Following the results of the just-concluded People Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primary on Wednesday, many of the incumbent PDP Governors have proven that they are the landlords of their respective states, as they decided ‘who gets what, when and how’.
This was so as the Governors secured the tickets for another term and while for others, their preferred candidates won with a landslide.
A host of those who fought for the tickets with the governors withdrew before the contests or lost out eventually.
Notable politicians who pulled out of the race before the primaries include former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu); Senate Minority Whip, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia); Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi (Delta) and Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu (Abia) among others.
The only PDP governor in the South-West, Engineer Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, secured his re-election ticket in style, polling 1,040 votes to beat his challenger, Mr Hazeem Gbolarunmi, who had two votes.
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri also emerged as the PDP Candidate for the 2023 election in Adamawa State.
At the primaries conducted in Yola Wednesday, Fintiri scored 668 votes out of the 668 accredited votes.
In Delta, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa defeated former Governor James Ibori in the battle for the soul of the PDP in the state. Okowa’s preferred candidate, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, won the PDP primaries beating Ibori’s choice, David Edevbie and other contenders.
In the sorting and counting which was done in the full glare of cameras, Journalists, security agents and officials of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Oborevwori scored 597 votes to beat all his opponents.
In Enugu, Mr Peter Mbah, who is supported by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, won the governorship ticket. Ugwuanyi and Nnamani, on Tuesday, won the senatorial tickets of the PDP.
In Akwa Ibom, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s preferred successor, the immediate past Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno, emerged top.
In like manner, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne, the immediate-past Vice-Chancellor of the Abia State University, won the governorship ticket in Abia State.
In Bauchi, Immediate past Secretary to Bauchi State Government, SSG, Mr. Ibrahim Kashim Mohammed, won the ticket. He is in the good books of the first term serving Governor Bala Mohammed, who is running for the PDP presidential ticket. Pundits said that Ibrahim would step down for Governor Bala Mohammed if the presidential quest fails.
In Enugu, Mbah polled a total of 790 votes to defeat Chijioke Edeoga who got nine votes. Chukwunta Gilbert got one vote while Chinyeaka Oha got three votes.
Mbah had served in the State as Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Finance during the tenure of Senator Chimaroke Nnamani.
Earlier, no fewer than eight aspirants had stepped down. They include; Kingsley Udeh, Erasmus Anike, Nwabueze Ugwu, Ralph Nwoye, Prof. Jehu Nnaji, as well as Beloved-Dan Anike, Dr. Gabriel Ajah, and Abraham Nneji Chukwudi.
They cited the supremacy of the party’s decision.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu had withdrawn from the contest in protest.
Similarly, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, won the PDP governorship primary held at Lekan Salami Stadium, after polling 1,048 votes, to defeat his challenger, Mr Hazeem Gbolarunmi, who had two votes.
The returning officer, Ben Obi, who was represented by Abdullahi MaiBasia, made the declaration.
There were six void votes out of the total votes cast
In his acceptance speech, Governor Makinde expressed gratitude to party leaders, members and delegates across the 33 local government areas for believing in him and the leaders of the party in the state.
He vowed to keep all the promises he had made to the party and the people of the state.
Addressing the delegates, Mr. Hazeem Gbolarumi, who stepped down for Governor Makinde, said his decision to step down was necessitated by his observation that politics is a game of numbers and that Makinde has the numbers to win both the primary and general election.
“We are in the same party but I don’t want us to be divided. What we are doing is just formality. There is no reason for us to sit here and be contesting for the same post. We already have a leader in the state. No matter how small he is, he is our leader in the state. I pray that this party won’t be divided.”
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the venue, as policemen stationed at the entrance of the stadium prevented journalists from covering the event.
A bid to have access at all cost to cover the governorship primaries led to the beating and harassment by policemen of Yinka Adeniran the Governor’s Office reporter of The Nation Newspapers, who is also the chairman, Press Corps.
The policemen had fired teargas at journalists which caused pandemonium. The reporter was doing his job when the policemen suddenly descended on him, despite showing his identity card to them.
“I was first attacked by some overzealous policemen, two of them were holding riffles, they threatened to shoot me and as I ran, they pursued me,” Adeniran said.
In Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno also won the Akwa Ibom PDP ticket polling 993 out of 1006 valid votes cast.
Other aspirants, Mr. Etim Aniekan Akan scored two votes, Michael Enyong got one vote. Others include Bassey Albert (one vote), Mr Akan Okon (three votes), Onofiok Luke (three votes), Imoh Idorenyin James (two votes), and Ide Owodiong (one vote).
Two votes were voided.
The voting for the governorship primary which started at 12:07 pm with delegates from Abak local government area was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
No fewer than 1,018 Ad-hoc delegates were accredited to vote during the exercise held at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
The voting which ended by 1:47 pm was followed immediately by the sorting of the ballot papers while the counting of the ballot ended by 3:58 pm.
Of the 14 aspirants that were cleared for the governorship race, seven participated in the exercise including Mr Akan Okon.
The Chairman of Akwa Ibom Governorship Primary Committee and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, while declaring the results congratulated the aspirants and delegates for their peaceful and orderly conduct throughout the exercise.
In his acceptance speech, an elated Pastor Umo Eno expressed gratitude to God and commended Governor Udom Emmanuel and the delegates for the confidence reposed in him to fly the party’s flag.
“I assure you all that you have made the right choice and I will not sacrifice the confidence that you have reposed in me.
This moment is an ultimate vindication of those who trust in the Lord,” he said.
In his remarks Governor Udom Emmanuel described Umo Eno as a man of peace, stressing, ‘This is a man that God has qualified for this time, we should join hands with him to grow Akwa Ibom. I came to say congratulations to him Let us all work for the success of our great party. One person must become the governor and all of us must make the government” he added.