National Assembly Elections: Children, wives of politicians get seats

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The just-concluded election in Nigeria has been marred with controversies and surprises. One of the most unexpected outcomes was the victory of the children and wives of politicians who have clinched seats in the National Assembly.

This unprecedented occurrence has sparked heated debates and reactions from both supporters and critics alike, as some question the fairness of the electoral process and the merit of the candidates elected. With these latest developments, it seems that the Nigerian political scene has taken a new turn, leaving many wondering what the future holds for the country’s democracy.

In Nigeria, the transfer of political power from parents to children is not new. Spouses ascending to political power through marital connection is also becoming a trend.

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Two weeks ago, Nigerians elected members of the National Assembly across the 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal constituencies.

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According to  DAILY POST, review shows that several family members of notable politicians participated in the election.

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Olamijuwonlo Akala

Olamijuwonlo, the son of the former Governor of Oyo State, Alao Akala contested the Ogbomoso Federal Constituency election on the 25th of February.

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He polled 33, 268 votes to beat his close rival, Olufemi Onireti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 27,126.

Olamijuwonlo will be in the 10th House of Representatives.

Bello El-Rufai

The son of Governor Nasir Elrufai, Bello also contested and won a seat in the House of Representatives to represent Kaduna North.

Bello, a member of the ruling party polled 51,052 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Samaila Suleiman who had 34,808 votes.

The senior Elrufai is at the final lap of his second term as Governor of the State.

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu

Erhiatake, the daughter of the former Governor of Delta State is also on her way to the Green Chamber to represent the Ethiope federal constituency of Delta State.

She polled 10,634 votes to defeat the incumbent Roland Igbakpa of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), who polled 3,591 votes.

Ibori, who once served a term in a UK prison, was governor of the oil state from 1999 to 2007.

Ireti Kingibe

Ireti, the wife of Babagana Kingibe is the senator-elect for the federal capital territory.

Babangana was the running mate to Moshood Abiola during the 1993 presidential election and played a prominent role during the Sani Abacha regime.

Ireti won the senatorial election by defeating the long-serving Philip Aduda of the PDP. She scored a total of 202,175 votes to defeat Aduda who polled 100,544 votes.

Blessing Onuh

Blessing Onuh, the daughter of former Senate President, David Mark, also won her re-election to represent Otukpo/Ohinmimi federal constituency of Benue State.

She polled 29,031 votes to defeat his closest rival Alex Ogbe of PDP who got 21,741.

Ms Onuh’s father was in the Senate from 1999 to 2019 and was Senate President for 8 years.

Unlike her father, Ms Onuh is a member of the ruling APC.

Regina Akume

Mrs Akume, the wife of Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume is also on her way to the Green Chamber.

She won the election to represent Tarka/Gboko Federal Constituency on the platform of the All Progressive Congress.

She was Benue State First Lady from 1999 to 2007.

Khadijah Bukar

The former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs is the wife of the former Governor of Yobe State, Bukar Ibrahim.

In 2018, Ms Bukar had to fight her stepson for the ticket of the APC and subsequently won the main election.

Once again, Mrs Bukar is among the 15 female House of Representatives members elected so far.

She represents Damaturu/Gulani/Tarmowa/Gujba federal constituency in Yobe State.

Ebele Obiano

The wife of former Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State contested the Anambra North Senatorial District election on the platform of APGA.

However, she was defeated by Tony Nwoye of the Labour Party.

Oluwajomiloju “Joju” Fayose

The son of former Governor Ayodele Fayose was also defeated on February 25.

The young Fayose contested for the Ado-Ekiti/Ifelodun/Irepodun Constituency of Ekiti State.

He was defeated by Oluwafemi Fatoba with 39,183 total votes. Oluwajomiloju emerged first runner-up with 12,295 votes.

It would be recalled that Fayose and several other PDP members in Ekiti were expelled by the party for anti-party activities.

Umar Abdullahi Ganduje

The junior Ganduje, a candidate of the APC for Dawakin Tofa-Tofa and Rimin Gado Federal constituency was defeated on 25 February.

He was defeated by Tijjani Abudlkadir Jobe, a candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP).

The NNPP candidate polled 52, 456 votes while Ganduje polled 44,809 votes.

Akeem Adeyemi

The son of the late Alafin of Oyo also won his re-election to represent Atiba/Oyo East/Oyo West Federal Constituency.

Adeyemi of the APC was declared the winner with 34,822 votes, while the candidate of the PDP had 31,621.

This is the first time Mr Adeyemi would win an election without his father’s support.

Dapo Lam-Adesina

Dapo, the son of the former Governor of Oyo, Lam Adesina, also took a shot at coming back to the House of Representatives, but he lost out.

Dapo was in the 8th House (2015-2019) before he lost his bid to return in 2019. In this election cycle, Dapo contested against the incumbent, Abass Adigun.

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