Senate: Govs, ex-govs seek APC tickets as party okays 265 aspirants


John Alechenu and Godwin Isenyo

The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has released the list of aspirants for its senatorial tickets.

The party, which initially scheduled the primary to hold on Tuesday, shifted it to Wednesday.

The statement by the party’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, on Tuesday showed that the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, was seeking the senatorial ticket for Imo West Senatorial District.

Other governors seeking the APC senatorial tickets include Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa) and Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe).

While some of them are competing with others for their tickets, others are running unopposed.

Among those cleared by the party to contest unopposed are a former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio; and his ex-Delta State counterpart, Emmanuel Uduaghan, as well as the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani.

The name of an aide of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, is not on the list.

Those also cleared to run unopposed are the outgoing Zamfara State Governor, Yari, ex-Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu, Senate Minority Whip, Francis Alimikhena, and a former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wammako.

Others are ex-Benue State Governor, George Akume; and a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Adedayo Adeyeye.

The three senators representing Lagos State – Oluremi Tinubu, Solomon Adeola and Gbenga Ashafa – were also cleared to run as the party’s sole candidates in their senatorial districts.

Others who enjoyed the same courtesy are Ajayi Boroffice, Yele Onogunwa and Omotayo Alasoadura from Ondo State. Senators Ahmed Abubakar, Binta Masi Garba, Yusuf Abubakar, Buhari Abdulfata, Tijanni Kaura and Andy Uba, as well as outgoing Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam; a former local government chairman in Zamfara State, Ikra Bilbis and Suleiman Kwari also got sole tickets.

Two former senate leaders, Teslim Folarin and Victor Ndoma-Egba, are also on the list of those cleared to contest the primary.

While former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, will be slugging it out with Hajia Laila Buhari for the Kano Central ticket, outgoing Ogun State Governor, Amosun, will be doing battle with Senator Adeyemi Tejuosho and Ganiyat Oladunjoye for the party’s Ogun Central ticket.

Outgoing Oyo State Governor, Ajimobi, is to contest for the party’s ticket for Oyo Central with Senator Taslim Folarin and five others.

In Nasarawa State, the outgoing Governor, Al-Makura, will compete with Senator Salihu Hussein for the Nasarawa South senatorial ticket.

For the Borno Central seat, outgoing Governor, Kashim Shettima, will be contesting the ticket with Ali Wurge.

The current Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, is contesting the Yobe North Senatorial ticket with Mohammed Yahuza, while Okorocha will contest the Imo West ticket with Senator Hope Uzodinma, who is also vying for the governorship ticket of the state.

It was gathered that two former governors who have been in the senate, Senator Sani Yerima (Zamfara) and Bukar Ibrahim (Yobe) reached an agreement with their state governors to step aside.

The National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, earlier gave a hint that the party would reward senators who stood by it during its trying times in the National Assembly.

The party’s NWC also announced on Tuesday that it had postponed the senate primaries earlier scheduled to hold on Tuesday to Wednesday.

It said the exercise will now hold in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Thugs take over Kaduna poll venue

Earlier on Tuesday, before the national leadership of the APC announced the postponement of the senatorial primary, thugs wielding weapons took over the Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, venue for the primaries of the Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

The National Working Committee of the APC, led by Oshiomohle, had last week approved the indirect primary method for the state APC tickets.

Sani, who is currently representing the Kaduna Central Senatorial District and other stakeholders kicked against the indirect mode.

On Tuesday, aspirants as well as the electorate for the state senatorial elections of APC, waited endlessly for party officials to arrive for the primary.

But fierce-looking thugs barred people, including journalists, from accessing the venue of the election.

One of the members of the NWC who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were awaiting the arrival of the secretary of the committee.

“We are still waiting for the Secretary of the committee to arrive from Abuja before we know what to do,” he said.

Senator Sani is the only contender as the Special Adviser to Governor Nasir el-Rufai on Political Matters/Intergovernmental Affairs, Uba Sani, was not cleared by the APC NWC.

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