Fresh Defections Loom As Governors Close In On Senator’s Seats


The nation’s polity is about to witness contemporary gale of defections because of the resolve of extra senators to dump their events after their governors have indicated curiosity in or planning to take over their tickets forward of the 2019 elections.

Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH revealed that multiple of the senators, particularly members of the All Progressives Congress, had relied on the assurances of the nationwide management of the celebration that they’d be given automatic tickets to return to the pink chamber subsequent year if they didn’t be part of their colleagues to the Peoples Democratic Party in July.

Many of them, nonetheless, began making last-minute preparations final week after it had develop into clear that the governors, a few of who’re decided to unseat them, would decide their political destiny.

Some of the affected senators are Adesoji Akanbi (Oyo South), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South), Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun Central), Hope Uzodinma (Imo West), Ahmed Rufai (Zamfara West), Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe North) and Baba Garbai ( Borno Central).

Pressure mounts on Tejuoso to depart APC

Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH in Ogun State revealed that Tejuoso, who was among the many APC senators that shelved their deliberate defection to the PDP on the ground of the Senate in July, was shocked final week when he was not listed as one of many consensus candidates introduced by the celebration.

According to a supply, Tejuoso, who had thought that he would get the ticket based mostly on the settlement reached between the APC senators and the National Chairman of the celebration, Adams Oshiomhole, attended the stakeholders assembly in Abeokuta, in excessive hopes.

He was mentioned to have advised a few of his associates that he would buy his nomination form after the assembly not conscious that the governor had perfected a wise association to ease him out of the race.

The supply mentioned, “The only option available to him now is to test his political popularity by seeking reelection on the platform of another party. I think that is why he refused to obtain the form before the meeting.”

Another supply, who claimed to be an affiliate of the senator, advised one among our correspondents on situation of anonymity that Tejuoso would realise his ambition on the platform of one other celebration.

The supply mentioned, “The celebration management, including President Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to the senator to rescind his choice to defect when his different aggrieved colleagues did so with an assurance that he and different would get automatic tickets.

“He is a well-liked candidate. He will realise his ambition on one other platform. Other events are speaking to him already.”

Tejuoso had but to reply to a message despatched to his cell as of the time of submitting this report. Persistent efforts to talk with him on the phone additionally failed.

However, the Publicity Secretary of the celebration within the state, Mr. Wole Elegbede, advised SUNDAY PUNCH that the problem wouldn’t have an effect on the celebration.

He mentioned, “There isn’t any disaster with respect to that challenge. Senator Lanre Tejuoso has not indicated his curiosity to hunt reelection. He was on the stakeholders assembly the place we agreed to go for consensus.

“When they referred to as for consensus, Tejuoso raised his hand in assist of the concept. He has not even obtained his nomination form as I speak to you right this moment (Thursday night).

Akanbi to dump APC this week

In Oyo State, the APC chairman within the state, Dr AbdulAzeez Olatunde, advised one among our correspondents that Governor Abiola Ajimobi had bought nomination forms to allow him to contest the Oyo South Senatorial seat subsequent year.

Ajimobi’s action had, subsequently, set the stage for him to vie for the celebration’s ticket with Soji Akanbi, the current occupant of the seat.

When contacted, an aide to the Senator, Wole Ajayi, mentioned it will be suicidal for Akanbi to compete with Ajimobi who already had the celebration construction in his custody.

He, nonetheless, mentioned a modality was being labored out that may be certain that Akanbi returns to the Senate in 2019.

He mentioned, “We didn’t make any touch upon the problem as a result of the coast was not clear. But right this moment, we all know the place we’re going for the reason that governor has obtained the forms.

“We usually are not going to contest within the major with the governor; that will likely be suicidal. We don’t have the celebration construction and the monetary power to take care of him.

“We are making consultations on the following transfer and by Sunday (right this moment) or Monday, we may have a solution to a number of the questions being requested by our supporters.

“We will certainly make an announcement quickly. The fact is that Senator Akanbi will take part within the election. He will search a return to the Senate. How that may manifest will likely be made identified in just a few days.”

Buka Ibrahim might be part of SDP quickly

Although a former Yobe State Governor, who’s at the moment representing the Yobe East Senatorial District within the Senate, Bukar Ibrahim, has obtained and submitted his forms, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that he was additionally planning to defect if Governor Ibrahim Geidam ‘manipulates’ the first.

