ransparency is the key that unlocks the door to good governance, and accountability is the threshold for the foundation of growth and development within a given society. But, when a society, leadership especially, refuses to embrace these two key factors (transparency and accountability) due to selfish gains and interest, the aftermath would plunge such a nation into a state of backward development, chaos, mayhem, anarchy and all negative words (things) one could only but imagine.
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, 50 members of the APC (All Progressives Congress) in the Senate and two members of the main opposition party, the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party), voted against electronic transmission of election results in the upcoming general elections, despite widespread calls for a long-term solution to the country’s plethora of electoral problems. Despite INEC’s (Independent National Electoral Commission) constitutionally protected independence, Senators urged that it(INEC) be forced to seek authorization from the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) which is a department under the Presidency, and that the intensely politicized National Assembly must endorse the NCC’s decision.
We bring to you the Senators that fought against Nigerians’ request for future election results to be transmitted electronically:
Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya (representing Kano Central)
The controversial Section 53 (3) of the Electoral Act (Amendment Bill 2021), which allows INEC to submit election results electronically, was proposed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, who happens to be the former Governor of Kano State. In an ironic turn of events, Gaya voted against the panel’s recommendation he chaired.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (representing Delta Central)
The Senator currently serves as the Senate’s Deputy President. He was accused of bringing thugs into the Senate Chamber of the 8th National Assembly with the intent of stealing the Maze, Nigeria’s emblem of democracy.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (representing Delta North)
Many people believe the Senator switched from the PDP to join the APC in order to seek asylum in the ruling party and avoid justice in the multibillion-naira corruption charges hanging over his head at the Niger Delta Development Commission. Nwaoboshi is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, which is in charge of overseeing the Intervention Agency’s operations.
Senator Ali Ndume (representing Borno South)
In 2019, the senator, who served as Senate Leader in the 8th National Assembly, ran for Senate Presidency against incumbent Ahmad Lawan, but lost. Borno South District is where he represents. Despite the fact that his state has been decimated by the Boko Haram war and his constituents have been scattered around the country in multiple internally displaced camps, the state has consistently produced large numbers of votes in elections.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (representing Ekiti Central)
Before entering politics a few years after graduating, the Senator was an active member of a Student Union. Prior to joining the Senate, he worked as a Commissioner in Lagos State and served in the House of Representatives. He is rumoured to be seeking the governorship seat in Ekiti State after Governor Kayode Fayemi’s term finishes.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir (representing Sokoto East)
Gobir is believed to have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit and a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and energy from Bauchi State’s Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. He is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Institute of Electrical Engineers in the United Kingdom.
Mohammed Goje (representing Gombe Central)
Goje served as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the 8th National Assembly and is a Former Governor of Gombe State. He had planned to run for Senate Presidency in 2019 until he was allegedly persuaded by the cabal in the Presidential Villa to abandon his goal for obvious reasons.
Yusuf Yusuf (representing Taraba Central)
He is member of APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee. On September 29, 2015, he was declared the winner of the Senate seat after a tribunal expelled the PDP candidate, Bashir Marafa, who had previously been pronounced the winner.
Ibrahim Bomai (representing Yobe South)
Between 2005 to 2008, the Senator worked for the Federal Capital Territory Administration as Deputy Director (Accounts) of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
He was the Auditor-General for the FCT area councils under the FCTA during that time. In 2008, Bomai was elevated to Director of the FCTA’s Treasury, a key position he held until August 2016, when he retired from the Civil Service.
Sahabi Ya’u (representing Zamfara North)
On July 21, 2021, Senator Sahabi Ya’u left the PDP for the APC. He explained that his decision was prompted by the chronic crisis that plagued the PDP’s Zamfara State chapter, which forced the national leadership to dissolve the party’s state executive.
Uba Sani (representing Kaduna Central)
Sani was appointed Special Assistant (Political and Intergovernmental Affairs) by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in 2015. Sani, on the other hand, ran for and won the Kaduna Central senatorial seat in 2019, succeeding Senator Shehu Sani, who had previously held the seat in the 8th Senate.
Elisha Abbo (representing Adamawa North)
Until a viral video of his alleged assault of a nursing mother at a sex toyshop in Abuja appeared in 2019, not much was known about this youngest member of the 9th Senate. The Senator who was elected on the PDP ticket recently switched to the APC.
Ahmad Kaita (representing Katsina North)
Kaita was allegedly humiliated by enraged youths after being invited to a wedding ceremony by his buddy, Alhaji Mannir Talba, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The enraged youngsters accused Kaita of failing to adequately represent his constituency, according to the online publication.
Adamu Aliero (representing Kebbi Central)
In December 2008, late President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed Aliero, a former Governor of Kebbi State, as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. He was forced to step down when the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet in March 2010.
Yahaya Abdullahi (representing Kebbi North)
Senator Abdullahi is the current Senate Leader. He attempted everything he could think of, including pleading (using in God’s Name) with the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to remove his insistence on using headcount to decide who supported electronic result transmission and who opposed it.
