Mark, Akpabio, Orji, Jang, Abaribe others win PDP Senate tickets

david_markTHE nationwide senatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) churned out a mixed grill of shocking and expected results.

Senate President David Mark, who is vying for the Benue South position for the fifth time, led a crop of incumbent senators who were handed return tickets.

Others include Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Joshua Dariye, Enyinnaya Abaribe, James Manager, Zaynab Kure, Smart Adeyemi and Emmanuel Paulker.

However, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), who aspired to return to the Senate for the fourth consecutive time to represent Cross River Central, topped the list of senators who were denied return tickets. In this category are Senators Uche Chukwumerije (Abia), Nenadi Usman (Kaduna South), Odion Ugbesia (Edo) and Margery Okadigbo (Anambra North.)

On a day that multiple candidates emerged in Anambra, Ondo and Bayelsa some serving governors were also given the green light to try their political luck in the Senate. In this list are Governors Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Muázu Babangida Aliyu (Niger).
Chairman PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State briefing State Houyse Correspondents on the meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the aggreived PDP Governors at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

Chairman PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State briefing State Houyse Correspondents on the meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the aggreived PDP Governors at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

Fresh faces that were handed tickets include Bisola Sodipo-Clark, wife of Ijaw Leader and Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark; serving House of Representatives member, Uche Ekwunife; former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah; Buruji Kashamu and Ben Murray-Bruce.

Benue South: Mark returns unopposed

Senate President Mark polled 384 votes to emerge winner of the Benue South Senatorial primaries. His only challenger, Chief Mike Onoja, withdrew from the race shortly before the commencement of voting citing, “national interest and unity of the Idoma nation” as part of his reasons.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Mark praised Onoja for stepping down even as he dedicated the mandate to Idoma people.

He said he was humbled by the overwhelming endorsement by his constituents and pledged that, “whatever makes for the peace, unity and overall development of Idoma nation would be my guiding principle.”

Dariye wins in Plateau Central

Former Governor of Plateau State and incumbent Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial zone, Joshua Dariye was chosen as the PDP candidate of the zone.

Dariye, who got the ticket for his first tenure on the platform of the Labour Party sought to return to the PDP to recontest the seat but was initially rebuffed by the state chapter of the party even when the National Secretariat of the Party gave him a waiver.

He defeated Nde Alexander Molwus, incumbent House of Representatives member representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam, Emmanuel Go’ar.

Multiple candidates elected in Anambra

The perennial problem of multiple candidacy, which has hurt the PDP in Anambra State played out again, yesterday. While Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central), Andy Uba (Anambra South) and Stella Oduah (Anambra North), emerged as candidates, another primary also held in Awka returned Senator Annie Okonkwo as the candidate for Anambra Central.

Mrs. Uche Ekwunife representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia federal constituency in the House of Representatives in one of the primaries scored 237 votes, beating Senator Annie Okonkwo (57 votes), Obiora Okonkwo (one vote), Chief Osita Ezenwa(12 votes), Chief Kodili Okelekwe (26 votes) and Chief Sylvester Okonkwo (three votes).

Ekwunife was declared winner by the returning officer, Mr. Ifeanyi David after the primary election held at the Alex Ekwueme square, Awka.

However, Senator Annie Okonkwo, yesterday, emerged as the candidate in the exercise conducted by the Ejike Oguebego-led state executive of the PDP. He scored 282 votes to Ekwunife’s 14. Chief Sylvester Okonkwo got 7 votes, Chief Obiora Okonkwo had four while Mrs. Christy Okorie got 11 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had in a statement recently, recognized Ejike Oguebego as the state chairman of PDP.

In Anambra North, former aviation minister, Princess Stella Oduah picked the ticket by defeating the incumbent senator, Mrs. Margery Okadigbo, while Senator Andy Uba emerged winner in Anambra South senatorial zone.

