Primaries: PDP Raises Bar On Transparency, Godwin Offiono Emerges Ogoja/Yala Reps Candidate

In Breaking News, CrossRiverWatch Podcast, Politics

By Jonathan Ugbal

Listen To The Report

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP has raised the bar on transparency during primary elections to nominate candidates for different elective positions ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The party now includes the images of the delegates in their accreditation tags to prevent identity theft. The ballots have the images and names of the aspirants on them as well as a space for a thumbprint to eliminate the old style of writing names of preferred aspirants on papers.

These features were observed at the House of Representatives primaries of the party in two federal constituencies – Ogoja/Yala which was held at the Recreational Center in Igoli, Ogoja as well as Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwara which was supposed to hold at the Handmaid’s International Nursery and Primary School but was marred by violence.

Chris Edadi, the returning officer for the Ogoja/Yala federal constituency primaries announced while accrediting delegates to vote at the Recreational center Ogoja that: “The good thing about what the PDP is doing now is that delegates picture is now attached and the face I have here belongs to this man.”

Jimmie Aninege, a delegate, hailed the innovation saying, “This is the best thing the party has done so far. It will eliminate impersonation of delegates and even though we are not there yet, it is a welcome development.”

The primaries, initially billed for Sunday were shifted due to the late arrival of materials leading to intense last-minute politicking which saw aspirants dole out as much NGN300 thousand to each delegate to convince them to vote for them.

In the end, Barr. Godwin Offiono polled 37 votes to emerge as the PDP candidate for the Ogoja/Yala federal constituency. Hon. Mike Usibe garnered 25 votes. The reverse was the case earlier in February during the legislative by-election which the PDP eventually lost.

Eight suspects have been arrested by the Police alleged to have spearheaded the violence that rocked Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwara primary at the Handmaid’s International Nursery and Primary School.

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