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PDP Guber Primaries - Osunbor, Akala, Andy Uba Pick Tickets
[December 11, 2006]

PDP Guber Primaries - Osunbor, Akala, Andy Uba Pick Tickets


(Vanguard (Nigeria) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) The fate of those who sought the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial tickets ahead of the 2007 general elections was decided yesterday.

The party's governors still eligible to vie for another term overran their opponents in the primaries while two-term senator, Professor Oseriemen Osunbor, secured the ticket in Edo. In Oyo, Chief Christopher Alao-Akala, who is vacating the seat of the governor of the state tomorrow for Senator Rashidi Ladoja, won the election.



In Anambra, former presidential aide, Dr. Andy Uba, picked the ticket.

Speaker Aminu Bello Masari of the House of Representatives and the executive director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe, also in the race for the PDP gubernatorial ticket, withdrew.


The primaries were, however, shifted in some states including Delta, Abia and Akwa Ibom.

Delta: Protest over mock election as PDP shifts primaries * Ijaw asked to boycott exercise

The postponed PDP gubernatorial primaries in Delta will now hold today at Ogwashi-Uku. The choice of Ogwashi-Uku is to provide a level-playing ground for the aspirants and also ensure a better security by the police.

The state police commissioner, Mr. Udom Ekpoudom, was understood to have deployed policemen in Ogwashi-Uku since yesterday to ensure hitch-free primaries.

But ahead of today's congress, the leaders of the party in the Delta Central senatorial district, Friday, held a mock congress for the nine governorship aspirants from the district and at the end of the election, a former commissioner in the Chief James Ibori cabinet, Mr. Ovie Omo Agege, emerged as the consensus candidate with a total of 1, 706 votes.

One of the gubernatorial aspirants, the deputy speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Pius Ewerhido and others, denounced the mock congress saying that it was designed to throw up Omo Agege. Ewerhido polled 58 votes to place fourth in the mock congress.

Olorogun Gbagi had earlier told Sunday Vanguard that he did not believe in the move by the Urhobo Political Forum (UPF) led by Chief Ighoyota Amori to foist a candidate on the Urhobo people, saying that whatever they did was inconsequential to him, as he was going to run for the primaries and pick the party's ticket by the power of the delegates who desired a positive change.

Also on Thursday, it was learnt that the former secretary to the state government, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan earlier disqualified from participating in today's primaries had been cleared.

In the mock Central senatorial district primaries for gubernatorial aspirants, Chief Charles Obule came second with 108 votes, Chief Ejaife Odebala placed third with 96 votes, Mr Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, fifth with 54 votes, Gbagi sixth with seven votes, while Olorogun Otega Emerhor, Olorogun Oscar Ibru and Hon Napoleon Gbinijie got one vote each.

The Urhobo Progressive Union, UPU, led by Chief Benjamin Okumagba also picked Aguariavwodo but some Urhobo elements rejected him.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Ijaw ethnic nationality, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, asked all Ijaw delegates to the Delta PDP gubernatorial primaries to boycott the event, on grounds of alleged "manipulation and screening out" of Ijaw gubernatorial aspirants from the contest by the party.

His words: "I advise all Ijaw delegates to the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP, which I understand is holding tomorrow (today) at Ogwashi-Uku to boycott the primaries because of the manipulation and screening out of Ijaw sons from the governorship race in the South senatorial district".

Clark who was visibly furious as he spoke to Sunday Vanguard said the Ijaw people wanted an explanation from the PDP as to how two of their sons: a retired federal permanent secretary, Mr. Tony Ebikeme and Chief P.Z. Aginighan, were schemed out of the governorship race while their counterparts in the district, the former secretary to the state government, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, representing the Itsekiri and Mr. Albert Okumagba, an Urhobo, were cleared.

He was particular about the fact that Uduaghan who was earlier disqualified was cleared by an appeal panel and wondered why the two Ijaw sons in the race were not given the same opportunity to be cleared by the appeal panel, adding: "As far as I am concerned, there is nothing against our two sons, Ebikeme is qualified and Aginighan is a matured politician and also a senior official of the NDDC".