Yakubu Oseni (representing Kogi Central)
Senator Yakubu Oseni was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service by Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello from 2016 to 2018, before resigning to run for the Senate seat in 2019.
Jibrin Isah (representing Kogi East)
In 2011, Isah ran for the PDP governorship ticket, but was defeated by Idris Wada. In 2015, he fought Wada once again but lost. In a supplemental election in 2019, he was invariably elected to the Senate.
Smart Adeyemi (representing Kogi West)
He served as the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists for a while. From 2007 through 2015, he was twice elected to the Senate on the PDP platform. In 2015, he was defeated by Senator Dino Melaye, and in 2019, he defected to the APC to challenge Melaye, who had also defected to the PDP. Despite the fact that Adeyemi was defeated in the election, he went to the tribunal. A supplementary election was called by the court, which allowed him to return to the Senate.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe (representing Kwara Central)
In 2019, the Medical Doctor, also known as the “giant killer,” was declared the winner of the Kwara Central Senatorial District, which was formerly held by Bukola Saraki, the former Senate President.
Oloriegbe was a key figure in the now-contentious and crisis-plagued ‘O to ge’ campaign in 2019, which tried to delegitimize the late Senator Olusola Saraki’s political dynasty in Kwara State.
Oluremi Tinubu (representing Lagos Central)
Oluremi Tinubu is the wife of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC’s National Leader and former Governor of Lagos State, who is widely regarded as the godfather of Lagos politics and most part of southwest.
Solomon Adeola (representing Lagos West)
The Awori-Yewa Senator, often known as Yayi or Omo West, hails from Ogun State but has represented Lagos West District since 2015, following a stint in the House of Representatives.
Tanko Al-Makura (representing Nasarawa North)
The Former Nasarawa State Governor is alleged to be targeting the APC National Chairmanship and has been rallying tremendous support to achieve his goal.
Godiya Akwashiki (representing Nasarawa South)
Until 2019, when he was elected as a Senator, the Senator was the Deputy Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly. A viral video of him taken just before the 9th National Assembly’s opening garnered widespread attention to him. He served as the Senate’s spokesperson for a short time until being replaced by Senator Ajibola Basiru.
Abdullahi Adamu (representing Nasarawa West)
After spending time in the Government House, the two-time Governor of Nasarawa State is now in the Senate. He also serves as the chairman of the Red Chamber’s Agriculture Committee. In Nasarawa State, he is said to be a wealthy farmer.
Mohammed Musa (representing Niger East)
Musa is a significant contractor for INEC and is alleged to have sponsored the contentious social media bill. He is said to have supplied the majority of the agency’s technological gear, including the card readers. Many individuals were taken aback by his choice to vote against electronic broadcast of election results. He is now running for the APC’s National Chairmanship.
Aliyu Abdullahi (representing Niger North)
Abdullahi left his job as a Federal Civil Servant to enter politics. He was the 8th Senate’s Spokesperson. As a reward for his role in Senator Ahmad Lawan’s election as Senate President, he was appointed Deputy Whip of the 9th Senate. He was a co-sponsor of the contentious hate speech measure that is still being debated in the House.
Mohammed Enagi (representing Niger South)
Before he became interested in politics, nothing was known about the Quantity Surveyor who retired as a Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Nora Dadu’ut (representing Plateau South)
Dadu’ut, a Professor of French at the University of Jos in Plateau State, resigned as Head of the Department of French and entered active politics. After winning a bye-election in 2020, she was elected to the Senate on the APC platform.
Francis Alimikhena (representing Edo North)
In the year 2000, Alimikhena retired as a Major from the Nigerian Army and entered politics. After defecting from the PDP to the APC, he ran for and won the National Assembly election in 2015. He rose through the ranks of the Senate to become Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise in the 8th Senate.
Abubakar Kyari (representing Borno North)
Kyari served in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 before becoming a Senator. He served as a Commissioner in Borno State from 2003 to 2005. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as a Commissioner.
Ajibola Basiru (representing Osun Central)
Before becoming a Senator, the Property Law Doctorate Degree Holder served as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Osun State for 8 years. He is the Senate’s current Spokesperson.
Robert Boroffice (representing Ondo North)
In 1992, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure named the Professor of Zoology as the Coordinating Director for Science. He worked on Biotechnology, ICT, and Space Science and Technology. The National Biotechnology Development Agency, the National Information Technology Development Agency, and the National Space Research and Development Agency were created as a result of this.
Boroffice became Director-General of the Space Agency in 1999, a position he maintained for ten years before entering politics and being elected Senator in 2015.
Orji Uzor Kalu (representing Abia North)
Kalu, who served as Governor of Abia State twice, was elected to the Senate in 2019 and appointed Senate Chief Whip. He is currently engaged in a legal struggle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Adelere Oriolowo (representing Osun West)
Senator Oriolowo retired as a Civil Servant after serving in Osun State under Governor Rauf Aregbesola. In 2019, he was elected to the Senate and named Chairman of the Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance.
Aishatu Ahmed (representing Adamawa Central)
Senator Binani, who was born in 1971, had her university education in the United Kingdom, where she earned a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southampton. She was a member of the 7th National Assembly’s House of Representatives.
