2019: Ike Ekweremadu, Sam Egwu, others emerge PDP senatorial candidates

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, as well as former governors Theodore Orji and Sam Egwu of Abia and Ebonyi states res yesterday emerged as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party senatorial candidates.

Ekweremadu defeated four other aspirants to emerge as the Enugu west senatorial district candidate, while Messrs Orji and Egwu emerged unopposed as Abia central and Ebonyi north senatorial candidates.

In the senatorial primary conducted at the Enugu-west zonal headquarters, Awgu, on Tuesday, Ekweremadu polled 690 votes to beat his closest rival, Isaac Okah, who garnered 84 votes.

Another aspirant, Ogochukwu Onyema, polled 61 votes to come third, while Messrs Uche Onyekwelu and Oscar Egwuonwu polled 22 votes and five votes, respectively.

In his acceptance speech, Ekweremadu said the election was “the best in the country and an example of a free, fair and credible election”.

“This is the true spirit of democracy and, as a person, I like peaceful contests.

“I salute and urge them to join hands with me to ensure that the PDP works as a family to win the main election and continue to deliver quality representation to our people. I will continue to be fair and equitable to all.”

Orji also won the senatorial primary of the PDP for Abia central to fly the party’s flag in the 2019 general election.

In the primary held at the indoor sports hall of Umuahia township stadium, the senator, who contested unopposed, polled 489 votes to pick his second term ticket.

At Abakaliki local government headquarters, Egwu who stood for the election unopposed was declared winner while in Ebonyi south, Michael Nnachi, defeated a former commissioner for finance, Dennis Ekumankama, to emerge candidate of the party.

Nnachi secured 577 votes while Ekumankama got just 64 votes; there were 19 abstentions.

In Anambra, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chris Uba, won the party’s primary for Anambra south senatorial district.

He defeated two contestants in the race, Obinna Uzor and Chuma Nzeribe.

He polled 931 votes to defeat his closest rival, Obinna Uzor, who scored 20 votes while Nzeribe got zero vote.

Uba is likely to face his elder brother, Andy Uba, who is currently representing the district on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, in the main election.

The elder Uba is the only aspirant for the APC according to official list of cleared aspirants released by the party.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has disqualified oil magnate, Ifeanyi Ubah, from the senatorial race of Anambra south district.

National Chairman of APGA, Victor Oye, in a statement said the party disqualified Ubah for not obtaining a ‘waiver’ to contest the election.

Ubah, who owns Capital Oil, joined the party last year after he lost the PDP governorship primaries in the state.

Shortly after the poll, he dumped the PDP and joined forces with the state governor, Willie Obiano, to win the election for APGA.

The party, however, cleared Bianca Ojukwu (wife of deceased Biafran warlord), Nicholas Ukachuwu, Ikenna Mbazuluike-Amaechi and Anselm Enyimba to contest Anambra south district primaries.

The incumbent senator for Anambra Central, Victor Umeh, was cleared as the sole aspirant for the district.

For Anambra north senatorial district, a former deputy governor of the state, Chinedu Emeka, was also cleared as the sole aspirant in the area.

The APGA senatorial primaries will take place Wednesday.