Oforma, Azubogu, Ohanezi declare themselves Reps candidates in Nnewi

In like manner, three contestants for the House of Representatives for Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo federal constituency of Anambra State, yesterday, declared themselves winners in parallel primaries they conducted at three venues in the industrial town of Nnewi.

For the exercise that took place at Nnewi Youth League hall, Mr. Julius Oforma was announced winner with 121 votes.

At another exercise later at Anaedo Social Club, Nnewi, the incumbent member of the House of Representatives for the area, Chief Chris Azubougu was declared winner with 105 votes out of the total 123 votes cast, while at Kings Palace Hotel, Nnewi, the third aspirant, Dr. Harry Ohanezi was declared winner.

In all the three venues, no election materials were used and it was unclear who authorized those who described themselves as the returning officers to conduct the exercises.

Senate Leader, Ndoma-Egba loses re-election, vows to appeal

Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba lost the bid for re-election to the Senate on the platform of the PDP for the fourth time as John Owan Enoh defeated him in the senatorial primary for Cross River Central Senatorial District.

But the Senate Leader has rejected the outcome of the exercise and vowed to appeal it.

In the tensed contest surrounded by intrigues, Senator Ndoma-Egba got 37 votes against Enoh’s 217. Enoh who is serving his third tenure in the House of Representatives is Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation.

How Chukwumerije lost in Abia

In Abia, Governor Theodore Orji won the party’s ticket for Abia Central unopposed. He scored a total of 221 votes to be declared the winner by the returning officer, Chief Ndidi Okereke.

The election which was monitored by INEC officials was held at the Umuahia Township Stadium amid tight security provided by the Abia police Command whose commissioner, Adamu Ibrahim was physically present to supervise his officers and men.

Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, who was screened and cleared to contest the election with Governor Orji, boycotted the exercise, citing lack of confidence in the processes leading to the primaries as her reason. She had alleged that the whole exercise was manipulated and skewed towards some preferred aspirants in the state.

In Abia North, it was a big upset for Senator Uche Chukwumerije who was roundly defeated by a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Mao Ohuabunwa. He polled 103 votes against Chukwumerije’s 21 votes. Chief David Ogba Onuoha came second with 67 votes.

In Abia South, the incumbent, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe won with 169 votes. He defeated his only rival, Comrade Princewill Onyekachi Ojeh who got only two votes.

In his acceptance speech, Governor Orji commended the way the exercise was conducted, saying that it “enhanced democracy.”

It’s Jang on the Plateau
Jang: Stop complaining against God’s choice

Jang: Stop complaining against God’s choice

Governor Jonah Jang became one of the serving governors to be given a senatorial ticket. He got 273 votes to emerge as the PDP Senatorial candidate for Plateau North Senatorial zone. He defeated former Ambassador to Ukraine, Ibrahim Kasai who scored 18 votes. 291 delegates participated in the exercise.

All other federal constituencies where the exercise took place recorded success as Governor Jang’s candidates emerged winners.

Among those who won the House of Representatives primary elections are the immediate past Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Edward Pwajok, who emerged winner for Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency; the immediate past Commissioner for Works, Chris Hassan (Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency) and Istifanus Gyang (Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency.)

Others are Engr. Solomon Maren (Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency), Timothy Golu (Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Federal Constituency), Beni Lar (who retained her position to represent Langtang North/Langtang South Federal Constituency) and Johnbull Shekarau (Mikang/Qua’an Pan Federal Constituency.)

Bayelsa: Murray-Bruce, Paulker win

Chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas, Downstream sector, Senator Emmanuel Paulker and former Director General, Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA), Mr. Ben Murray Bruce emerged as PDP candidates representing Bayelsa Central and East Senatorial districts respectively.

In the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Senator Emmanuel Paulker polled 174 votes. His closest rival, Austin Ogionwon Febo scored 17 votes while Ebiundu Komonibo scored one vote and Torunana also had one vote.

In Bayelsa East Senatorial District Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce polled 138 votes beating Mr. Anthony Ikoli, SAN, (11 votes), Nelson Belief (two votes), Mrs Irene Digitemie Opuene (four votes). Austin Dressman and Professor Ayebaemi Spiff withdrew from the race.

