There’s something about being a public office holder in Nigeria that’s addictive. It’s why resignations are rare, and some people can spend 30 years trying to be president.

But the constitution makes it impossible for politicians to last in certain posts forever. For example, a governor cannot serve more than two terms. You simply have to pack your load and leave for the next guy.

But some Nigerian governors that have no intention of just retiring to a quiet life have always considered the Senate a consolatory retirement plan. It’s perfect because it’s the most prestigious legislative chamber and more importantly, you can remain in the seat as long as you can keep winning elections every four years. And you don’t even have to do much when you win.

The Senate is already home to over a dozen former governors cashing checks, and there’s a new batch of about-to-become former governors who hope to join them by the time the 2023 general elections are over. Find them below:

Aminu Tambuwal, 56

Aminu Tambuwal wants to retire to the Senate

Aminu Tambuwal has been the governor of Sokoto State since 2015. He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) when he won his first term in 2015, but moved to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he won re-election in 2019. With two consecutive terms about to be concluded, he contested for the PDP’s ticket for the 2023 presidential election but withdrew for the eventual winner, Atiku Abubakar. 

Tambuwal later picked up the ticket to contest the Sokoto South senatorial district election in 2023. Unlike many others on this list, he’s not a stranger to the National Assembly. He was a member of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2015 and even served as House Speaker between 2011 and 2015.

Samuel Ortom, 61

Samuel Ortom wants to retire to the Senate

Like Tambuwal, Ortom won his first term as Benue State governor as a member of the APC and second term as a PDP member. Before 2015, he served as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. He’s now won the PDP’s ticket unchallenged to contest for the Benue North-West senatorial district seat in 2023.

Dave Umahi, 58

Dave Umahi wants to retire to the Senate

Dave Umahi first entered the Ebonyi State Government House as a deputy governor in 2011 before he won the 2015 governorship election. He won re-election for a second term in 2019 and is now looking for a new challenge as his tenure nears its end. He first contested for the presidential ticket of the APC and finished in sixth place but he’s now APC’s candidate to contest in the Ebonyi South senatorial district election in 2023. 

Okezie Ikpeazu, 57

Okezie Ikpeazu is PDP’s candidate for the Abia South senatorial district election. Abia State’s last two governors — Orji Uzor Kalu and Theodore Orji — are current senators, so Ikpeazu is only following a familiar trend here.

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Darius Ishaku, 67

Darius Ishaku wants to retire to the Senate

Darius Ishaku was Nigeria’s Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs before he became Taraba State governor in 2015. He won’t be withdrawing to a private life when his second term expires in 2023 and has his sights on the Senate. The governor has already picked up the PDP’s ticket to contest in the Taraba South senatorial district election.

Abubakar Sani Bello, 54

Abubakar Sani Bello wants to retire to the Senate

Abubakar Sani Bello is also not interested in taking a break when his eight-year reign as the governor of Niger State ends in 2023. He wants to represent Niger North senatorial district at the National Assembly if he wins the general election.

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, 58

The governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, is eyeing a homecoming to the National Assembly if he wins the Enugu North senatorial district election as a PDP candidate in 2023. Before he was elected governor in 2015, he’d served 12 years at the House of Representatives, representing Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency of Enugu State between 2003 and 2015.

Simon Lalong, 59

Simon Lalong wants to retire to the Senate

The governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, is yet another former lawmaker who became an executive governor and is hungry to make a return to lawmaking with a step up to the Senate. 

Lalong is a former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly where he served two terms between 1999 and 2007. He now hopes to become the senator representing Plateau South senatorial district by winning the election next year as an APC candidate.

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