12 ex-govs win Senate seats, five join leadership race

No fewer than five former governors are in the race for the Senate Presidency, checks by Saturday PUNCH have revealed.

They include former Anambra State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North); former governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom North-West); former Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi (APC, Ebonyi South); for Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North), and former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West).

Twelve former governors of both the ruling All Progressive Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party won their senatorial elections for the 10th Senate.

Those returning are Orji Kalu, Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), Aliyu Wamakko ( APC, Sokoto North), Adamu Aliero ( PDP, Kebbi Central), and Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West).

Those who will join the Senate for the first time are Umahi, Oshiomhole, former Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel, Yari, and former Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dakwambo.

Over the years, Nigerians have complained that the Red Chamber is fast becoming a retirement home for former governors.

Lamenting this, the Director-General of the  National Institute of Legislative Studies, Prof Abubakar Suleiman, said, “There must be a way to stop these governors from turning the National Assembly, especially the Senate, into a retirement home.

I have said this on several occasions and I am repeating it: they (former governors) have not been adding value to what they (lawmakers) do there. Look at the array of ex-governors there now, hardly will you see two or three that have really added value.

“Must you, after leaving the state government, come to the National Assembly as a senator? Is it a must? Are there no people in your constituency or state that can represent the people?

“As I said, some of them do it out of ego. They believe that if a senator is there (from their senatorial district), they have to bring them back and go there too.

Meanwhile, an analysis of the 10th Senate by Saturday PUNCH revealed that 72 out of the 109 seats will be occupied by first-timers in the Senate.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, lamented that many of the 10th Assembly lawmakers had no legislative skill or experience, adding that a lot of money would be required for the training of the lawmakers.

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 “And I use the word costly deliberately because what this means is that, the 10th Assembly, we must make provisions immediately for capacity building for new members of the National Assembly if we want to achieve our goals and set targets.

“Everybody is enthusiastic. Everybody is ready. We want to come in and continue to contribute to making Nigeria better. But the parliament is not like the executive.”

The Punch