Ikpeazu, Ayade, Okowa, Wike, others emerge PDP governorship candidates

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*Fayose, Ikpeazu, Ayade, Emmanuel

The governors of Abia State, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu,  Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike had, on Sunday September 30,  won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2019 return tickets.

Ikpeazu emerged unopposed and was announced as the winner by the chairman of the PDP governorship primary committee for the state, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who said Ikpeazu polled 1,991 votes  out of 2, 207 total votes cast by the delegates accredited for the exercise.

Speaking after his declaration, Ikpeazu after commending the delegates for giving him another opportunity to serve the state noted that nobody could take the mandate given to him by the people because his was “a divine mandate.”

A similar situation played out in Cross River State as delegates affirmed Ayade as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2019 election.

Ayade, who also emerged unopposed, did so after his two challengers, Dr. Paul Udayi and Mr. Emmanuel Ibeshi, were disqualified from contesting.

The two aspirants, however, vowed to seek legal redress, saying no one gave them any reason for their disqualification.

In his remarks after the exercise, Ayade expressed gratitude to the party’s delegates who trooped out to the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar to vote. He promised not to betray their trust.

The chairman of the PDP electoral panel for Cross River State, Chief Talib Tebite, said due process was followed even though the candidate contested unopposed.

Delta State governor, Okowa, also emerged victorious after the party’s primary in the state.

The conduct of the exercise also put to rest speculations that a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, was leaving the PDP to join the APC.

Ibori was among the party’s delegates who voted during the primary, which held in Asabi, the state capital.

Okowa, who was the party’s sole aspirant for the ticket, was announced winner and candidate of the party after delegates from the 25 local government areas cast their votes for him.

The chairman of the PDP election panel, Mrs. Uzi Nwandu, announced that Okowa polled 3, 252 votes to emerge winner.

Okowa also announced his deputy, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, as his running mate for the 2019 election.

Wike also emerged unopposed in Rivers State as the party’s candidate for the 2019 election.

The chief returning officer for the state PDP governorship primary, Mr. Chuma Chinye, announced that the governor polled 3,345 votes from the 23 local government areas of the state.

“By the power conferred on me by the PDP and the electoral guidelines for the conduct of the PDP Governorship Primary, I hereby declare Governor Wike as the winner of the PDP primary elections,” he said.

In his acceptance speech, Wike thanked the delegates for electing him and pledged that he would not disappoint the people for placing their confidence in him after the general elections in 2019.

The governor said he had embarked upon infrastructure development to improve the state and upgraded educational facilities to raise the standard of education.

He also said the state government had improved the health sector by constructing and furnishing general Hospitals in all the Senatorial districts in the state.

He added that the government had made Rivers a regional judicial hub by the rehabilitation of a Federal High Court, an Appeal Court and the construction of a National Industrial Court in Port Harcourt.

In Akwa Ibom, Mr. Udom Emmanuel was also elected unopposed as the party’s candidate for the 2019 governorship election.

The Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who chaired the PDP panel, announced the outcome of the exercise saying Emmanuel polled a total of 3,807votes out 3,817 votes cast. He noted that 10 votes were voided.

Emmanuel, in his acceptance speech, said: “The development of Akwa Ibom is the thrust of the PDP. Once more, I affirm that with the PDP, Akwa Ibom State shall grow from strength to strength.”

However, the PDP primary in Ogun State produced two claimants to the party’s ticket.

A faction led by Mr. Bayo Dayo held its governorship primary at the party’s secretariat along the Presidential Boulevard Road, Abeokuta.

The two governorship aspirants were Alhaji Adewole Adeyanyu and Prince Adeleke Shittu.

Shortly before the commencement of voting, Adeyanju announced his withdrawal from the race after 1,994 delegates were accredited for the exercise.  S

Shittu emerged as the faction’s candidate after polling 1,979. The remaining 15 votes were declared void.

Another faction of the PDP under the leadership of Sikirulahi Ogundele held a parallel primary inside the marquee at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library complex, Abeokuta.

The sole aspirant, Oladipupo Adebutu, was declared the winner after polling 2,369 votes out of 2,634 cast.

With Punch and Premium Times reports

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