Judex Okoro, Calabar
A former chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Stephen Odey, has emerged the winner of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary election for the Cross River northern senatorial district.
Odey polled 450 votes to defeat his closest rival and member of the House of Representatives, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, who scored 90 votes.
The exercise took place at Ogoja council headquarters amid protest by some delegates who claimed that they were shut out.
The chairman of the electoral panel, Hon Olorogun Taleb Tebite, who described the process as peaceful and orderly, declared Odey the winner of the primary election having scored the highest number of votes.
One of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials who observed the primaries, Mr. Amula Timotheus, expressed satisfaction with the exercise, saying that it was in line with INEC guidelines.
On his part, the State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade, lauded the peaceful atmosphere under which the election was commending INEC for playing their observatory role adequately.
According to him, the election was a family affair as all the candidates are members of the PDP family in the state.
He assured that the party will work together in their collective interest to win the general election.
Reacting in a telephone interview, Rt Hon Jarigbe Aģom Jarigbe said he rejects the result as so many delegates were excluded and said he would take appropriate steps in seeking redress.
Also speaking, the former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Venatius Ikem, Esq, said what transpired was not a true reflection of a parry primary because even Hon Jarigbe had to leave when he notices the irregularities.
Ikem, who was also an automatic delegate from Obudu, alleged that some fake delegates were brought in from the back door just as officials from government House and security agents manhandled delegates.