By Afeez Hanafi

Ike Ekweremadu

Former Deputy Senate President and lawmaker in the current 9th National Assembly, Ike Ekweremadu, on Friday, declared his intention to contest for the governorship in Enugu State in 2023. By then, the five-time senator would have spent 20 years at the red chamber.

More interestingly, during the next general elections, Ekweremadu would be marking 26 years in government at various levels and must have raked in millions of naira in salaries and allowances paid from public funds.

He began his political career in 1997 when he was appointed as the Executive Chairman of Aninri Local Government Council on the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party. He was then appointed Chief of staff to then governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, from 1999 to 2001.

Ekweremadu was made Secretary to Enugu State Government in 2001 and served till 2002 when he began the race to the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. He was first elected a senator in 2003 and remained there till date through re-elections.

Declaring his intention at a world press conference in Enugu, tagged, “media consultation,” Ekweremadu, a lawyer, said he was going into the governorship race to make a pathway for a new Enugu State.

However, Ekweremadu is not the only politician who has had a long career in politics other than practising their primary professions.


The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, is another long-serving political office holder. A lecturer turned politician, Lawan has been in the National Assembly since 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule after years of military incursions.

He started as a member of the House of Representatives in 1999 and served two terms until 2007 when he moved to the Senate. So far, the number three citizen of Nigeria has been at the federal parliament for 22 years, occupying different positions with commensurate salaries and allowances.


A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Babatunde Fashola began his political career in 1999, serving as Secretary of the Lands Sub-Committee of the Transitional Work Groups in 1999; a member of the panel of Enquiry into allocation of houses on the Mobolaji Johnson Housing Scheme at Lekki in 2000; a member of the State Tenders Board, Lagos State Executive Council, State Security Council and State Treasury Board from 2002 to 2006. He was elected governor of the state for two terms from 2007 to 2015.

Fashola was made a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, manning three ministries – Works, Power and Housing. He is presently the Minister of Works and Housing.

As a former governor, Fashola benefited from ‘severance package’ and pension for ex-governors in the state. These include a house in any location in the state and a house in Abuja for a two-term governor, six new cars every three years, 100 per cent of the basic salary of the incumbent governor, free health care for himself and members of his family, furniture allowance, which is 300 per cent of their annual basic salary as well as house maintenance allowance and eight policemen and two officials of Department of State Services attached to him for life. However, the Lagos State House of Assembly announced in August 2021 that it had reduced the pension of former governors of the state by half.

David Mark

A former Senate President and retired Brigadier General, David Mark represented Benue South Senatorial District from 1999 to 2019. Prior to his senatorial career, he was the military Governor of Niger State from 1984 to 1986 and Minister of Communication.

He hoped to run for President in 2018 and appointed Zainab Abdulkadir Kure as his campaign manager and Abba Ejembi as his campaign’s spokesperson.

Rotimi Amaechi

A graduate of English, Rotimi Amaechi was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly for eight years, between 1999 and 2007. Afterwards, he was elected governor of the state for another eight years ending in 2015. Amaechi, who was the director-general of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, has since then been serving as Minister of Transportation under the current government.

Danjuma Goje

Former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje, started in 1999 as minister of state for power under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He then became governor of Gombe State in 2003 and served for eight years.

Not done, he immediately moved the National Assembly as senator, representing Gombe Central. It was reported that stakeholders from his senatorial district rejected his decision not to contest for an elective position in 2023.