Labour Party Gains Ground in NASS, Captures Six Senate Seats and 34 House Seats
With six Senate seats and 34 House of Representative seats won in the National Assembly (NASS) elections on February 25, the pro-worker political organization known as the Labour Party (LP) appears to be gradually pushing its way into mainstream politics after more than 20 years since its founding.
Prior to this point, the Party for Social Democracy (PSD), which was formerly known as the Liberation Party (LP), was comparatively unknown in the political sphere. But, with the advent of the Peter Obi phenomenon, the PSD achieved extraordinary popularity. The success of LP in the recently completed elections for the red and green chambers is undoubtedly attributable to the popularity and support of the party’s flag bearer among the vast majority of young people, or “Obidients,” who voted for the party.
At a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Saturday, Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stated, “In the elections last Saturday, winners have also been declared for 423 national legislative seats while supplementary elections will be held in 46 constituencies.
“98 of the Senate’s 109 seats have been declared. So far, seven political parties have won senatorial seats, while eight political parties have won 325 of 360 House of Representatives seats.”
According to the INEC chief, the APC won 57 Senate seats, the PDP 29, the LP 6, the SDP 2, the NNPP 2, the YPP 1, and the APGA 1. According to the electoral chair, the APC has 162 seats in the lower chamber, the PDP has 102, the LP has 34, the NNPP has 18, the APGA has four, the ADC has two, the SDP has two, and the YPP has one.
Yakubu also stated that Senators-elect would receive their Certificates of Return on Tuesday at the National Collation Centre (the International Conference Centre) in Abuja, while Members of the House of Representatives-elect would receive theirs the following day, Wednesday, at the same location.
In comparison to its phenomenal performance in the 2023 elections, the LP received no seats in the 2019 National Assembly elections. Four years ago, the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the majority seats in the house with over 211 members, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received over 111 members. The smaller parties shared the remaining seats.
The APC controlled the Senate with 64 senators, followed by the PDP with 44 and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) with a single seat. With the series of defections in the 9th National Assembly, the figures have since changed.
Obi, the trader and former Anambra State governor who is changing the game and leading Nigeria’s new third force in politics, has galvanized the support of millions of youths, particularly in southern Nigeria, in less than a year since switching from the PDP to the LP.
INEC ruled that Obi, 61, had lost the presidential election despite winning 12 states, including Lagos and other former strongholds of the two previously dominant parties, with a total of 6,101,533 votes. On Wednesday, INEC declared Bola Tinubu of the ruling APC the winner of the election, having received 8,794,726 votes more than Obi and 6,984,520 votes more than Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
Although Obi has vowed to take the presidential election results to court, citing the failure of the electoral umpire to transmit results electronically, widespread rigging, and reports of violence and disruption at many polling units during the election, many observers would argue that the 2023 NASS election, in particular, was a fairly good start for the ‘Obidient’ family.
With the March 11, 2023 governorship and state assembly elections just days away, ‘Obidients,’ who appear to be causing a political storm in Nigeria at the moment despite claims of having no structure, are determined to produce LP governors and state assembly members, particularly in states where Obi won the presidential election. Nigerians will vote for 28 state governors in a seasonal election next Saturday.
Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State was the last and only governor produced by the LP in the last 20 years, serving from February 2009 to February 2017.
Observers believe the days ahead will be memorable.