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Roundup: 10 Biggest Political Losers in 2023


Roundup: 10 Biggest Political Losers in 2023

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The year 2023 was a turbulent one for Nigerian politics, as the country witnessed a historic presidential election, a series of cabinet appointments, and several corruption scandals.

Some politicians emerged victorious, while others suffered defeats, disappointments, and disgrace. Here are 10 of the biggest political losers in 2023:

Atiku Abubakar: The former vice president and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party came second in the election, losing to Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress by over 1.8 million votes. Atiku rejected the results and challenged them in court, but his petition was dismissed for lack of merit at the Supreme Court. He also faced allegations of money laundering and tax evasion in the UK and the US.

Peter Obi: The former governor of Anambra State and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party came third in the election, with 25.4% of the vote. Obi was seen as a strong contender, with his reputation for good governance and economic development. However, he failed to win the support of the Northern and Western region.

Rabiu Kwankwaso: The former governor of Kano State and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party came fourth in the election, with 6.23% of the vote. Kwankwaso was expected to perform well in the north-western region, where he had a large following. However, he only won his home state of Kano, and lost to Tinubu in the other six states. He also faced a rift with his former deputy, Abdullahi Ganduje, who defected to the APC and became the chairman of the party.

Ike Ekweremadu: The former deputy senate president and a member of the PDP was jailed for nine years and eight months in the UK, for his involvement in an organ trafficking plot. Ekweremadu, his wife, and their doctor were convicted of bringing a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos to London, to harvest his kidney for their daughter. Ekweremadu was also stripped of his parliamentary seat and his assets.

Chinyere Igwe: The former member of the House of Representatives and a member of the PDP was arrested for money laundering, after being caught with $498,100 in cash on the eve of the 2023 general election. Igwe, who represented part of Port Harcourt, was also found with a list of people to bribe, according to the police. He was charged to court and remanded in custody.

Oyibo Chukwu: The former senatorial candidate of the LP in Enugu East, was shot dead on Wednesday, December 7, by unknown gunmen. Chukwu, a former commissioner of health in Enugu State, was returning from a campaign rally, when he was ambushed and killed. The police blamed the separatist group IPOB for the murder, and declared a manhunt for the suspects.

Samuel Ortom: A member of the five aggrieved governors of the PDP known as the G5, lost his election bid for Benue North West Senatorial District in the National Assembly to his All Progressives Congress counterpart in the district, Titus Zam.

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi: Ugwuanyi, a former governor and another member of the G5, lost his bid to represent Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly to Okechukwu Ezea of the Labour Party.

Nasir El-Rufai: The former governor of Kaduna State was nominated by President Tinubu to serve as federal minister, but the Senate rejected him during screening over issues bordering on security. El-Rufai’s nomination was withdrawn after informing Tinubu that he was no longer interested in the position again, nominating his former commissioner for his replacement.

Ben Ayade: The former governor of Cross River state who had hoped to return to the Senate after completing his eight-year tenure as the governor was defeated by Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe of the PDP, who received 76,145 votes, while Ayade polled 56,595.

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