All Progressives Congress has barred Senator Magnus Abe and Professor Pat Utomi from contesting in the 2019 general election as its governorship candidate in Rivers state and Delta state respectively.
Abe a senator representing South-East senatorial district and Utomi, a professor of political economy and president of Lagos Business School, were elected by parallel primaries in the South-South states.
APC’s spokesman confirmed Great Ogboru, who is contesting for the fifth time for Delta State governor, and Tonye Cole, backed by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, as the approved candidates in the states.
In Rivers, the tussle came to the fore as two factions of the party elected two different candidates to represent the party in the 2019 governorship election.
While the faction loyal to Abe elected him as the party’s governorship candidate through a direct primary, the faction loyal to Amaechi, elected Tonye Cole as its candidate through an indirect primary.
In the direct primary, Abe polled 144,929 votes to defeat Dumo Lulu-Briggs who got 3,444 votes. Dawari George got 1,606 while Tonye Cole polled 882 votes.
The result was announced by the Returning Officer, Hon. Chigbu Sam Eligwe.
But another governorship primary of the APC held at Igboukwu Field, D-Line, produced Cole as the winner. He polled 3,329 votes to defeat Dawari George who got 491 votes. Dumo Lulu-Briggs got 38 votes, while Abe got 1 vote.
In Delta, Utomi emerged as the flag bearer of the party at a parallel governorship primary organised by Cyril Ogodo-led faction.
In a declaration on Monday by the returning officer Elder Favour Adibor in Asaba, Utomi was announced to have polled 2,486 votes to defeat three other aspirants.
The former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, polled 801 as second while Cairo Ojougboh, a former National Deputy Chairman (South-South) of the Peoples Democratic Party got 368 votes to come third while Ogboru came fourth with 106 votes. A total of 3, 755 votes were cast by delegates.
However, in another election held at the College of Education (Technical) Asaba, the state capital, Ogboru emerged the winner.
The exercise which was conducted by the Gen. Lawrence Onoja’s electoral panel under the Jones Erue-led faction in the state said Ogboru polled a total of 3,292 votes to defeat his closest rival, Victor Ochei, who scored 160.