Oseloka Obaze has clinched the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship ticket to fly the party’s flag in the November 18 Anambra governorship election.
In a landslide victory, he defeated oil mogul Ifeanyi Ubah, Alex Obiogbulu and a senator, Stella Oduah, to the ticket of the party.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State led the committee appointed by the national leadership of the party to conduct the primary election. The election held amidst tight security at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre in Awka, the state capital.
Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were also present to monitor the election.
A total of 958 delegates took part in the one-day exercise and at the end Mr. Obaze, a former Secretary to the State Government, emerged victorious with 672 votes while Mr. Obiogbolu came a distant second with 190 votes.
Mr. Ubah could only garner 94 votes to place third while two votes were declared as invalid.
There was a mild drama after counting of the votes as Mr. Ubah took the microphone and protested the result, claiming the election was marred by irregularities.
But Mr. Umahi interrupted him and asked him to wait for declaration of results to make his protest.
After the declaration of the results, Mr. Ubah said the delegates list was only given to them two days to the election unlike other parties that got their list four weeks before the primaries.
This he said made it difficult for the candidates to campaign to the delegates.
He also noted that he and some of the candidates have already instituted a case in the court to challenge the primaries because of the massive irregularities
Three other contestants, John Emeka, a former minister; Linda Ikpeazu, representing Onitsha North and South federal constituency in the House of Representatives, and Akaolisa Ufodike had earlier announced their withdrawal from the race.
Mr. Emeka in a press statement cited irregularities in the party’s delegates list for his decision to back out of the race.
The aspirant, who did not state those responsible for the mutilation of the list, simply announced his withdrawal from the contest.
Governor Umahi before the commencement of voting acknowledged the receipt of withdrawal by Messrs. Ikpeazu and Ufodike.
There have been accusations and counter accusations over the party’s delegates list, with some aspirants complaining of the party’s rank being infiltrated by members of other political parties, with the hope of disrupting the emergence of the party’s choice candidate.
Accreditation of delegates began at exactly 10 a.m. at three designated centres in the state which are Emaus house, J-Jumac Hotel and Alexandria hotel.
Voting commenced as soon as accreditation was completed and was concluded at about 4:30 p.m.
Thereafter, sorting and collation of results began immediately after the votes were cast.