INEC declares PDP’s Odey winner of Cross River north senatorial bye-election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Dr Stephen Odey of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the Cross River North senatorial bye-election which was held on Saturday across the five local government areas of the zone.

Declaring the result, Prof Ameh Okoh, of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University of Technology, Ikwo, Ebonyi state, who was the senatorial bye-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) 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.”

Similarly, 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 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 loser must have an open mind and find a way to collaborate and work together. The world is a dynamic place. If you win today, tomorrow you may lose,” Ayade stated.

Also speaking, 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 hands with the governor to move the state forward.

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