Sen Obinna Ogba, representing Ebonyi Central senatorial zone has won in the rescheduled governorship primary election of the Ebonyi chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held on Sunday at the party’s secretariat in Abakaliki.
Our correspondent reports that accreditation and voting process which began around 8 p.m Sunday spilled over into the early hours of Monday.
513 delegates from the 171 wards of the 13 LGAs of the state voted in the primary election which commenced simultaneously with the accreditation of delegates around 9 p.m, while collation, counting and announcement of the results were done at about 1a.m on Monday.
Mr Chris Okolo, Chairman of the Electoral Panal who announced the results before newsmen said that Ogba who polled a total valid votes of 253 won the election and has been returned nominated as the PDP governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.
According to him, Chief Edwin Nwonu, member representing Ishielu/Ezza North federal constituency came a distant second with 110 votes while another Reps member, Dr Sylvester Ogbaga came third by polling 63 votes.
Venue of the PDP government primary election held on Sunday/Monday in Abakaliki
Okolo further stated that Mr Fidelis Nwankwo garnered 44 votes; Chief Chukwuma Nwazunku, representing Ebonyi/Ohaukwu federal constituency polled six votes, Chief Austin Edeze got three votes.
According to the results, Sen Paulinus Igwenwagu, got two votes while Mr Augustine Nwazunku polled one vote respectively.
The chairman who said that 14 invalid ballots were recorded added that Chief Ifeanyochukwu Odii who boycotted the polls got one vote while Mr Chris Usulor and Dr Sunday Opoke abstained from the gubernatorial primary election.
“Therefore, I, Mr Chris Okolo having been conferred with the power to chair this panel hereby declare Sen. Obinna Ogba winner having polled the total highest number of valid votes and having meet all the requirements for the election and he is hereby returned elected.
“The exercise was counted openly and witnessed by agents of the aspirants, leaders of the party present as well as security agents,” Okolo said.
Meanwhile, Ogba in his acceptance speech extended hands of fellowship to the other contestants declaring his victory as victory for the PDP.
He thanked the delegates, party members and leaders of PDP for entrusting him with their mandate to fly the party’s flag in the state governorhip election in 2023.
He said: ” I feel very happy, I thank the Almighty God who made the event very successful; I thank all our party members for finding me worthy to fly the flag of our great party, the PDP.
“I especially thank Distinguished Sen. Pius Anyim, Sen Sam Egwu, Chief Ali Odefa, the Zonal National Vice chairman of our party, the state party chairman, Chief Tochukwu Okorie.
“To my fellow contestants, I extend my hands of fellowship to them; this is a sports and one person must win and so, I call on them to come and join me so that we can take our party to the highest level.”
Okorie, PDP chairman in a brief remark commended the party delegates for peaceful and orderly conduct in the exercise.
He also commended the electoral panel for conducting a seamless, peaceful, transparent and credible exercise urging those who lost to team up to ensure victory for the party at the 2023 general elections.
Newsmen recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had in a letter dated May 31, addressed to the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cancelled earlier primaries of the party in Ebonyi including the gubernatorial primaries.
The primaries conducted between May 28 and May 29 by a faction led by Mr Silas Onu which elected Odii as the governorhip candidate was however boycotted by the Okorie faction.