…Mild drama as Lokpobiri also emerges in parallel exercise

However, there was a mild drama in Bayelsa West senatorial district as parallel primaries were held leading to the emergence of former chairman of the state scholarship board, Evang. Fister Ogola and the incumbent Senator, Heineken Lokpobiri as candidates.

The primary which returned Foster Ogola was held at the State College of Education hall in Sagbama and had in attendance the state Governor, Seriake Dickson; former state Deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi. The aspirants were Evang Foster Ogolo and Ayakeme Whiskey, Dr. Stella Dorgu, Frank Akpoebi and Capt. Matthew Karimu.

The primary that returned Senator Heineken Lokpobiri was held at the Sagbama Community Primary School 2 and was attended by PDP faithful including former commissioners and incumbent member representing Sagbama constituency III of the State House of Assembly, Ebamugha Empere.

At the State College of Education venue of the primary election where the state governor participated, Foster Ogola was returned as winner with 69 votes out of the 113 votes cast.

The dramatic entry of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri to the venue as the returning officer Offorji Oboku was about to announce the result caused a stir as some delegates hurriedly left the hall.

Senator Lokpobiri, who had earlier been declared absent during accreditation confronted the returning officer and demanded to know what he was doing.

He later walked out of the venue and returned to the venue of the parallel primaries that returned him.

Dickson maintained a studied silence during the ensuing drama as he was shielded by his security aides to prevent any ugly incident.

Dickson, while commenting on the outcome of the election, urged members of the PDP family to work together to ensure the emergence of credible representatives that would give effective support to the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ekweremadu returned in Enugu

Following the withdrawal of Governor Sullivan Chime, Deputy Senate Ekweremadu vied for the for Enugu West Senatorial zone PDP ticket unopposed and was returned with 294 valid votes cast by delegates from all the five local government areas in the zone.

Parallel primaries in Ondo produce Olajumoke, others

A member of the PDP BOT, Dr Bode Olajumoke yesterday won the primaries to represent Ondo North senatorial zone in the National Assembly.

Dr Olajumoke was in the senate between 2007/2011. Although parallel primaries were held in the three areas, but INEC and representatives of the national secretariat of the party only attended the primaries organised by the new PDP.

The incumbent senator representing Ondo central, Senator Ayo Akinyelure was the only one returned of the three senators that were elected on the platform of Labour Party in 2011.

A former Commissioner for Work Yele Omogunla was elected to represent Ondo South senatorial district.

Speaking with Vanguard, Dr Olajumoke said he would continue from where he stopped in 2011 and promised to bring dividends of democracy to the people of the area.

Akwa Ibom picks Akpabio, Albert, Effiong

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom State, yesterday, emerged the unopposed Senatorial candidate of the PDP for Ikot Ekpene zone. The incumbent, Senator Aloysius Etuk had earlier stepped down for him as a result of numerous consultations held with major stakeholders in Ini and Ikono Federal Constituency.

In Uyo Senatorial District, former governorship aspirant, Obong Bassey Albert also slammed the incumbent, Senator Ita Enang to clinch the ticket just as Nelson Effiong, former Speaker of the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly had the upper hand in Eket Senatorial District.

Delta North Senatorial primary postponed, as Amori, Manager emerge in Central, South

The political atmosphere in the Delta North Senatorial District, yesterday thickened following the unexpected postponement of the PDP senatorial primary in the district to Tuesday (tomorrow) because of what sources attributed to logistics problem.

At the Delta South Senatorial District, incumbent Senator, Senator James Manager clinched the ticket with 291 as against the 13 votes scored by Air Vice Marshall Terry Okorodudu (rtd), the only other contender in the senatorial primary held at the Warri Township stadium.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who withdrew from the race for the Delta South ticket a couple of days to the primary was present to cast his vote as a delegate and left almost immediately. _VangaurdNgr

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