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Umo Eno, Udom’s anointed candidate, wins Akwa Ibom PDP guber primary

Umo Eno, the preferred candidate of Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom, has won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket in the state.

Philip Shuaibu, deputy governor of Edo state and chairman of the primary electoral committee, declared Eno as winner of the exercise held at the Akwa Ibom international stadium on Wednesday.

Eno secured 993 votes, while a total of 1,018 delegates participated in the election.

He defeated his closest challengers — Onofiok Luke, a member of the house of representatives, who got two votes; and Bassey Albert, a member of the senate, who polled only one vote.

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Luke had, earlier on Wednesday, announced that he would not participate in the exercise as a result of the issues raised on the amendment of the electoral act in relation to statutory delegates — the bill has not yet been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Akwa Ibom governor had, in February, said he picked Eno to succeed him after God spoke to him.

“I will never use God’s name in vain,” Emmanuel had said.

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“Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person. He has enormous capacity; he’s an epitome of humility and is blessed with the common touch, a compelling story and is God-fearing.

“He is a successful entrepreneur, who has employed our people, and lifted thousands from poverty to prosperity. He will be coming to the office of the governor with an economic blueprint that will further guarantee employment, development, and economic prosperity for our people.

“He is a man of peace and will ensure that the peace and security of life we have enjoyed in the last six-plus years will be maintained. His life story resonates with the story of most ordinary Akwa Ibom people. He came from the police barracks, where, as he said during his thanksgiving service last year, life was dreary and hope seemed a distant ingredient.”

On his part, Albert, a serving senator, had attributed his decision to withdraw from the race in obedience to a court injunction relating to the ward congresses which produced the ad hoc delegates for the primary.

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Some party members said to be loyal to Albert had filed a suit in a federal high court in Abuja, challenging the result of the PDP ad hoc delegates election held on April 30.

According to the applicants, there were no ward congresses in the state and the delegates’ list is a “fraught”.

The matter, which was scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, was adjourned till June 1 for hearing.

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