The Ijaw leader said that indications that the PDP was going to manipulate things started much earlier when one of the Ijaw sons, Senator James Manager, who was gunning for the governorship ticket of the party, was pressurized to return to the Senate, contrary to the gentleman's agreement on zoning of the position among the Itsekiri, Isoko and Ijaw in the South senatorial district.

He said it was the turn of the Itsekiri to go to the Senate in 2007 and asked why the Itsekiri would not accept the senatorial position that is due to them.

Ondo: Agagu picks ticket, beats Osomo, Oladunni

GOVERNOR Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State showed his supremacy by leading two other aspirants with a wide margin in the governorship primaries conducted in the state under a peaceful and orderly manner.

The shadow election was referred to by many as mere formalities as the two aspirants were no match to Agagu.

He contested the primaries with the former vice chairman of Mobil Unlimited Otunba Solomon Oladunni and the former minister for housing and urban development Chief (Mrs). Mobolaji Osomo.

Agagu polled about 4,715 votes representing about 93 percent of the 5,075 delegates that voted during the election while Oladunni and Osomo had 316 and 92 votes respectively.

As a sign of sportsmanship, the governor, on arrival at the venue, embraced the two contestants and asked them to sit with him in the reserve area of the stadium. Accreditation of delegates was done simultaneously at three designated centers before the proper election was done at the Akure Sports Stadium by 1pm .

The exercise from the accreditation was conducted peacefully at the centers while the voting at the stadium was orderly as delegates voted according to their wards in each of the 18 council areas.

Osunbor gets Edo ticket

In Edo State, the result of the primaries released as at press time, yesterday, showed that Professor Oseriemen Osunbor, a two-term senator defeated other contestants.

Osunbor polled 3,996 votes to be in the lead while Professor Julius Ihonbvere got 832 votes, trailing behind Osunbor.

Ogun: Daniel beats Ojo

Reports from Ogun State indicated that Governor Gbenga Daniel beat his rival, Chief Olalekan Ojo by 6,077 votes to 40.

Osun: Oyinlola gets ticket unopposed

Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State secured the PDP gubernatorial ticket unopposed.

Lagos: Consensus candidate option fails; voting delayed

The PDP gubernatorial primaries in Lagos State did not start until about 10 p.m. yesterday. The late commencement was attributed to the many meetings between the PDP stakeholders in the state and the gubernatorial aspirants that preceded the exercise in the hope that a consensus candidate would emerge.

Enugu: Aspirants kick, allege fraud

The PDP governorship primary election in Enugu State was held under a peaceful atmosphere with strong indications that Mr. Sullivan Chime, the candidate favoured by the Ebeano political structure headed by Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, was heading for a resounding victory.

But, midway into the election yesterday, four governorship aspirants, namely, Dr Osita Ogbu, Chief Okechukwu Itanyi (deputy governor), Chief Anayo Onwuegbu and Dr John Nwokeabia, protested what they described as "manifest fraud" in the electoral process and decided to stage a walkout.

The aspirants, along with others including Group Capt. Joe Orji, Prince Emeka Mamah, Mr. Goddy Udemaduka, Chief Tony Onyia and Senator Ben-Collins Ndu, had arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, venue of the election, at about 1 pm and actively participated in the process until exactly 5.20 pm when the quartet rose from their seats and marched to the Alhaji Shehu Sambo-led PDP electoral panel to lodge a complaint while voting was in progress.

Delegates from 12 out of the 17 local government areas had voted before the development, which many viewed as "a face-saving device". The electoral officials had conducted the election in a transparent manner and many delegates including stakeholders of the party and the aspirants themselves had expressed satisfaction with the handling of the exercise.

Itanyi and the three aspirants told the panel that they had observed fraud in the voting process, alleging that the name of the "favoured aspirant" was being written by some agents for the illiterate delegates, adding that the result of the election was being written behind while the election was still going on.

Members of the electoral panel, who were shocked by the complaint, since the entire process was transparently conducted, dismissed the allegation saying there was nothing to suggest that the exercise was not fair since all the aspirants and their agents were fully involved in decisions taken before the election. Governor Chimaroke Nnamani and leader of the party who was present at the election praised the delegates for conducting themselves peacefully and orderly.

