Okowa present, Ibori, Uduaghan absent; Gbagi withdraws from primary
By Festus Ahon & Paul Olayemi
SPEAKER, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, kept a tally of 597 votes out of 824 ballots cast by delegates at the governorship primary of the PDP, at Asaba, Delta State, yesterday, to emerge victorious.
Oborevwori, the professed preferred candidate of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, surpassed Olorogun David Edevbie, the favourite governorship nominee of ex-governor, Chief James Ibori, who scored 113 votes to place second.
Okowa, who evidenced that he is in-charge of affairs in the party with the outcome, wore a big smile as Chairman of the Electoral Panel, Mr. Ndibusi Nwobu, announced Sheriff as the duly elected candidate of the party with 597 votes. Ibori and his successor, former governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, stayed away from the primaries.
On his part, Oborevwori could not contain his ecstasy as he shook hands with other aspirants and delegates, who cheered him when he was pronounced as winner. Edevbie obviously disheartened by the voting pattern left before the end of the polls.
Declaring Oborevwori as winner of the primary election, Chairman of the panel, Mr. Ndubusi Nwobu said David Edevbie scored 113 votes; Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, zero votes; Chief Fred Majemite, six votes; Senator James Manager, 83 votes; Barr Peter Mrakpor, nine votes; Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, nine votes; Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, 597 votes, Mr. Abel Esievo, two votes and Chief Ejaife Odebala, two votes.
Nwobu described the election as a family affair, adding that the primary election was not the end. He said the election was free and fair.
The exercise which began with the accreditation of the 824 delegates at the Dome Centre, Asaba at about 11am was peaceful. Thirteen of the 14 cleared aspirants were present. Former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, had pulled out of the contest on Monday and did not show up at the venue.
The exercise commenced at 3:24pm with Aniocha North delegates voting first in alphabetical order. The election was witnessed by security agents and officials of the INEC.
Chief David Edevbie, Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, Mr. Braduce Angozi, Chief Fred Majemite and Mr. Ejaife Odebala left the venue of the election unceremoniously.