By Ushang Ewa and Itiunbe Atunka
The Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the August 11 state assembly bye-election in Obudu, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen was again absent at the mega rally of her campaign for office today (Wednesday).
Abbey is the widow of the late lawmaker, Mr. Stephen Ukpukpen and last visited that local government area on the day her husband was buried family sources told CrossRiverWatch.
She was absent at the primaries where she was chosen as a consensus candidate following a motion moved by one Mrs. Ublibli who represented her and has not attended any meeting or campaign since then.
And at the mega rally held at the Obudu local government council secretariat, her photograph was used to campaign for votes with speaker after speaker calling for respect for the candidate of the governor and for her community to complete their term in office.
The chief of staff to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mr. Martin Orim had led the campaign alongside his aide on public affairs, Mr. Tony Undiaundeye who is a clan head in Mrs. Abbey’s community.
Mr. Orim who is said to be placed to take over from Abbey in 2019 represented her in all the campaigns.
Several PDP bigwigs including federal lawmaker, Rep. Legor Idagbo and the state chairman of the party, Mr. Inok Edim were at the rally with Mr. Edim present the party’s flag to Mr. Orim.
“The flag is traditionally presented to the standard bearer who is the party’s candidate and it is the first time our party is presenting the flag to a representative and not the main candidate in the state” a PDP official and an aide to Governor Ben Ayade told CrossRiverWatch on condition of anonymity.
CrossRiverWatch gathered that Mrs. Ukpukpen is with her family members and is informed of the strategies to ensure she emerges victorious while her mother, Mrs. Ekamma Awara is said to be dishing out a few instructions.
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