However, the protesting aspirants later converged at Zodiac Hotels where they spoke to reporters on their grievances, saying the fears earlier expressed by them that the election would not be transparent were confirmed by developments during the election.

They said that a representation would be made to the PDP national secretariat, Abuja to demand that the governorship primary election be shifted to Abuja where they believe it would be transparent.

By press time, last night, delegates from three out of the 17 local government areas were still casting their votes.

Kwara: Saraki returned unopposed

Reports from Kwara State said Governor Bukola Saraki was returned unopposed as the flag bearer of the PDP at the gubernatorial primaries held at the main bowl of the stadium complex in Ilorin.

The governor had been cleared by the north central zone of the party in Lafia, Nasarawa State last Saturday to participate in the shadow election.

The returning officer, Dr Ibrahim Lame, who led three others from the national headquarters of the party to supervise the election of delegates from the sixteen local governments , explained that 5056 votes were accredited out of which 26 were voided leaving 5030 votes for Saraki.

Abia: Primaries postponed amid confusion over consensus candidate

AFTER a marathon meeting between the 11 governorship aspirants in Abia State and members of the electoral panel headed by Chief Olisa Metuh from Anambra State , the PDP gubernatorial shadow election was shifted to Tuesday. Metuh who addressed newsmen at the PDP state secretariat at 1.00 p.m. after the meeting did not give reasons for the postponement, although Sunday Vanguard gathered that it was as a result of the failure of the aspirants to agree to the adoption of a consensus candidate as suggested by the leadership of the party.

While the stakeholders were still at the meeting, information began to filter out that Chief Onyema Ugochukwu had been adopted. One hour later, a state official came out to inform some people that Chief Tony Enweruzo, who was not at the meeting, was the person adopted.

It was also learnt that the party decided to shift it to Tuesday to make it difficult for some of the losers to decamp to other rival political parties that have fixed their primaries for Wednesday.

Indeed, when they all emerged from the meeting, some of the aspirants wore gloomy faces indicating that all was not well, even though Metuh told reporters that the postponement was a unanimous decision and that it was in the best interest of the party.

He said: "This morning, we held the stakeholders meeting of Abia PDP. And just a few minutes ago, we finished a meeting with all the gubernatorial aspirants in the state PDP. In that meeting, we commended all members of Abia State PDP for being very peaceful throughout the conduct of the primaries we had held so far. We are impressed with the commitment, dedication and loyalty to the party by members in the state.

"At the same time, we assured all the gubernatorial aspirants of a level-playing field and our preparedness to conduct peaceful, free and fair governorship primaries in the state. After a lengthy deliberation, the electoral panel and the aspirants jointly decided unanimously to postpone the primaries for gubernatorial election. The primaries will now take place on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 ."

C-River: Imoke, Eneji, Agabi battle for ticket

As at 3.15 pm, yesterday, in Calabar, Cross River State, delegates to the PDP governorship primaries were still being accredited creating endless queues at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, venue of the PDP congress.

As early as 10 pm when registration commenced, delegates had gathered at the grounds of the stadium for the exercise. As if the police were expecting trouble, the gate to the stadium was manned by armed police men who frisked everyone attempting to gain entry into the stadium. So far however there has been no incidence of violence.

Strong contenders for the PDP governorship ticket in the state are Sen Liyel Imoke, the incumbent deputy governor, Dr. Walter Eneji and Mr. Kanu Agabi.

Plateau: Late voting

Voting in the PDP gubernatorial primaries in Plateau State did not begin yesterday until about 7 p.m.

Bauchi: Dep. gov, five others stage walk out

Counting of the votes cast in the PDP gubernatorial primaries in Bauchi State was still on as at 7 p.m. yesterday.

However, six aspirants including the deputy governor, Alhaji Abdulmalik Mahmud, staged a walk out of the venue over alleged manipulation of the primaries in favour of the secretary to the government, Alhaji Hadada Umar.

Taraba: Exercise delayed

The gubernatorial primary election in Taraba State did not start in good time. Only three local governments had voted as at 6.30 p.m.

Gombe: Goje emerges

Reports from Gombe State said that Governor Danjuma Goje picked the PDP gubernatorial ticket for the 2007 general elections unopposed.

