ANALYSIS: 10 ‘ranking’ senators who will return to National Assembly

Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.
Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.

As the ninth Senate begins to take shape, at least ten senators will now be qualified to be called ‘ranking members’.

This is because they will be returning to the upper chamber for their third, fourth or fifth terms respectively.

Following Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission announced at least 80 senators who won the elections in their senatorial districts.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the All Progressives Congress (APC) has clinched a majority of the senatorial seats announced so far.

Of the 109 lawmakers expected to resume in the ninth Senate, about 10 of them will be serving for a third, fourth or fifth term.

They include:

IKE EKWEREMADU

Mr Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West Senatorial District, is a ranking four-term senator.

Having won the Enugu West senatorial election on Saturday, he will be returning to the upper chamber for his fifth term.

He was first elected into the Senate in 2003 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He has been the Deputy Senate President since 2007 – over a period of 12 years.

During this period, the senator has been active as he has sponsored important bills such as the State Police Creation Bill, State of the Nation Address Bill and River Basin (Amendment) Bill.

The lawmaker, like most of his colleagues over the years, has had issues with the State Security Service and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He was once accused of false declaration of assets and the government is moving to get a court order for him o forfeit some of his international assets.

It is expected that in the ninth Senate, and being a ranking member, Mr Ekweremadu will represent his constituency and the nation as a whole in a laudable manner.

JAMES MANAGER

James Manager is also a ranking four-term senator who represents Delta South Senatorial District.

He assumed office in 2003 (during the fifth assembly) under the platform of the PDP. His victory at Saturday’s election means he will be returning to the Senate for a fifth term.

The lawmaker, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, has sponsored a number of bills including the bill for the Establishment of Nigerian Maritime University.

He has also been vocal on the floor of the Senate as he has contributed to several motions.

KABIRU GAYA

Mr Gaya is a ranking three-term senator who was elected into the Senate in 2007 to represent Kano South Senatorial District under the platform of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).

He was the Senate deputy minority whip from 2007 until 2011.

Now a member of the APC, Mr Gaya will be returning to the Senate for a fourth term.

The Kano lawmaker has sponsored a number of bills including the Finance Management and Accountability Bill and the Millennium Development Agency Bill.

AHMED LAWAN

Mr Lawan, another ranking three-term senator since 2007 is currently the Senate leader. He represents Yobe North Senatorial District.

His victory in Saturday’s election means he will be returning for his fourth term in the upper chamber.

As a member of the APC, Mr Lawan has always been vocal on the floor of the Senate in the past four years. He as proven to be an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration and is tipped to be a contender for the Senate president’s seat after he lost the seat to Mr Saraki in the outgoing Senate.

He has contributed by sponsoring bills and motions. Some of his sponsored bills are Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Bill, Desertification (Control) Commission Bill and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill.

He is also in charge of executive bills and other communications brought before the Senate.

OLUREMI TINUBU

Ms Tinubu’s return to the Senate will make it her third term in the chamber.

Ms Tinubu, who is the former first lady of Lagos State (during Bola Tinubu’s reign as governor of the state), was first elected in 2011 to represent Lagos Central.

Unlike a few other female senators, Ms Tinubu has, over the years, been active.

She is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and has sponsored a number of bills including Social Security for Elderly Citizens Bill and a bill seeking a special status and federal grant for Lagos State – which was, however, rejected by the Senate.

AJAYI BOROFFICE

Mr Boroffice’s return to the ninth Senate will make it his third term in the upper chamber.

He was first elected in 2011 to represent Ondo North Senatorial District under the platform of the Labour Party. He later decamped to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011 and then moved again to his current party, APC.

He has made positive contributions of the floor of the Senate by sponsoring bills like Nigerian Council for Food Science and Technology Bill.

He is currently the chairman of the Senate committee on Science and Technology.

ALI NDUME

Mr Ndume is a ranking two-term senator representing Borno South Senatorial District. He was first elected in 2011.

The ninth Senate will, therefore, make it his third term in the upper chamber.

Mr Ndume was made the Senate Leader of the 8th National Assembly but was removed on January 10, 2017.

He was suspended in March of the same year for six months by the Senate committee on ethics and privileges for calling for a probe into the allegations of an imported bulletproof range rover with fake documents allegedly involving Senate President Bukola Saraki, seized by the Nigerian Customs.

Just like the Senate Leader, Mr Ndume is an ardent supporter of President Buhari and was ever willing to promote and support any executive bills on the floor of the Senate.

He is currently the chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment.

DANJUMA GOJE

Having served two terms as governor of Gombe State under the PDP from 2003 to 2011, Mr Goje joined in 2011. Having served two terms in the upper chamber (representing Gombe Central Senatorial District), Mr Goje will be returning for a third term.

He is, however, returning under the platform of the APC – which he joined in 2014.

Mr Goje has been fairly vocal in the upper chamber. He is currently the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

He has sponsored a few bills, one of which is the North East Development Commission Bill. He is currently being prosecuted for allegedly stealing Gombe funds while he was governor.

ABDULLAHI ADAMU

Also a former two-term governor of Nasarawa State from 1999 to 2007 under the platform of the PDP, Mr Adamu’s return to the ninth assembly will be his third.

He was first elected into the upper chamber to represent Nasarawa West Senatorial District in 2011 with the PDP ticket.

He joined the APC in 2013.

Mr Adamu is one who speaks on the floor of the Senate only when necessary. He has, however, had several rounds of verbal wars with Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

He was one of the many who cautioned Mr Saraki against leaving the APC. After the exit of the latter, he had constantly rebuked him (Mr Saraki).

He was once arrested by the anti-graft agency for allegedly embezzling $100 million of government money meant for a public project. He is facing prosecution.

EMMANUEL BWACHA

Mr Bwacha is a ranking two-term senator who was first elected in 2011 to represent Taraba South Senatorial District under the platform of the PDP.

His victory in the recent polls means he will return for a third term.

Mr Bwacha is currently the deputy Senate minority leader and was the former chairman of the committee on police affairs.

Eyinnayan Abaribe?

It is not clear if Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) will return to the Senate as elections were rescheduled in some parts of his senatorial districts. However, if he returns, he will be serving his fourth term in the upper chamber.

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