By Our Reporter
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary for the October 31 northern senatorial district by-election has produced the Chairman of the Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (CR SUBEB), Dr Stephen Odey, as the winner.
The SUBEB boss defeated four others including his closest rival, Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as well as Mr. Ogana Lukpata, Dr. Martina Odom and Mrs. Mary Iji to clinch the party ticket.
The exercise, which took place at Ogoja council headquarters, was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Announcing Odey as winner, the chairman of the electoral panel, Hon Olorogun Taleb Tebite, said the SUBEB boss polled 450 votes while his closest rival, Rt Hon Jarigbe, scored 90 votes, thereby coming a distant second.
In a chat, one of the INEC officials who observed the primaries, Mr. Amula Timotheus, expressed satisfaction with the exercise, saying the exercise was conducted in line with INEC guidelines and was therefore, satisfactory.
However, Rt Hon Agom Jarigbe has rejected the results saying many delegates were excluded from voting and that he would take appropriate steps to seek redress.
Former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Venatius Ikem, who also spoke posited that what transpired was not a true reflection of a party primary because, according to him, even Hon Jarigbe had to leave the venue when he noticed the level of irregularities which allegedly went on.
Ikem , who was also an automatic delegate from Obudu, alleged that some fake delegates were brought in from the back door just as officials from government House and security agents manhandled delegates.
Meanwhile, one person was feared killed on Friday night prior to the primary election even as Journalists and delegates were also mercilessly manhandled and tear-gassed by over-zealous security agents at the venue of the primary on Saturday when violence broke.
The name of the deceased was given as Charles Onwe while two others who were fatally injured had been hospitalized. Eyewitnesses, Okoro Igbang, said Onwe was stabbed to death on Friday night, September 4, 2020 by a group of suspected thugs in Ogoja.
Throwing light on the incident, Mr. Emmanuel Egwu, PDP Chapter Publicity Secretary in Yala local government area, said three of his friends, who were in the car with him, Mr. Charles Onwe, Bob Igelle and Mr. Adibe were attacked with daggers/machetes.
“I and Mr. Igelle managed to escape while Mr. Onwe and Adibe, were left half dead, until Police around the area intervened and took them to the General Hospital Ogoja, where Mr. Charles Onwe was later confirmed dead, while the other two are still receiving treatments at the General Hospital, Ogoja,” he stated.