Connect with us


2023: 13 Lawmakers Who May Not Return To 10th Assembly


2023: 13 Lawmakers Who May Not Return To 10th Assembly

The Nation Newspaper

Going by the timetable released for next year’s general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties have until June 3, 2022, to pick candidates for presidential and National Assembly elections. Many members of the House of Representatives that are contesting for other positions may not be returning to the 10th National Assembly next year. TONY AKOWE identifies some of these members and their chances

When the 10th House of Representatives is inaugurated on June 13, 2023, several members will not be returning to the Green Chamber because they may have moved to the other chamber of parliament, the Senate or have taken up higher responsibilities outside the National Assembly. Some may not return because they did not contest the forthcoming election or because they lost to other candidates. Some members are already eying the Senate, while some others have indicated an interest in contesting the governorship seat in their respective states. Many others are also eyeing other higher responsibilities. Even though some of them may have given it a thought, they are no doubt considering returning to where they are sure of a better deal.


It is believed that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila is eying the Senate seat for Lagos Central, especially because Senator Oluremi Tinubu may not be returning to the Senate because she is expected to support her husband’s presidential bid. Gbajabiamila has served in virtually every position as a principal officer in the Green Chamber since he was first elected in 2003 to represent Suru-Lere 1 Federal Constituency. He has held positions such as Minority Whip (2007 to 2011), Minority Leader (2011 to 2015), and Majority Leader (2015 to 2019) before being elected as the Speaker in 2019; a position he still occupies. Those who believe that the Speaker might be heading to the Senate are of the view that after presiding over the House for four years, he may not be interested in seating inside the chamber and taking orders from those he once presided over.

But, whether the Speaker will be able to convince leaders of the party in Lagos to give him the ticket to the Senate is another issue, considering the long list of people interested in the position. Another option available to the Speaker is an ambassadorial position. However, nothing has been heard from the side of the Speaker about his interest. His aides could not speak on the issue at press time.


Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase is also said to be eying a shot at the Senate. But, a source close to Wase has indicated that he has opted to remain where he is sure of a better deal, rather than venture into the unknown.


There are also rumours that House Leader Alhassan Ado Doguwa may be interested in contesting the Kano State governorship election. Many believe that if he indicates his interest in the ticket, he may be favoured, considering his closeness to the current governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who is rounding up his second term in office and will not be eligible to re-contest for the seat. But, Doguwa has, on many occasions, indirectly spoken of his ambition to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives. A Mass Communication graduate, he has spent most of his life after graduation in the National Assembly. He told the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu when the later visited the House that he was looking forward to working with him as head of the Green Chamber in 2023.


For Abdulrazak Namdas who is currently the Chairman of the House Committee on Army, his ambition to become the governor of Adamawa State is no longer a rumour. Namdas who was the spokesman of the House during the 8th Assembly has been busy drumming up support from across the state since January 2021 and he believes that he is the aspirant to beat in the race to the Government House in Yola. He currently represents the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in the House of Representatives even though he belongs to the APC. He said: “I am in touch with the people. I don’t want to blow my trumpet, but I am one of the few people the communities believe they have in Abuja. So, when they want to vote in any election, they give me the benefit of doubt because I am doing what they need most.”

Namdas told The Nation in an interview earlier that having served in the Executive in the past, he has the required experience to govern the state. He said: “The truth is that I have served in the Executive before when I was Chief Press Secretary to Governor Boni Haruna and I know how the executive functions. I am a legislator now and so, I know how the legislative functions. Right now, we have a leadership problem in my state and I feel that with the experience I have, I can do better. Don’t forget that I was a deputy governorship candidate about 11 years ago on the platform of the defunct ACN. We were runners up to Murtala Nyako. We were defeated with about 68,000 votes at that time. I have been in this game for some time. I was Director-General of Atiku Support Group that took care of Atiku’s campaign in the entire Northeast. I feel that with what is happening in my state today, if I become the governor, with the experience I have both in the Executive and the Legislature, things will be better. In fact, at the international level, I was a member of the Pan African Parliament. So, I have friends both internationally and locally. If I take the kind of experience I have now to the state, I will do better. Right now, what I have been able to do in my constituency is so much that the state has to work hard to get to where I am.”

Does Namdas have what it takes to defeat Ahmadu Fintiri, the current governor of the state described by many as ATM? He believes Fintiri’s chances of securing a second term are slim. He said: “The truth is that even in his first election, we were the ones that helped him. Our people, out of anger and frustration were angry with the governor and decided to engage in anti-party activity and that was why he won. All of us are aware that there was a second round of elections. If he had won convincingly from day one, I would have had that fear. But, this time around, he has no chance; all of us as aspirants are not going to fight ourselves.”


Another House member that will not be returning to the parliament in 2023 is the outspoken Onofiok Akpan Luke who once served as the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. Luke has declared his interest in contesting the Akwa Ibom State governorship election and is one of those screened and cleared to contest by the PDP screening committee. Luke who is one of the most vocal members of the opposition in the House of Representatives was not comfortable with the choice of Governor Udom Emmanuel for the plum job.

While exuding confidence in his ability to govern the state, the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary is quoted as saying: “I am a local boy with the understanding of the challenges of our people, with a world view of development issues; having been born, suckled and bred in your neighbourhood and has also gained international experience as a scholar and as a representative of my country at various levels. I represent the bridge between the past, the present and the future; I represent the young and the old, the analogue and the digital generation, the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. This gives me a unique perspective on issues that cut across the various strata of our society.”

