Nigerians went to the polls on February 25, 2023, to elect their next president and federal lawmakers made up of 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.
The result of the polls as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produced a major upset as prominent politicians lost out in their bid to become members of the 9th National Assembly. Here are ten major losers of the 2023 national assembly elections.
- Samuel Ortom:
In a major upset, Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost his senatorial election to a former aide, Titus Zam of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to official results, Mr Zam polled 143,151 votes to beat governor Ortom who got 106,882 votes.
Ortom, a member of the infamous G-5 governors, opposed to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP will not be representing the people of Benue North-west Senatorial zone in the 10th assembly.
His defeat is largely attributed to the internal crisis in the PDP, poor performance in office and the resurgence of opposition APC in the state.
- Simon Lalong:
- Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau state and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council lost his bid to clinch the Plateau South Senatorial seat after suffering a crushing defeat to Retired Air Vice Marshall Bali Ninkap of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Lalong, a political heavyweight polled 91,674 votes while Bali garnered 148,000 votes to be declared winner by INEC returning officer, Professor Meshak Goyit.
Lalong’s defeat has been largely attributed to poor performance in office and his inability to stop the clashes between farmers and militia herdsmen in the state.
- Ben Ayade:
Cross River state governor, Ben Ayade suffered one of the biggest defeats of his political career when he lost the 2023 Cross River North senatorial election to incumbent, Agom Jarigbe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ayade, who contested under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 56,595 votes while Agom Jarigbe got 76,145 votes.
The governor’s defeat is largely attributed to his defection to the APC and his inability to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people.
- Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi:
Another big loser of the 2023 national assembly election is Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who lost his bid to represent the people of Enugu North in the senate.
Ugwuanyi who has been governor since 2015 was defeated by Okechukwu Ezea, candidate of the Labour Party, who rode on the popularity and street credibility of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the party.
According to official figures from INEC, Ezea scored 104,948 votes to emerge winner while Ugwuanyi came second with 46,948 votes.
Uguwanyi’s political downfall is attributed to his below-par performance as governor of the South-Eastern state.
- Philip Aduda:
In what has been described as one of the major upsets of the 2023 national assembly election is the defeat of Philip Aduda, Senator representing the federal capital territory under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Aduda, who has been in the senate since 2011 was defeated by Ireti Kingibe, candidate of the Labour Party.
Ireti polled 202,175 votes across the five area councils to dislodge Aduda who got 100,544 votes. Her victory at the polls is largely attributed to Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party who was able to galvanize organic support from voters seeking a new order from the norm.
Aduda’s fall has been described by many as the beginning of true representation for the people of the FCT.
- Darius Ishaku:
Another major loser of the February 25th national assembly election is Darius Ishaku, governor of Taraba state who lost his bid to represent the people of Taraba South in the senate.
The governor who contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost to David Jimkuta, his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart by 39,707 votes.
Ishaku’s defeat has been attributed to his abysmal performance in office as a governor.
- Ajibola Bashiru:
The Senate spokesperson and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ajibola Bashiru, lost his re-election bid to represent the people of Osun Central in the National Assembly to the candidate of the PDP, Olubiyi Fadeyi.
According to official figures, Fadeyi scored 134,229 votes to defeat Bashiru, who polled 117,609 votes.
Senator Bashiru’s defeat has been largely attributed to the massive support the PDP currently enjoys in Osun state due to the popularity of Ademola Adeleke, the recently elected PDP governor of the state.
- Ndudi Elumelu:
A major victim of the Labour Party Tsunami is the Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal constituency of Delta State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Elumelu who has been in the lower chamber since 2007 lost his re-election bid to Labour Party candidate, Ngozi Okolie who scored 53, 879 votes as against 33, 466 secured by the lawmaker.
- Atiku Bagudu:
Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu of the APC lost his senatorial election to represent the people of Kebbi Central in the senate to former governor Adamu Aliero of the PDP.
According to official figures, Aliero polled 126,588 votes to defeat Bagudu who got 92,389 votes.
- Okezie Ipkeazu:
Last but not least, is Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state who lost the Abia South senatorial district election to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Governor Ikpeazu who contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came third in the race after polling 28,422 votes, while the eventual winner, Abaribe garnered a total of 49,693. Labour Party candidate, Chinedu Onyeizu came second with 43,903 votes.
Ipkeazu’s humiliation at the polls has been attributed to poor performance as governor, the internal crisis in the PDP and the Labour Party Tsunami.
The upset recorded in the just concluded February 25 national assembly and presidential election is an indication that power is gradually returning to the people who are the true custodians of any democracy.