A former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti, has emerged as the Abia State All Progressives Grand Alliance governorship candidate.
Also a security expert, Chief Chikwe Udensi, was also elected as the party’s 2019 governorship candidate by a faction led by Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu.
Otti, at the primary held at the party’s secretariat in Umuahia, the state capital, polled 574 votes from a total of 608 votes cast to defeat his opponent, Mr Chikwendu Udensi, who scored no vote.
A total of 610 delegates were accredited for the peaceful primary while 36 votes were voided.
Udensi polled 565 votes to defeat Otti who got 57 votes in the Ukaegbu faction of the party.
Addressing party supporters after he was declared winner by the chairman of the APGA Electoral Committee, Otti thanked the delegates for conducting themselves in an orderly manner during the exercise.
He said, “I must thank God for a very peaceful election and the delegates for their support. Let me also say that those who didn’t vote for me as time goes on will understand what we have come to do in APGA. In all, I am very happy with the result of the election.’’
He identified the alleged deplorable state of infrastructure in Abia as the reason he joined the race.
He added that it was not too late to salvage the situation, adding that it could have been worse if “people like us did not take the bold step we took, because I believe that I have the capacity, skills and the network as well as the experience and training to turn around the situation in Abia.’’
Also, Udensi said his election followed due process in line with the party’s constitution and a court order which sacked the party executive which supported Otti.
He added that he tried all he could to get Otti to contest with him under the right party leadership but he insisted that he must go unopposed.
He said, “Otti was afraid of going for the primary. When the party’s national chairman called us for a meeting, he asked that he should be declared the party’s candidate unopposed, but I insisted that we must go for a primary to elect a candidate.
“He was afraid of losing because the entire party leadership was with us, including members of the national working committee. The only person he has is a former party chairman who was removed by the court.”
Meanwhile, the member representing Bende Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Nnenna Ukeje, has failed in her bid to return to the House.
Ukeje was defeated by Mr Chima Anyaso in the Abia Peoples Democratic Party House of Representatives primary. Anyaso scored 82 votes to defeat Ukeje who got 70 votes.
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