75 Senators May Not Return In 2015

Senator Uche_Chukwumerije
Senator Uche_Chukwumerije

About 75 senators, constituting over two-thirds of the Senate, may not

return to the National Assembly at the end of next year’s general

elections, according to a Daily Trust analysis of attrition rate in

the legislature.


The trend from 1999 to date shows that in each election, at least 75

senators lost their bids to return to the 109-member Senate.


This was caused by various factors including falling out of favour

with state governors, losing support of political parties, courting

the fury of the voters and other reasons.


Ahead of the 2015 elections, 25 senators have already indicated

interest to run for governor in their respective states, thereby

leaving an opening for new people to fill the slots they occupy.


Another set of senators are likely to fall victims to the ambition of

their home state governors who are ending their two terms and are

angling to become senators.


No fewer than 16 outgoing governors have indicated their intention to

stand for election as senators next year.


This will put the political future of serving senators from those

senatorial districts in jeopardy.


Governors are powerful and they largely determine the order of things

in their states. In a couple of states they will be pitted against

powerful senators and the battle could be fierce.


An analysis of the attrition rate in the upper chamber indicates that

of the 109 senators, only about 30 or even fewer were returned in the

last three elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011.


In the present Senate, only Senate President David Mark and Chief Whip

Bello Hayatu Gwarzo from Kano State remained from the 1999 class.


Gwarzo was defeated in 2007 elections but was able to reclaim his seat

through the courts more than one and half years into tenure of the

Sixth Senate, our correspondent reports.

In 2003, only 31 senators got re-elected and they include former

Senate Presidents Adolphus Wabara and Ken Nnamani.


Others were Iya Abubakar, Jonathan Zwingina, Udoma Udo Udoma, David

Brigidi, Daniel Saror, David Mark, Patrick Osakwe, Oserhiemen Osunbor

and Fidelis Okoro.


Others are Francis Nzeribe, Ifeanyi Ararume, Ahmed Aruwa, Dalhatu

Sarki Tafida, Tunde Ogbeha, Suleiman Ajadi, Tokunbo Afikuyomi,

Abubakar Sodangi, Ibrahim Mantu, Martins Yellowe, John Azuta Mbata,

Usman Albishir and Mamman Ali.


Only Niger and Zamfara states re-elected all their three senators in

2003. They are Isa Mohammmed, Idris Kuta, Nuhu Aliyu (Niger), and

Lawal Shuaibu, Saidu Dansadau and Mohammed Yushau  Anka (Zamfara).


In 2007, the attrition rate got worse as only 23 senators were

returned, which represents less than 20 percent of the Senate.


They included Uche Chukwumerije, Jibril Aminu, Bob Effiong, David

Mark, Omar Hambagda, Gregory Ngaji, Patrick Osakwe, James Manager,

Julius Ucha, Ike Ekweremadu and Tawar Wada.


Others are Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, Kanti Bello, Mohammed Ahmed, Adeleke

Mamora, Nuhu Aliyu, Gbenga Ogunniya, Abubakar Sodangi, Hosea

Ehinlanwo, Iyiola Omisore, Lee Maeba and Umaru Dahiru.


However, in 2011, the number of returnees increased by 10, as 33

senators got re-elected.


Among those who returned in the last election are Nkechi Nwogu, Uche

Chukwumerije, and Eyinnaya Abaribe all from Abia State which makes

Abia and Niger the only two states to have re-elected all their three

senators in two consecutive elections from 1999 to date.


Also on the list of 2011 returnees is Aloysious Etok from Akwa Ibom

State who is already engrossed in a tussle over the Akwa Ibom North

West Senatorial seat with Governor Godswill Akpabio, thereby putting

his ambition of returning to the Senate in danger.


The list also includes Emmanuel Paulker, Heineken Lokpobiri, Goerge

Akume, David Mark, Maina Ma’aji Lawan, Victor Ndoma-Egba, James

Manager, Ehigie Uzamere, Ayogu Eze, Ike Ekweremadu and Chris Anyanwu.


Others are Abdulaziz Usman, Ahmed Makarfi, Atiku Bagudu, Smart

Adeyemi, Gbenga Ashafa, Suleiman Adokwe, Dahiru Awaisu Kuta (who is

also battling over his seat with Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu),

Zainab Kure and Gyang Dangton, who died in July 2012 in Plataea State



Senators George Sekibo, Wilson Ake, Ahmed Maccido, Umaru Dahiru, Bukar

Abba Ibrahim, Ahmad Lawan, Sahabi Ya’u and Ahmed Rufai Sani were among

those who returned in 2011.


A few other lawmakers now in the Senate have been in the National

Assembly since 1999 having first being elected into the House of



They include Senator Ahmad Lawan from Yobe State who was in the House

of Representatives from 1999-2007 and Senator Abdul Ningi who was in

the lower chamber from 1999 to 2011, and got elected into the Senate

in 2011.


Like Gwarzo, Ningi was out of the House for about half of the tenure

of the last Assembly but got back to the lower chamber after a court



Also, Senators Hassan Barata (Adamawa), Sola Adeyeye (Osun), Victor

Lar (Platuea), Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom), Bassey Otu (Cross Rivers), Ayo

Adesuen (Oyo), Sadiq Yar’Adua (Katsina) and Emmanuel Aguariavwodo

(Delta) were at one time or the other in the House of Representatives

between 1999-2011. Barata had also been in the House of

Representatives in 1992.


Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP, Cross River) said the drawback

is that the institutional memory of the legislature is lost and that

in each session, lawmakers spend the large part of the tenure learning

the ropes.


“Because of the peculiar nature of parliament, its institutional

memory is the aggregate of the memory of its individual members. The

more members that you lose, you lose to that extent the institutional

memory,” Ndoma-Egba said.


“In parliament, members are trained and exposed at tax payers cost.

Also, establishing networks for effectiveness to the constituents

takes time.”


He added that by not re-electing lawmakers, Nigerian tax payers will

have to put up with spending money every four years to train the new



“Some get involved in international, continental and regional

parliaments acquiring technical experience or expertise in specific

areas and networks. All these are lost when they lose their seats at

home and the country loses. Parliamentarians are like old wines, they

get better with age,” he said.



  1. Nigerian senators are know for their higher salary not for bill which had been followed for its initial clearance with the agency views together with its own recommendation about a signature or veto.

  2. We need not these legislators in the name of making laws. I hope the confab will iron it out. We don’t need senators and house of representatives. We only need 6 representatives from the six geographical region. All the regions will know how many they need.. The cost of governance is eating up the money meant for the people.


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