[ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar]
Victors have emerged in the Cross River State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the House of Representatives elections.
This follows statewide primaries that took place in the state for the eight federal Constituency seats.
Out of the five results released so far, two incumbents Hon. Essien Ayi and Eta Mbora were nominated by the party to go for their sixth and third terms respectively.
Three other candidates who emerged victorious will be going for their first term.
For the Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar South Federal Constituency, incumbent Hon. Pastor Essien Ekpenyong Ayi has again emerged victorious.
Pastor Ayi is hoping to represent the area for the sixth term.
Returning officer for the primary, Asuquo Ekpo said Hon. Ayi polled 57 votes to defeat his closest rival Emana Ambrose Amawhe who polled 23 votes.
Former deputy speaker Dominic Edem polled 16 votes while Ekpe Ekpenyong polled three votes to emerge third and fourth respectively.
In Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency, incumbent Hon. Eta Mbora secured a ticket to contest for a third term.
Hon. Eta Mbora is from Calabar Municipality and also a former Mayor of Calabar Municipality.
Returning offficer Ikpi Ubangha Eyong said Hon. Mbora polled 56 votes to defeat Esuabana Asuquo Esuabana who polled 14 votes.
In Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, a fresh candidate Godwin Offiono emerged the PDP flag bearer.
He defeated former chairman of Yala local government area Mike Usibe by 37 votes to 25 votes.
Chris Edadi, the presiding officer for the primaries announced the results and disclosed that 62 delegates participated in the primaries.
For Akamkpa/Biased Federal Constituency, Austine Aidam emerged victorious.
He came first with 43 votes to defeat Bassey O. Bassey who scored 15 votes, while Inyang Union scored 5 votes.
For Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency, Hon. Elon Atu secured 39 votes to defeat Michael Eja who scored 30 votes.
Results are still being expected for Ikom/Boki, Obubra/Etung as well as Obudu/ Bekwarra/Obanliku Federal constituencies.
In some State Constituency results released so far, incumbent Efa Esua won the ticket to contest elections for the Calabar State Constituency.
Similarly, Rita Agbor Ayim, a former commissioner for Women Affairs and Chair person of Ojoja won the PDP ticket to contest the Ogoja State Constituency elections.
Pastor Essien Ekpenyong Ayi, the member representing Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar South Federal Constituency picked the PDP ticket to contest the 2023 general elections.
Hon. Ayi, a five term member of the house and former Chairman of Calabar South LGA polled 57 votes to defeat his closest rival Emana Ambrose – Amawhe who scored 23 votes.
Declaring Hon. Ayi winner, the returning officer and State Vice Chairman of PDP Asuquo Ekpo said Hon Ayi polled the highest vote and is declared winner.
Reacting to his victory, Hon Ayi said it was a very transparent exercise and he knows people are with him.
He said he has the capacity to win the election for his party and his people cut across all the parties.
“It was a very transparent exercise, there was no foul play at all and as expected I knew I was going to win.
“I have the capacity to win this election for my own party and I even reach out to people in other constituencies”, he said.
He added that his people should expect a very robust representation and he will deploy his very high ranking position to help his constituency, state and country.