The lawmaker representing Etinan Federal Constituency wants to use his wealth of experience as a public sector administrator, a lawyer, and an advocate of good governance to serve this state by bringing government closer to the people for socio-economic development, and to reposition Akwa Ibom State for greater prosperity under the theme, ‘Building Together, Growing Together’. He said: “We have been blessed with good leaders who have contributed in great measure towards the development of the state, with transformative projects and progressive policies in areas such as agriculture, education, infrastructure etc. To those who feel I’m too young and those who feel I have spent so many years in public service, have I been found wanting in character, competence and delivery throughout my spell in the different offices I have occupied?”

Another member of the House who may not be part of the business of lawmaking from 2023 is Farrah Dagogo, one of the PDP lawmakers from Rivers State. But, his ambition to govern the state is already having issues because of his running battle with Governor Nyesom Wike. At the time of this report, Dagogo was being detained on the order of a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt, following his arrest by the police based on allegations levelled against him by Wike that he sponsored an attack on the PDP secretariat in Port Harcourt. Dagogo who had gone to the PDP secretariat for screening was accused of disrupting the process, an allegation his supporters have denied. But, the PDP is yet to make any statement on the issue.

It is unclear whether he was able to go through the screening or not. The predicament of the federal lawmaker may jeopardize the chances of the PDP in the state. Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta agitator believes the PDP may end up suffering the same fate that saw the APC not fielding candidates in the last election if the lawmaker decides to challenge his eventual inclusion in the electoral process in court. The Electoral Act stipulates that the parties cannot exclude their members from taking part in the electoral process and if they do, the party risk being disqualified if the person so excluded complains about the exclusion. Except there is a last-minute change, Dagogo is no doubt one of the lawmakers across the country that may not return to the Green Chamber next year.


Herman Hembe, who represents Vandeikiya/Konshisha Federal Constituency, is one of those eying the governorship ticket of the APC in Benue State. Hembe is serving his fourth term in the House and is no doubt one of the most experienced. He has been elected on the platform of the PDP, the APC and the APGA. Currently, he is seeking to fly the ticket of the APC to govern Benue State. He is already being referred to by some members of the House as “your Excellency”. He was one of those who worked for the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as National Chairman of the party.


Benjamin Okezie Kalu has not indicated his interest to contest next year’s governorship election in Abia State, but there have been rumours that he wants to contest. Many of those close to him believe that it will be better for him to stick to his House of Reps seat for Bende Federal Constituency where he has made a remarkable impact since he was elected in 2019. The APC is not very strong in the state, even though it won the Senate seat and that of the Bende Federal Constituency during the last general elections. When The Nation contacted Kalu who is the House spokesman on his rumoured ambition, he said: “I have to pick any form, neither have I announced my intention to run for the governorship anywhere. Maybe that is what people want because it is zoned to my place, Abia North. I am currently considering my result so far and my proven capacity, having served from the local government to the state and now at the federal level. But, as you are aware, elections go beyond just what the people want to the political realities on the ground and not undermine the impact of the stakeholders’ agreement to go in a particular direction. For now, we will not leave the known for the unknown or leave certainty for uncertainty. I will remain focused while the conversation goes on and will announce when I pick my form for the next elections.”


Sha’aban Sharada is a member of the APC faction in Kano State led by former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau. The lawmaker who heads the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence has publicly declared his intention to succeed Governor Abdullahi Ganduje when his second term expires next year. The lawmaker said he has designed a road map to change the fortunes of the Kano people for the good when he takes over the mantle of leadership from Governor Ganduje. Considering the complications involved in the politics of Kano and the current development of the state’s chapter of the APC, it remains to be seen whether the Ganduje led faction will give up the governorship ticket to a man considered an opponent. But, if he eventually haves his way, Sharada will not be returning to the House in 2023.


Mohammed Tahir Monguno has served as Commissioner for Justice in Borno State and is currently the Chief Whip of the House. It is believed that with the exit of Abdullahi Kyari from the Senate to take over as the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, he will likely be the next man for the job in the Senate to represent Borno North Senatorial District. Inuwa Bwala, a former Commissioner for Information in the state and one of those eying Mongunu’s seat in the Green Chamber said on his Facebook page that the lawmaker is likely to emerge as the favourite candidate for the Senate because he is currently unopposed for the seat recently vacated by Kyari. If Mongunu goes to the Senate, the Green Chamber will no doubt be losing one of the most experienced lawmakers it has had over the years.


Another experienced lawmaker that will not return to the Green Chamber next year is Nkem Nzoma Abonta from Abia State. Abonta is said to have picked the PDP nomination form to contest the Senate seat that would be vacated by Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe. Abaribe is eyeing the Abia governorship seat. Abonta is one of the most respected and most vocal members of the House of Representatives and one of those lawmakers who hardly miss plenary, even though he is not heading any committee of the House at the moment. His absence in the House will no doubt create a vacuum.


The Chairman of the House Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Edwin Anayo is another member that may not come back to the Green Chamber next year. Anayo is one of those that have been cleared by the PDP to contest for the governorship ticket of the party in Ebonyi State. A silent political achiever, Anaya is believed to have the support of two of the three senatorial districts in the state. But his major handicap will be the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim who is said to have anointed another aspirant for the ticket. Former Governor Sam Egwu, now a senator, is also believed to be supporting Sylvester Ogbaga, another member of the House. But the support base of Anayo is said to stand him out from all those contesting for the party’s governorship ticket.


But, Anayo has to contend with Ogbaga and others for the ticket. But, political observers believe that Anayo is likely to get the party’s ticket, ahead of Ogbaga and other aspirants. Ogbaga, it is said, is hardly seen or heard in the House during plenaries. However, one certain thing is that both men will be missing in the House of Representatives when it is inaugurated next year.


If current campaigns are anything to go by, Haruna Mshelia, one of the lawmakers from Borno State may also not come back to the House. Youths of the area have been mobilizing against him returning to parliament.

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in News



To Top
slot="4644831179" data-auto-format="rspv" data-full-width="">