BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK
Great Ogboru and Pat Utomi have both emerged as governorship candidates for the Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2019 general election.
They emerged during two separate governorship primaries conducted in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Utomi, a Professor, was announced on Monday morning as the party’s governorship candidate at a parallel primary conducted by the Cyril Ogodo-led faction of the State Working Committee (SWC), in Asaba.
Announcing the results of the primary, which began on Sunday, the returning officer, Elder Favour Adibor, said a total of 3,755 votes were cast by delegates, with Pat Utomi getting the highest votes of 2,486 to defeat three other aspirants, Great Ogboru, Victor Ochei, and Cairo Ojougboh to clinch the governorship ticket.
According to Elder Adibor, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, got 801 to clinch second position, followed by a former presidential aide, Cairo Ojougboh, with 368 votes, while Great Ogboru came fourth after polling 106 votes.
Meanwhile, another parallel governorship primary conducted by the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction, led by Jones Erue’s State Working Committee (SWC), held at the College of Education (Technical), Asaba, declared Great Ogboru who polled a total of votes 3,292 as the winner and the party’s flag-bearer for the 2019 general election.
Declaring the results of the Ogboru/Omo-Agege led factional primary shortly after collation of votes, chairman of state governorship primary election committee, Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd), said the total votes cast totalled 3,644, with 3,515 as valid votes and 129 as void votes.
According the Chairman, Victor Ochei polled 160 votes to secure the second position, followed by Pat Utomi with 26 votes and Cairo Ojougboh with 12 votes.
It was however, observed, that the three other governorship aspirants, Ochei, Ojougboh and Utomi, did not participate at the Ogboru/Omo-Agege factional primary, following what they referred to as flawed process.
The two primaries were supervised by party officials from the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with heavy security presence.
On Sunday, the factional APC governorship flag-bearer, Great Ogboru and the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Ovie Omo-Agege had hijacked the primary process, while armed thugs suspected to be working for Ogboru and Omo-Agege, led by an APC House of Representatives aspirant, Henry Baro, were seen with guns shooting sporadically at the venue few minutes past midnight.
However, while the crisis was going on, one of Ogboru’s supporters, Stella Okotete, the Executive Director, Business Development, NEXIM Bank, was seen assaulting some ladies and men in the arena, shouting on top of her voice, and boasting about using thugs to beat up anyone perceived to be working against the interest of Ogboru.
“Great Ogboru must govern Delta State by all means. 2019 is Ogboru’s time and anyone who dares stand in his way would be crushed to death,” she boasted.