It was learnt that Ibrahim, who plans to return to the pink chamber for the fourth time in 2019, had mapped out one other choice to dump the ruling celebration to check his reputation in one other credible political celebration.

The Senator, in a phone interview with one among our correspondents, nonetheless, mentioned, “My chances of returning to the Senate are very excessive due to my efficiency as a 3rd term Senator. The unpopularity of Governor Geidam within the state now could be one other plus for me.

“The challenge of somebody hijacking delegate listing will likely be eradicated by direct primaries which the nationwide secretariat has directed state chapters to undertake.”

On the rumours that he’s planning to defect to the Social Democratic Party to actualise his desires if he fails to get the APC ticket, the senator mentioned, “In politics, there are all the time choices. Let’s wait and see the choice of my celebration, the APC.

“Every choice will likely be appeared into as a result of there may be enough time between now and the time for the election.”

One of the political associates of the Senator from the Busari Local Government Area, who merely gave his title as Abacha, advised one among our correspondents that the senator may defect to the SDP to precise his dream if he failed to get the APC ticket.

Abacha mentioned the senator was perfecting plans to hunt re-election on one other celebration platform as a result of there have been insinuations that Geidam may manipulate the APC construction in his favour.

He mentioned, “It is not clear yet whether Senator Bukar Ibrahim will get the ticket of the APC because of the governor’s interest in the seat, so since none of them will want to take chances, they will slug it out at the polls in 2019 on different platforms.”

One of the aides of Geidam, who spoke on situation of anonymity, nonetheless, advised one among our correspondents that the governor was doing every thing doable to unseat the Senator in any respect cost.

He added, “Governor Geidam wished to run for Senate in 2003, however Bukar Ibrahim, who was the governor, then dismissed his ambition, saying Gaidam was unfit to be elected whilst a councillor.

“However, as destiny would have it, he’s right this moment a governor with the celebration construction in his fingers. So, should you like, call it a payback time.”

Saraki’s favourites battle Ahmed in Kwara

The Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, Rafiu Ibrahim, mentioned he was banking on his investments in human capital improvement and infrastructure and his relationship along with his constituents and celebration members to safe the ticket of the PDP for his reelection.

The state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has, nonetheless, gone forward to good his plans on the right way to exchange Ibrahim, who’s the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and different monetary establishments, in 2019.

Apart from Ibrahim, the governor is also contending with the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Gbenga Makanjuola, who alongside Ibrahim, is often known as Saraki’s favourites.

Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH revealed that some political events had began making overtures to the senator with a view to utilizing his reputation to contest on their platform however the senator was mentioned to have shunned their affords.

Rather, he had been giving out scholarships and organising empowerments schemes in his constituency aside from his display of loyalty to Saraki.

Ibrahim, who spoke with one among our correspondents, mentioned, “I’ve sufficient legislative functionality and human relations functionality among the many constituents and the celebration to have the ability to win the election for our celebration.

“My governor, who’s my chief in Kwara South as of right this moment, has constitutional rights to contest too. We belong to the identical household. Our chief (Saraki) is aware of the right way to construct consensus.

“I imagine that essentially the most acceptable candidate of the individuals, the celebration and the constituents will likely be chosen. I’ve no grudge against both the governor or Mr. Gbenga Makunjuola. The greatest will come out from the PDP so that we are going to defeat anyone that comes out from the opposite facet.”

Uzodinma in a repair, mulls defection

The Senator representing Imo West, Hope Uzodinma, left the PDP and defected to the APC as a way to actualise his desires of contesting the governorship of the state in 2019.

Investigations revealed that Governor Rochas Okorocha ignored appeals made to him by celebration leaders to rescind his choice to area his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, because the candidate of the APC within the state and endorse Uzodinma.

With the current improvement, an affiliate of Uzodinma advised SUNDAY PUNCH on situation of anonymity on Friday that the senator was already contemplating defecting to a different celebration to understand his ambition.

He mentioned, “Although Uzodinma and five others have obtained the party’s governorship forms to contest the primary, the senator will defect if the governor manipulates the process. He is a big fish for any party, any day.”

Uzodinma had but to react to the message despatched to his cell as of the time of submitting this report.

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