By Steve Oko
The immediate-past Minister for Mines and Steel Development Dr Uche Ogah, has emerged the winner of the All Progressive Congress, APC, governorship primaries in Abia State.
He polled 141,952 votes out of the total 195,801 votes cast in the direct primaries held by the Hon. Acho Obioma-led faction of the party.
Returning officers of the state, Mr. Perfect Okorie who declared him winner of the contest after collation of results at the party secretariat Umuahia by 12:12 am Friday, said the exercise was free and fair.
Paul Ikonne came a distance second with 27,054 votes while Chief Ikechi Emenike who had earlier emerged winner in a parallel indirect congress held at Chidiebere Park Umuahia secured the third position with 9,446 votes.
Breakdown of the result showed that Emeka Atuma got the fourth position with 7,429 votes while Obinna Oriaku came fifth with 5553 votes.
Alex Otti who had two days ago withdrawn from the race came sixth with 2,412 votes while Daniel Eke came last with 1953 votes.
In his acceptance speech, Ogah who was APC governorship candidate in 2019, thanked the party members who participated in the exercise for reposing confidence in him, and promised not to disappoint them.
He dedicated the victory to God and said his 2023 outing would be successful.
Ogah also commended his fellow contestants and enjoined them to support him win the next election to rebuild the state.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the implications of a parallel primaries on the electoral fortunes of the party, Ogah said that the National leadership of APC had directed that Abia should conduct a direct primary, arguing that those involved in indirect primaries flouted the party,’s directive.