The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday held a nationwide Senatorial primaries in which Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia and Jonah Jang of Plateau States among others emerged victorious.In Akwa Ibom the Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District towed the path of honour by stepping down for Governor Akpabio.
Announcing his decision shortly before the commencement of the election, Aloysius Etuk who claimed that he was the candidate to beat 30 minutes before the election said the decision to step down for his brother was to promote peace within PDP in the state.
He called on his supporters to channel every support earlier intended for him to Governor Godswill Akpabio.
Akpabio congratulated Senator Etuk for his show of spirit of statesmanship and advised him to consider himself privileged to have been given the opportunity to represent the people twice.
Akpabio who floored two other opponents, Ekperikpe Ekpo and Inibehe Okorie with 423/nil votes promised to restore dignity to the Senate.
In Abia State, Governor Orj won the Abia Central Senatorial District, while the serving Senator for Abia North, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, crashed out of the keenly contested race.
Other winners that emerged at the primaries were the serving Senator Enyinnaya Abaraibe, the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial district, and MAO Ohuabunwa who defeated Chukwumerije to pick the Abia North Senatorial ticket.
Announcing the result for Abia Central, the returning officer for the primary, Ndidi Okereke, said Governor Orji who was the only aspirant for the senatorial primary held at the Umuahia Township Stadium, polled 221 votes out of the 222 statutory and Ad-hoc delegates’ votes while one vote was voided.
Orji thanked members of the party for their confidence and trust reposed on him having collectively purchased the PDP Senatorial nomination for him.
Governor Jang after winning his Plateau North Senatorial primary at Treasure Inn Hotel, Rayfield, Jos, disclosed that he was going to pursue his senatorial ambition like a trained soldier in 2015.
Jang polled 273 votes to defeat his challenger, Ibrahim Kasai, who scored 18 votes.
In Anambra, former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, emerged winner of the Anambra North Senatorial district.
Oduah polled 259 votes out of the 297 accredited delegates cleared for the election held at New Era Secondary School, Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area.
Other contestants in the race were Senator Margery Okadigbo who polled 8 votes, former Minister of State for Water Transport, John Emeka, who got 15 votes and Samuel Ikefuna who polled 10 votes while 5 votes were declared invalid.
Oduah said she was overwhelmed by the love demonstrated by her people in the PDP by choosing her to fly the party flag during the 2015 elections.
She also called on other contestants in the race to join hands with her to ensure victory for the PDP and to bring positive development to the people of Anambra North.
Meanwhile, PDP primary in Anambra Central district was fraught with controversy. The group loyal to Ejike Oguebedo insisted that there was an Abuja High Court order ordering that only Oguebedo as recognised chairman of the party in the state should produce the delegates’ list.
For that reason, it was learnt that even though election materials arrived the police headquarters, Awka, on Saturday, aspirants insisted the materials would not be used and that the court order must be obeyed.
But Daily Independent learnt that one of the aspirants went in the dead of the night to take the materials and other aspirants on getting wind of the development stormed the police station and thwarted the plan.
In that event, each faction once again conducted its own primary and announced its own result, like what obtained last week during the House of Assembly primaries.
Senate President, David Mark, won the Benue South senatorial district primary held at Oturkpo, Benue State.
He dedicated his victory to the people of the area.
Mark emerged following the stepping down of the only other contender to the seat, a former federal Permanent Secretary for Defence, Mike Onoja.
Onoja who stepped down just before voting commenced, noted that he decided to step down in view of the cordial relationship that exist between him and Mark and because elders have anointed Mark as the sole candidate.
Mark noted that what he did was commendable and for the love, unity and interest of the Idoma nation.
Earlier, the Returning Officer for the zone, John Tor Akume, announced Mark as the duly elected candidate for Benue South having polled 384 votes.
Governor Gabriel Suswam had already won the Benue North West seat in view of the decision of Senator Barnabas Gemade to step down for him.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also retained the senatorial ticket of Enugu West senatorial zone.
Ekweremadu was returned unopposed at the Senatorial primary for Enugu West, following the withdrawal of Governor Sullivan Chime who earlier indicated interest to vie for the senatorial ticket.
Chime was however conspicuously absent at the primary, held at Awgu local government headquarters.
A total of 299 accredited delegates from the five local government areas in Enugu West- Aninri, Awgu, Ezeagu, Oji River and Udi- participated in the primaries.
Earlier, the returning officer for the primaries, Innocent Agbo, announced that Ekweremadu was the only contender for the ticket as Governor Chime had withdrawn from the race.
Announcing the results after the voting, Agbo said out of the 299 votes cast, Ekweremadu polled 294 votes to emerge the winner while the remaining five votes were voided.
Ekweremadu said: “This is the first time I am returning unopposed. There is God in Heaven. This victory, I want to dedicate it to my Governor, His Excellency Sullivan Chime.”
Ekweremadu used the opportunity to declare the support of Enugu West for Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the consensus candidate of Enugu PDP for the governorship primaries on Monday.
Onu also announced his withdrawal from the governorship race.
However, unlike Enugu West where the senatorial primary election was hitchfree, three parallel primaries were held in Enugu East senatorial district.
The parallel primaries held in three different venues at the same time produced Senator Gilbert Nnaji, former Chief of Staff to Governor Chime, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo and former Minister of Information and Communication, Frank Nweke jnr as winners.
The primary election for Enugu North zone was going on as at the time.
Enugu North senatorial zone also recorded two parallel primaries. The one at Government Field Nsukka produced a former Commissioner of Transport, Chuka Utazi, as the candidate while the one at Nsukka Civic Centre produced former National Chairman of PDP, Okwesilieze Nwodo, as the winner.
In Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi representing Kaduna-North Senatorial District, was returned unopposed.
Makarfi was adopted as sole candidate after his rival, Umar Faruk, withdrew from the contest following consensus arrangement made a day prior to the party’s primary in the state.
Ahmed Tahir, Chairman, PDP Electoral Committee, declared him winner saying: “Makarfi is the only contestant but based on PDP requirement, an election must hold to fulfill such requirement.
“Having counted all the votes cast, Makarfi got 333 votes indicating that he polled all the votes cast which gives him the opportunity to become the flag-bearer of PDP.”
Bayelsa State gasped for a breath of peace on Sunday as violence and tension further characterised the Senatorial primary election in the state.
Sunday’s violence seemed like a continuation of Saturday’s when the House of Representatives primary election was riddled with shootings at the state PDP secretariat along the DSP Alamieyeseigha Way, Yenagoa, by armed political thugs believed to be loyalists of rival contestants.
It was gathered that another bout of violence erupted in Governor Seriake Dickson’s Bayelsa West Senatorial District, comprising Sagbama and Ekeremor local government areas, while the primary election lasted.
They were said to have stormed the venue unhindered just as Dickson’s ally and chairman of the state scholarship board, Foster Ogola, was about to be declared the flag-bearer of the party for Bayelsa West.
The security operatives at the venue were said to be helpless as they watched the unleashing of violence by the political thugs. There was no casualty, though.
However, after the skirmish, the chief returning officer for Bayelsa West, Oforji Oboku, officially declared Foster Ogola winner.
In Bayelsa East, entertainment magnate and chairman, Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce, polled 138 votes to clinch the party’s ticket, beating the incumbent, Clever Ikisikpo, Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN) and Nelson Belief while two others withdrew from the race.
In Bayelsa Central, President Jonathan’s confidant, Emmanuel Paulker, who is on his second term at the Senate, was declared winner with 174 votes to defeat three other contenders.