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SPECIAL REPORT ON THE PDP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

By NBF News
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•Bankole
There is undeniable, widespraed anger in the National Assembly. Many lawmakers are disenchanted with Jonathan. And that is whyAlhaji Atiku Abubakar stands to harvest bountifully.

Following the conclusion of the state and National Assembly primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – with less than two days to the commencement of the presidential primary, the political calculations may take an unexpected turn-which could upturn prevous calculations that seemed to haveassured President Goodluck Jonathan of a possible bloc vote from the legislation of both National Assembly and the state House of Assembly.

This may stem from the fact that a good number of members of the National Assembly, all of whom were promised return tickets by President Goodluck Jonathan in exchange for their votes and support during the presidential primaries, lost out.

What may have been the lawmakers' undoing is the alleged strained relationship between many of them and their respective state governors, most of whom are ironically in control of their party structures. Political pundits believe that the lawmakers' move late last year to include a section in the electoral law that would make provision for all lawmakers to become automatic members of their respective party's National Executive Council (NEC) was borne from their desperation to whittle the influence of the state governors on the party.

Other factors that may have contributed to the defeat of some is the zoning policy which some states have adopted that permits rotation of power between different constituencies, while some who lost out were accused of non performance.

At the peak of the zoning controversy and in lieu of the presidential primary which comes after those of the state and the National Assembly, President Jonathan had promised the governors and the PDP lawmakers' automatic tickets if they were going to vote for him during the primary today. However, with the latest developments, where a good number of the lawmakers could not secure return tickets, there is growing anxiety in the polity over the direction the pendulum would swing and in whose favour the aggrieved delegates would vote.

The breakdown of the number of lawmakers who lost their seats is as follow:

Akwa Ibom
Of the 13 members of the National Assembly, only three secured re-election ticket, and 20 members of the State House of Assembly were speculated to have lost out.

Bayelsa
One Senator, two House of Reps members and four state House of Assembly legislators did not come back.

Benue
Two Senators, seven House of Reps members and more than 2/3 of the House of Assembly members lost their seats.

Benin
Three House of assembly members lost their return tickets. Others at the national level either decamped to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) or did not re-contest.

Borno
One Senator, two House of Reps members and one member of the House of Assembly lost out.

Ebonyi
Three Senators, 13 House of Representatives members and 20 House of Assembly legislators did not get their return tickets.

Imo
Three Senators, six House of Reps members and 17 House of Assembly legislators, lost the primaries.

Katsina
One Senator, nine House of Reps members and 18 House of Assembly legislators lost the primaries.

Kogi
Atleast, one Senator and 25 House of Assembly members lost out.

Kano
One Senator (left for governorship race and failed), and 12 House of Assembly legislators lost to their parties.

Kaduna
One Senator, one House of Reps member and the 24 House of Assembly legislators lost out

Jigawa
Two Senators, two members of House of Reps and 11 House of Assembly legislators lost.

Ondo
One Senator, three House of Reps members and eight House of Assembly members lost out.

Ogun
Three Senators, five House of Reps members and eight House of Assembly legislators also lost out.

Osun
One Senator, two members of House of Reps and two members of the House of Assembly were dropped

Sokoto
One Senator and three House of Reps members did not get re-elected.

For the aggrieved lawmakers, who are also delegates, today's primaries may be payback time for the President who is believed to have failed in his promise to secure return tickets for them. Political analysts believe that the crashing out of these lawmakers, some of whom curiously enough, are staunch supporters of the President would be in Atiku's favour as the possibility of switching camps is very high.

The vote of delegates from the State Houses of Assembly is another factor. From the high figure of state legislators who crashed out, Jonathan's camp may be in for a shocker as the possibility of the affected legislators switching over to Atiku's camp is also high.