Bayelsa: Jonathan wins, Alaibe withdraws * Explosion again in Yenagoa

Governor Goodluck Jonathan of Bayelsa State won a landslide victory in the PDP primaries to pick the gubernatorial ticket. He defeated six other aspirants, namely: Timpre Sylva, Francis Konkpola, Dennis Daunemigha, Lady Gesiere-Dorgu, Clement Andiye and Asiyai Etafa.

Mr. Timi Alaibe, whom many analysts believed would have given the governor a stiff opposition, did not appear for the exercise as he was said to have been prevailed upon to withdraw by the Abuja authorities so as not to further heat up the political system in the troubled state.

As at the time of filing this report, the votes were still being counted with Jonathan leading with wide margin.

Meanwhile, a one-storey building housing the state commissioner for sports office within the sports complex some metres from the venue of the primaries was rocked by explosion in the early hours of yesterday.

The state commissioner of police, Alhaji Hafiz Ringim, confirmed the blast, saying no arrest had been made.

Borno: Kashim Imam is candidate

The 2003 Borno State PDP governorship candidate, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam, yesterday, emerged as the party's 2007 gubernatorial flag bearer unopposed.

Imo: Exercise in shaky start

The PDP gubernatorial primaries in Imo State took off without the voters actually getting to know who the qualified contestants were.

Speaking in an interview, the special adviser to Imo State governor, special duties, Prince Victor Ibenye-Ugbala, lamented that the voting process was not only slow but that the electoral officers woefully failed to display the names of the eligible contestants at either the party secretariat or the voting centre.

With the exception of the delegates from about three out of the 27 local government areas of the state who were lucky to cast their votes at the time of going to press, scores of other delegates from the remaining local council areas were apprehensive about whether they would have the opportunity of voting for their candidates.

Katsina: Masari pulls out of contest

In Katsina State , the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, withdrew from the PDP governorship primaries in protest over allegation that Governor Umar Musa Yar'Adua had a candidate whom he wanted to use government machinery to impose on the people.

Masari also called for the suspension of the primaries pending when a transparent process is put in place to ensure free and fair primaries.

Another governorship aspirant, Alhaji Mogaji Mohammed, also withdrew from the race three days earlier in protest over the same reason of alleged partiality by the governor and the members of the election committee.

The election was however going on peacefully in the state even as it was expected that Alhaji Ibrahim Shema who is the governor's preferred candidate would win.

Oyo: Alao-Akala wins

The former PDP deputy national chairman, South West, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo, contesting for the Oyo governorship race walked out of the venue of the gubernatorial primaries yesterday as a result of alleged massive rigging that characterized the exercise just as the Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala polled 7,874 to emerge the winner.

Adeojo, who came to the Liberty Stadium for the primaries with about 7,000 delegates, was disappointed at the gate when he was told that he could only be allowed to enter the premises with only 100 delegates.

But, Akala, who polled 7, 874 votes to beat three other aspirants to the party ticket, denied rigging the election. Adeojo polled 395 votes, while Elder Wole Oyelese, the late General Sani Abacha minister of special duties scored 105 and Alhaji Musa Adegboyega Hamzat from Iseyin 33 votes.

The security operatives had hectic time checking the delegates into the stadium as charms and cutlasses were seized from them.

Rivers: Speaker beats senator

Seven aspirants staged a walk out at the PDP primaries for governorship in Rivers State. Senator Martins Yellowe who spoke on behalf of the others said the whole electioneering process was flawed with irregularities.

The others are Paworiso Samuel Horsfall, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, Chief Isaac Wonwu, Sir David Briggs, Chief Christopher Oji and Kio Clement Bestman.

As if confirming the allegation of Yellowe, before voting started, the party announced the withdrawal of Hon Austin Opara, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives from the race. The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, emerged winner with 6,527 votes while Yellowe scored 28 votes; Horsfall, 10 votes; David Briggs, 6; Lulu Briggs, 0 and Oji, 0. 29 votes were invalid.

Voting actually started at some minutes to six pm . It could not be confirmed if this delay had anything to do with the alleged decision by the party to make Amaechi the flag bearer.

