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Ajimobi, Saraki, Okorocha — politicians who suffered ‘double loss’ in 2019

Ajimobi, Saraki, Okorocha — politicians who suffered ‘double loss’ in 2019
March 14
08:23 2019
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In every electoral process, there are winners and losers but some losses are more intense than others, depending on a variety of factors. All parties and candidates head into elections with the optimism of either retaining their positions or unseating the incumbents — none ever plans to lose.

But there must be losers. In fact, there are more losers than winners. Here, we take a look at some of the politicians who suffered double loss in the 2019 general election.

BUKOLA SARAKI

O to ge– the people of Kwara said enough is enough and this altered the political calculation of Senate President Bukola Saraki. Running under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he contested the Kwara central senatorial district election and lost to Ibrahim Oloriegbe, a medical doctor like himself.

Oloriegbe, who had vowed to retire Saraki from the senate, polled 123,808 votes to defeat the senate president who had 68,994 votes. While trying to recover from the shock of the legislative poll, Saraki was hit by yet another loss. Razak Atunwa, his preferred candidate for the governorship poll in Kwara, lost to Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

No senate seat nor senate leadership, no governance edge in Kwara, no presidency (having earlier lost the presidential primary of the PDP). Triple loss, you may call it.

GODSWILL AKPABIO

The “uncommon senator” representing Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district was not saved from the tsunami of losses that swept through the elections. Akpabio prides himself as a strategic politician, having played a key role in the emergence of Udom Emmanuel, incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom.

While in the opposition party, he was senate minority leader but he resigned his position upon his defection. Some of his supporters believe that his political misfortune started when he abandoned the PDP but Akpabio saw things in a different way. Five days to the governorship election, Akpabio said PDP lost the presidential election the day he joined APC. He made this comment despite not being able to deliver Akwa Ibom for President Muhammadu Buhari

Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom, defeated Akpabio in the senatorial election though the senator has insisted that he won the election and “my mandate is waiting for me”.

In Saturday’s election, Nsima Ekere, who served as deputy when Akpabio governed the state, was defeated by the incumbent governor. Akpabio had campaigned vigorously for Ekere who lost alongside Akpabio’s allies who sought seats in the state assembly. What an uncommon defeat.

 ABIOLA AJIMOBI

The loss was not only for “Mr Constituted Authority” but also for the APC. Abiola Ajimobi’s emergence as governor in 2011 paved way for the party to snatch power from the PDP which had ruled in the state since 2003. But as things stand now, the PDP is back in control. Kola Balogun of the PDP defeated Ajimobi in the Oyo south senatorial contest.

Then, Ajimobi’s anointed candidate, Adebayo Adelabu lost the governorship poll to Seyi Makinde, still of the PDP. Some have said Ajimobi’s loss robbed off on Adelabu. Ajimobi goes into history as the first governor to rule for two terms in the state but this feat did not help him when he needed it most.

ROCHAS OKOROCHA

Many have accused Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, of wanting to institute a monarchy in the state — and that may have been the catalyst of his loss in the 2019 polls. In 2018, Okorocha appointed Ogechi Ololo, his sister, as commissioner of the “happiness ministry” in Imo.

The governor planned for Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, to succeed him. When Nwosu did not clinch the part’s ticket at the primary of the APC, Okorocha nudged him to defect to the Action Alliance (AA) while he (Okorocha) contested the senate seat under the platform of the APC.

However, Nwosu lost to Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and while his camp was strategising on how to stop Ihedioha, INEC deleted the name of Okorocha on the list of elected senators. The move followed the complaint by Innocent Ibeabuchi, returning officer for the election, that he was forced to declare the results in favour of Okorocha. INEC had said it would not issue certificates of return to any candidate declared winner of an election under duress.

IBRAHIM DANKWAMBO

Like Saraki, Ibrahim Dankwambo’s loss story began when he sought the presidential ticket of the PDP which was eventually won by Atiku Abubakar. The two-term governor of Gombe, again, lost out in his bid to represent the state’s north senatorial district in the national assembly.

The governor, who contested under the platform of the PDP was defeated by Sa’idu Alkali of the APC. The APC candidate scored 152,546 votes ahead of Dankwambo who had 88,016 votes.

Not only did Dankwambo lose his senatorial bid, the APC has taken control of the state which was a stronghold of the PDP for over a decade.

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