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Odey of PDP wins C’River north senatorial polls

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

The Chairman of the Cross River State Universal Basic Education Boars (CR-SUBEB) Dr Stephen Odey and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has emerged winner of the  Cross River North senatorial bye-election which held on Saturday across the five.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Odey winner on Sunday, saying he defeated eight other contestants to clinch the seat which had remained vacant for some months now following the demise of Senator Rse Oko.

Declaring the result, Prof Ameh Okoh of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University of Technology, Ikwo, Ebonyi state, who was the senatorial by-election Collation Officer, said Dr Odey polled 129, 207 to defeat his closest rival, Barr Joe Agi of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 19, 165 votes.

Mr Gregory Agam of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, came third and scored 388 while six other contestants from other political parties scored far less.

Prof Okoh said “The PDP candidate, having scored the highest number of votes cast is hereby declared the winner in line with electoral guidelines.”

In the same vein, the PDP candidate, Mrs Maria Akwaji also defeated Mr Abor Adaji of the APC with 32, 166 votes to Adaji’s 3,546 to clinch Obudu State Constituency seat. She is replacing her husband who also died some months ago.

The Collation Officer, Prof Abel Ezeoha of Alex Ekwueme Federal University of Technology, Ikwo, Ebonyi state, made the announcement.

Speaking, Governor Ben Ayade said he was impressed with the conduct of the polls, saying the turnout was also very encouraging. He called on the losers of the election to show sportsmanship in the interest of peace.

“We should put our differences aside and move on. We are all from the larger Ogoja senatorial district. Both the winner and looser must have an open mind and find a way to collaborate and work together.

“The candidates should show the spirit of sportsmanship. The looser should not see the defeat as the end of the world. The world is a dynamic place. If you win today, tomorrow you may lose,” Ayade stated.

In an interview, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical Matters, Arch Eric Akpo, commended INEC for the peaceful conduct of the polls, but appealed to Cross Riverians from all political divide to join hand with the governor to move the state forward.

“We are one family and one people. I knew PDP will win because Cross River is a PDP state but my appeal is to all Cross Riverians to come, join hands with His Excellency to create the Cross River state of our dream,” Akpo stated.

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