Former Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Lands, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno has won the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
The leading PDP candidate polled a total of 993 votes, beating 13 other contestants to emerge the PDP Governorship candidate for the 2023 general election in a race that involved a total of 1018 delegates.
The Governorship primaries which took place at the Nest of Champion International Stadium, Uyo, saw Pastor Eno beating his rival in all the 31 local government areas, 10 federal Constituencies and 3 Senatorial Districts of the State, an electoral verdict that has been described by many political analysts as unprecedented.
Aniekan Etim scored 2 votes, Hon Mike Enyong had 1 vote, Senator Bassey Albert (OBA) scored 1 vote while Mr Akan Okon pulled 3 votes. Rt Hon Onofiok Luke got 3 votes, Umoh Idorenyin James 2 votes whole Mr Ide Owodiong scored 1 vote.
The Akwa Ibom State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr Mike Igini, alongside other officials of the Commission, were on hand to monitor the exercise in line with Constitutional provisions.
The Akwa Ibom PDP Governorship Primary Committee had Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, as Chairman while Barr Edwards Ayo-Odugbesan served as Secretary. Other members of the 6-man Committee were Hon Mamman Usman, Hon Stephen Ibrahim, Barr K, Njoku and Hon Mariam Bala.
Earlier, some of Umo Eno’s co-contestants had pulled out of the contest ostensibly citing a subsisting court order in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/606/22 at the Federal High Court Abuja where they falsely claimed the Honourable Court ordered amongst others that it will be in the interest of justice for the parties to maintain status-quo antebellum pending the hearing and determination of the suit and an Appeal by the party with the Court of Appeal, Abuja on May 19th, 2022 alongside an application for stay of order at the same Federal High Court, Abuja.
However, when the matter came up on Wednesday, Counsel to the 2nd – 331st defendants, Uwemedimo Nwoko SAN, argued that the Status Quo Bellum advice by the court was misrepresented by the plaintiffs to mean an order of the court to stop the primaries from holding.
The court agreed that it never stopped the primaries of the PDP in its order and urged the Plaintiffs to go ahead with their arguments on the preliminary objections over jurisdiction and locus standi brought by the defendants.
Counsel to Plaintiff Ahmed Raji also appealed for more time to study the preliminary objections filed by the defendants. The defendants raised no objection to his plea, after which the matter was adjourned to Wednesday, 1st of June, 2022 for further hearing.
With the victory, Pastor Umo Eno is expected to be issued his Certificate of Return and get set to fly the party’s flag in next year’s general election.