the ticket for Ekiti Central Federal, Mrs Omowumi Ogunlola’s constituency, which was contested by her, Biodun Omoleye, former Chief of Staff to Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Mr Dele Phillips.

However, state Publicity Secretary, Segun Dipe,  in an interview with The PUNCH, said Fayemi did not grab the party’s National Assembly tickets. He said “Those who won and those who lost are governor’s men and governor’s women.

“So, I don’t know how on earth anybody will think the governor will be interested in collecting tickets from somebody who is with him and give it to somebody who is with him. People will just come with conjectures.

“I think people should just allow our internal democracy to work out. At every stage of our election or process, people will always go ahead to make permutations, but they should just allow us to do things our way and stop all these concerns especially if they are not APC members.

“I don’t thin