By Jonathan Ugbal
Aspirants loyal to the State Governor, Liyel Imoke seem to have carried the day in yesterday’s State House of Assembly primaries of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Cross River State.
Available results so far as gathered by CrossRiverWatch reveal that the in the governor’s local government, incumbent, Hon. John Gaul Lebo won all the 53 votes to defeat Dr. Bassey Bassey, while businessman and former Personal Assistant to the governor, Mr. Jessy Ejemot also defeated Hon. Ngim Okpo in Biase. Peter Odey will also be bearing the flag of the ruling party at the general election after winning the primaries in Ogoja.
Former Chairman of Odukpani LGA, Bassey Akiba also defeated his opponent to emerge as the party flag bearer for the LGA. Eno Williams was reported to have won in one of Yakurr state constituency while materials were said not to have gotten to Obudu as at press time.
In Calabar South which has two representatives in the Cross River Assembly namely: Constituency 1 (consisting of wards one to nine) and constituency 2 (consisting wards ten to twelve) saw the incumbent representatives winning landslide victories in their respective constituencies.
Ephraim Okon of Constituency 1 won Asikpo Okon with a total of 52 votes out of a possible 55 at the Government Secondary School, Lagos Street ground.
His counterpart in constituency 2, Joseph Bassey was returned as PDP’s candidate unopposed with 22 affirmative votes out of 22 at the Edgerley Memorial Girls Secondary School, Edgerley road, Calabar.
Fred Osim, another of Imoke’s former aides also emerged from Ikom LGA in a contest where he was expected to be pitched against incumbent, Agbiji Agbiji, who abstained from the process for lack of transparency.
In Obubra, Dr. Eloke took the day for Constituency 1 while Friday Ogbechi won in Constituency 2. And in Boki LGA, former SA on Students Affairs to Imoke, Hillary Bisong took the day.
While speaking to CrossRiverWatch at the constituency 1 ground, Hon. Essien Ayi, a third term member representing, Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi Federal constituency in the National Assembly described the event as a formality. ”The Party spoke of consensus in order to reduce election costs to the barest minimum, but we still have to come out here to affirm our choice of candidates”.
In the same vein, the Calabar South Chairperson, Majorie Asuquo asserted that ”We have agreed to return our House of Assembly members and we are here to affirm that in a peaceful manner”.
Ephraim Okon while addressing journalists at the primaries ground, claimed effective representation was the reason behind the wide margin he won the primaries while his counterpart in constituency 2, Joseph Bassey declined comments.
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