Today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is conducting 15 by-elections across the country. Daily Trust reports that interested political parties are doing everything within their powers to emerge winners.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties are all out to grab the 15 vacant parliamentary seats in both National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly in today’s by-elections being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The 15 elections, holding in 11 states, have raised tension in the affected constituencies as political parties and their candidates move to outdo one another to win.
The affected constituencies are Bayelsa Central; Bayelsa West; Nganzai state constituency (Borno); Bayo state constituency (Borno); Cross River North and Obudu state constituency (Cross River).
Others are Imo North; Lagos East; Kosofe II state constituency (Lagos); Plateau South senatorial district; Bakura state constituency (Zamfara); Ibaji state constituency (Kogi); Isiuzo state constituency (Enugu) and Bakori state constituency (Katsina State).
The seats became vacant following the deaths and resignation of some lawmakers at both federal and state parliaments.
Six of the seats are for the Senate and political parties and their candidates are leaving no stone unturned to win.
At the moment, the APC has 60 senators, PDP 42 and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) one.
For the Plateau South senatorial by-election, the battle is between the APC and the opposition PDP. Governor Simon Lalong is from this senatorial district.
During their campaigns, the two contenders, Professor Nora Ladi Dadu’ut of the ruling APC and Senator George Daika expressed optimism that they would win the seat, which became vacant following the death of Senator Ignatius Longjan, who was of the APC.
Political pundits said Professor Dadu’ut could coast to victory with the support of party stalwarts. However, the APC candidate is seen as a novice in the political scene.
Unlike her, however, Daika has been in politics for almost two decades. Analysts said his years in politics were a plus to his candidature. But the crack in the party may negatively affect him at the poll.
The publicity secretary of the PDP in the state, John Akans, told Daily Trust that he was confident that his party would emerge victorious in the election. But his counterpart in the APC, Bashir Musan Sati, said his party’s chances of winning the election were brighter.
Two by-elections reignite supremacy battle in Lagos
The Saturday by-elections for the Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe 2 Constituency in the state House of Assembly have reignited the supremacy battle between the ruling APC and the opposition PDP.
Both parties have vowed to emerge victorious in the elections, and they have been in the trenches soliciting for voters’ support in Saturday’s crucial polls.
Ex-banker, Tokunbo Abiru of the APC is slugging it out with a real estate guru, Babatunde Gbadamosi of the PDP, while APC’s Femi Saheed also confronts Ademola Alebiosu of the PDP for the Kosofe 2 by-election.
Expectedly, the senatorial contest has attracted the most publicity, given the size of the constituency with over 1million registered voters.
But ahead of the election, the contest has been dogged by legal fireworks as both parties have taken themselves to court, seeking their disqualification.
The PDP had earlier taken the APC candidate to court, seeking his disqualification for alleged double registration.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the PDP and Gbadamosi asked for the disqualification of Abiru on two counts, over issues relating to permanent voters cards.
In another twist, the APC also called for the disqualification of Gbadamosi, accusing him of forging his WAEC certificate.
Both parties have accused each other of desperation in filing the cases. The legal twist has further raised tension ahead of the elections. But the determinants of the election would be the voters, where the elections would hold.
In Bayelsa, there are two by-elections – Central and West senatorial districts. The two dominant political parties in the state, the APC and PDP have heightened strategies in wooing voters to their favour.
For Bayelsa Central, the APC has fielded Chief Abel Ebifemowei, a grassroots mobiliser and cousin to the first civilian governor of the state, the late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, while the PDP has its immediate past state chairman, Moses Cleopas. Both of them are from Southern Ijaw Local Government, the vote basket of Bayelsa State.
Also, in Bayelsa West, it will be a clash of the titans between the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Henry Seriake Dickson, who flies the PDP flag, and a former deputy governor, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, who is the candidate of the APC. Before the 2019 governorship election in the state, both Dickson and Ebebi were political allies before the latter dumped the PDP to support Chief David Lyon, the APC candidate.
Although the INEC is still silent on the exclusion of the APC candidate in Bayelsa West, Peremobowei Ebebi, his supporters were seen jubilating on Wednesday, claiming that the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt had reinstated him.
Bauchi: It’s proxy fight between Dogara and Bala Mohammed
Tension is trailing the conduct of today’s by-election to fill the vacuum created by the murder of a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Musa Mante Baraza.
The tension is said to be connected with the political rivalry between Governor Bala Mohammed and former Speaker of the House Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Dass is one of the three local government areas that make up the Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa federal constituency, the seat Dogara is occupying in the House of Representatives.
While Bala Ali Lukshi is the candidate of the APC, Lawal Bala Wundi flies the PDP ticket.
Tension mounts in Zamfara over Bakura constituency
Candidates fielded by different political parties are bracing up for today’s by-election for state Assembly in Bakura constituency of Zamfara State.
The election is largely seen as a contest between APC’s Alhaji Bello Dankande Gamji and PDP’s Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Tudu. However, there are other 12 candidates fielded by different political parties.
A High Court in Abuja on Thursday declared a House of Representatives member, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP in the senatorial by-election for the Cross River North senatorial district. He represents Ogoja/Yala federal constituency on the platform of the PDP.
Jarigbe will slug it out with Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is the candidate of the APC. The position became vacant following the demise of Senator Rose Oko early this year. Oko was of the PDP.
The INEC is also conducting a by-election for the Obudu State constituency of Cross River today.
The Imo North senatorial by-election has, no doubt, become a litmus test for the dramatis personae in the quest to control the Imo State chapter of the APC. It is between the sitting governor, Hope Uzodimma and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha.
It will be a titanic battle between the two gladiators who are in strong contest over who will be the authentic leader of the party in the state, each of them controlling parallel excos of the party in the state.
The Imo North seat became vacant following the death of Senator Ben Uwajumogu last year. Since his death, the quest to replace him has become a topsy-turvy game among heavyweights in the zone, including some interested parties who want their acolytes to occupy the seat.
After several moves over the APC ticket, the matter became an issue of litigation.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, Imo State on Friday invalidated the candidature of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer for the Imo North senatorial bye-election which holds today.
The court declared Frank Ibezim, who was originally declared winner of the primary election as the authentic candidate.
A Federal High Court had earlier sacked Ibezim as APC candidate and gave it to Araraume, who came third in the primary election.
The judgment, which was delivered by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam, came barely 24 hours to the bye-election which holds today in the six Local Government Areas of the senatorial district.
The judge, while declaring Ibezim as the authentic candidate of the APC ahead of the election, faulted the November 6 judgment of the Federal High Court which sacked Ibezim and announced Araraume, who represented the district between 1999 and 2007 as the rightful winner of APC primary election.
The justice ordered INEC to immediately enlist Ibezim’s name as the candidate of the party for the bye-election.
Emma Okewulonu, the candidate of the PDP may be the lovely bride in this epic battle.