Biobarakama Degi-Eremienyo (representing Bayelsa East)
In the 2019 general elections, Degi-Eremienyo was elected to the Senate, and in September of same year, he was announced as David Lyon’s running mate in the Bayelsa State Governorship election on November 16, 2019.
On November 12, 2019, the Federal High Court in Abuja barred him from standing as Lyon’s running partner for the Bayelsa State Governorship election due to academic document forgery.
INEC declared him the Deputy Governor-Elect of Bayelsa State on November 16, 2019, however his election was annulled by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on February 13, 2020, a day before his swearing-in as Deputy Governor, on the basis that he submitted a forged certificate to INEC.
Oyelola Ashiru (representing Kwara South)
In 2018, Ashiru and other Kwara politicians in PDP joined the APC to battle against the Saraki dynasty. He was one of the benefactors from the ‘O To Ge’ movement.
Bello Mandiya (representing Katsina South)
Mandiya is a Former Chief of Staff to Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina State Governor, and holds a Mass Communication degree. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Water Resources.
Hezekiah Dimka (representing Plateau Central)
In 2018, he served on the Board of TETFUND North Central. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics.
Frank Ibezim (representing Imo North)
On Friday, April 17, 2021, the Supreme Court overturned Ibezim’s disqualification as the genuine candidate in the Imo North senatorial election, which took place on December 5, 2020.
The suit that led to Ibezim’s disqualification for allegedly providing false information to secure nomination was statute-barred at the time it was filed, according to Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered a unanimous judgment.
On April 27, he was sworn into the Senate.
Kashim Shettima (representing Borno Central)
Since his appointment to the Senate, the Former Governor of Borno State has kept a low profile.
In 2011, he ran for Governor and won on the platform of the now-defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and he was re-elected in 2015 on the platform of the APC. Throughout his 8-year administration, insurrection was rampant.
Sa’idu Alkali (representing Gombe North)
Alkali is an Economist with a Bachelor of Science Degree. In the administration of Danjuma Goje, Former Governor of Gombe State, he served as Commissioner of Information.
Amos Bulus (representing Gombe South)
Many Nigerians were startled to learn that Bulus, an Air Commodore who was appointed Director of Information Technology at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness before retiring, could vote against electronic transmission of election results.
Danladi Sankara (representing Jigawa North-East)
Sankara was elected to the Senate after many years of hard work, and he has led a quiet life since his arrival in the Red Chamber.
Ibrahim Hadejia (representing Jigawa North-West)
Hadejia was the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Jigawa State before being elected to the Senate.
Suleiman Kwari (representing Kaduna North)
In 2019, Senator Kwari was elected. He was the Commissioner for Finance in Kaduna State and a member of the House of Representatives for the Sabon Gari constituency before then.
Kabir Barkiya (representing Katsina Central)
In an essay published on the Katsina Post website, one of Barkiya’s members, Bishir Subuwar, wrote: “Today, Katsina Central Senatorial District is at the mercy of homicidal bandits; women, elderly and young, are being raped. Farmers were afraid of being kidnapped or killed if they went to their deepest and most fertile land.”
He continued, “Many peasants and minor traders, who make up more than 99 percent of the population, are now living in abject poverty, having lost all of their valuables as a result of ransom payments.”
Does this show that he is still sensitive to the plight of the common man?
Jika Halliru (representing Bauchi Central)
Halliru, who was born in 1976, was elected to the House of Representatives and served two terms from 2007 to 2015. In the general elections of 2019, he was elected to the Senate.
Lawali Anka (representing Zamfara West)
Following the disqualification of APC elected member in Zamfara State in 2019, Lawali became a Senator by accident. This Senator in the Red Chamber remains a mystery because not much is known about him.
Lawal Yahaya Gumau (representing Bauchi South)
Before his election to the Senate, Lawal served in the House of Representatives twice.
Stephen Odeh (PDP, representing Cross River North)
Odeh was elected to the Senate with the help of Governor Ben Ayade, who just switched from the PDP to the APC. Odey, unlike Ayade, is yet to defect, apparently due to a long-running dispute with INEC, which had officially removed him from the Senate, having issued a fresh certificate of return to a member of the House of Representatives, Jarigbe Jarigbe.
Shuaibu Lau (PDP, representing Taraba North)
On June 23, 2017, Lau was elected to the Senate through litigation, but on March 28, 2019, he was re-elected under the PDP. Contrary to his party’s policy, he also joined the APC Senators in opposing the plan for electronic election results transmission.
From the foregoing, it may suffice you to know that most, if not all of the 52 sitting Senators that rejected the call for election results to be transmitted electronically rigged their way through during election to get to the Senate. Since they are power-drunk and would do whatever it takes to keep their seats for life (if possible), that, I believe, is the reason they are opposed to this idea of transmitting election results to everyone immediately the election comes to an end.
And, such method would bring about transparency and allow for a free and fair election to take place, leaving no room for malpractices and manipulation of results that we have been witnessing in time past because ballot boxes had to get to the collation centers and it takes hours even days before results are announced.