By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Sept. 7, 2020 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Electoral Panel for the party primaries for Cross River North Senatorial District by-election on Monday submitted its report to the party leadership in Abuja.
Chairman of the panel, Taleb Tebite, led two other members of the panel to PDP National Secretariat in Abuja to make the submission.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen shortly after the submission, Tebite described the primaries that produced Dr Stephen Odey as winner as transplant and peaceful.
“It was one of the most transparent elections I have ever seen.”
Tebite appreciated the PDP leadership for choosing members of the panel to serve and ensuring that everything was done peacefully.
He advised Odey, who was a former Chairman of Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to reconcile with aggrieved aspirants and those not in his support.
Asked on his reaction to the reported parallel primary held in the state on the same day by an aspirant of the party, Tebite said he was not aware of such.
“I do not know about any parallel election. I do not know the candidate you are talking about.
“About how aspirants were cleared for the election on the day of the election, Jarigbe Agom, Stephen Odey, Mary Iji were present,” Tebite said.
He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), officials monitored the primaries.
The Electoral Panel Secretary, Mr Chuks Akwiti, told newsmen that the primarprimaries was conducted in full compliance with the PDP Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Nigeria Constitution and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), protocol.
Akwiti said that there were evidences that the exercise followed due process and was monitored by INEC representatives and agents of the aspirants.
He called on the winner of the primary, other aspirants and all supporters to work together for the success of the PDP on Oct. 31.
“We call on our party faithful in Cross River to join hands with the winner of the primaries for the success of our party in the election,” Akwiti said.
The incoming chairman of PDP Cross River, Chief Alphonsus Eba, said he had begun reconciliation work to ensure that the party goes into the poll in unity.
Eba, who was former Director-General, Due Process, Cross River State, urged aggrieved members to employ internal mechanism to address their concerns.
Eba also enjoined them to trust the leadership of the party and Gov. Ben Ayade for purposeful direction.
“We will all work as a party because PDP is one party and we know how to manage crisis. We will manage the crisis.
At the primaries, Odey scored 450 votes to defeat his closest rival and member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Jarigbe Agom, who polled 90 votes.