The seventh Senate which began May 29, 2011 is gradually coming to a close. The outgoing National Assembly — the Senate and the House of Representatives — has been widely criticised over its dismal performance.
The Senate has yet to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, or any other significant bill. It has also swept important investigations under the carpet.
The election for a new set of lawmakers holds Saturday. Perhaps, indicative of the Senate’s scorecard, less than half (only 53) of its 109 members will have a chance of returning as they take part in the poll, having won their parties’ nominations.
Fifty six senators lost out, meaning the earliest they can return to the Senate is 2019. In some states, all three senators lost out. Examples are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Adamawa and Kebbi.
Having 53 incumbent senators in Saturday’s election also implies that a fewer number will likely return for a fresh term.
In all, these are some of the biggest names that will not feature in Saturday’s election:
Victor Ndoma-Egba (Cross River Central): Mr. Ndoma-Egba is the senate leader. He has been in the senate since 2003. He lost the PDP ticket to Owan Enoh, the current chairman, House of Representatives Appropriations committee.
Ita Enang: The eloquent senate chairman on rules and business, Ita Enang, will not be returning to the senate after losing his ticket to Bassey Albert, a former commissioner of finance in Akwa Ibom State. Mr. Enang, a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, represents Akwa Ibom North East senatorial district.
Esther Nenadi Usman: Mrs. Usman represents Kaduna South. The former finance minister lost her bid to secure the PDP ticket, to a prominent business mogul, Danjuma Laah. Mr. Laah had 129 votes while Mrs. Usman scored 123.
Uche Chukwumerije: The PDP representative of Abia North Senatorial District has been a senator since 2003. The current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education lost his seat to a House of Representatives member, Mao Ohuabunwa.
Ayogu Eze: The representative of Enugu North senatorial district is a member of the People’s Democratic Party. Mr. Eze vied for the PDP governorship ticket and lost to a House of Representatives member.
Helen Esuene: Mrs. Esuene, a former Environment Minister, represents Akwa-Ibom south senatorial district. She lost the PDP ticket to Nelson Effiong, a former speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.
Odion Ugbesia: Mr. Ugbesia represents Edo central. He is best known as the sponsor of the anti-gay bill. He lost his party nomination to the chairman of Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority, Clifford Ordia.
Heineken Lokpobiri: He was elected into the senate in 2007 to represent Bayelsa West constituency on the PDP platform. He lost to former Chairman of the Bayelsa State Scholarship Board, Foster Ogola.
To be sure, some of the senators will not come back because they ditched their positions for gubernatorial tickets.
Five senators picked gubernatorial tickets on the platforms of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively.
They are Atiku Bagudu(Kebbi, APC), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta, PDP), Aisha Alhassan (Taraba, APC), Pwajok Gyang (Plateau, PDP), Bindow Jibrilla (Adamawa, APC) and Benedict Ayade (Cross River).
Other Senators who lost their parties’ tickets include Ehigie Uzamere (Edo South), Odion Ugbesia (Central), Odunsi Babalola Akin (Ogun West), Victor Lar (Plateau South), Wilson Ake (Rivers West), Umar Dahiru (Sokoto South), Maccido Muhammad (Sokoto North), and Aisha Hassan (Taraba North), will also not return.