Ekiti: Osuntokun, others screened out

Former adviser to the president on political matters, Chief Akin Osuntokun, was among the four aspirants disqualified on the eve of the governorship primaries of the PDP in Ekiti State from contesting for what the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Ropo Adesanya, described as a measure to save the party from last minute disqualification by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Aside from the initial delay in screening delegates to the congress, the exercise went on smoothly in the state capital in Ado Ekiti yesterday

As at the time of this report, voting was still in progress

Meanwhile, Osuntokun has said that he accepted his non-clearance for the gubernatorial primaries in good faith.

Osuntokun, in a statement, yesterday, said: "I have accepted my non-clearance by the party in good faith. I accepted it as personal sacrifice and as a test of my loyalty and commitment to the party.

"I give glory to God for the opportunity of participation. I readily offer my congratulations and goodwill to whoever emerges as the party's flag-bearer."

Reports from the state last night indicated that no clear winner emerged in the primaries. There will be a run-off between Prof Adesegun Ojo and Yinka Akerele.

Benue: 2 cops, 3 others killed as disputes stall primaries

Two policemen and three civilians lost their lives, yesterday, in Aliade, in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State as a result of a violent protest embarked upon by supporters of a Peoples Democratic Party PDP House of Assembly aspirant whose nomination was upturned by the party's electoral appeal panel.

This happened just as the party's gubernatorial primaries in the state could not hold due to unresolved disputes between major factional leaders of the PDP in the state.

Trouble began when an announcement on the state-owned Radio Benue broke news of the annulment of the victory of Mr. Ayar Gwer for the state House of Assembly with Mr. Asema Achado, his rival in last Sunday's party primaries, as his replacement.

The violent protests which had erupted in the town on Friday night were initially confined to some areas within the town.

However, by yesterday morning, the rioters became more bold as they took their anger to the heart of the town where they blocked both the Makurdi-Aliade and the Gboko-Aliade junctions, thus obstructing traffic flow between the North and South-Eastern part of the country.

Commercial vehicles, including trailers and lorries ferrying commercial commodities to the south which ran into the blocade had to beat a retreat to Makurdi and used the dilapdated Naka-Ankpa road to continue their journey.

Eye witness account told our correspondent that the two mobile policemen who were killed were members of a detachment of the MOPOL squad deployed to the town earlier in the morning while the three civilians were residents of the town involved in the protests.

Acting police commissioner of the state, Abubakar Mohammed, told Sunday Vanguard that there were casualties in the crisis but said he was yet to get details at press time.

Meanwhile irreconcilable differences between major stakeholders in the state PDP over the use of simple majority or run-off for the gubernatorial primaries forced the state caretaker committee of the party to postpone until Tuesday the conduct of the exercise in the state.

The state PDP chairman, Alhaji Sule Audu, who confirmed the shift, simply said it was done "because the atmosphere is not conducive"

Andy Uba emerges in Anambra

Chief Andy Uba last night emerged winner of the PDP primary election with a total of 6,909 votes. He secured 97 percent of the total votes cast. He was followed by Dr. Alex Obiogbolu with 94 votes, Col. Augustine Aniebo, 27 votes, Chief Chuma Nwofor, 20 votes, Mrs. Bridget Obi, 14 votes and Prince Osita Ezenwa, 5 votes.

Obiogbolu, Nwofor and Ezenwa had earlier said they were boycotting the primaries.

They had earlier addressed a press conference in Awka where they threatened to back out of the election if what they referred to as anomalies in the past primaries were not corrected.

Such anomalies, according to them include none display of the delegates lists at local government party office, non-compliance with the party's guidelines and constitution as well as allegedly working for Andy Uba.

Meanwhile, a mild drama play out when a young man, Mr Chine Ikenna Azom, who claimed to be the PDP chairman in Belgium and European Union, stormed the PDP state secretariat and confronted the party chairman that he paid the mandatory three million naira for the governorship race but was not given forms for the election.

Akwa Ibom: Primaries shifted

The PDP gubernatorial primaries could not hold in Akwa Ibom State yesterday. It will now hold today.

Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media. (allafrica.com)

Copyright 2006 Accra Mail. Distributed by Allafrica Global Media.

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