The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, has emerged victorious in the Obudu State Constituency bye-election into the Cross River State House of Assembly, trouncing her All Progressives Congress (APC) opponent, Mr. Adah Ishamali.
The PDP candidate scored 12,530 to beat APC’s candidate, Ishamali who polled 4,349 votes.
Having won the majority of the votes cast, Mrs Ukpukpen was subsequently declared winner by the INEC Returning Officer, Dr. Tony Eyang.
Mrs. Ukpukpen is the widow of the late Hon. Steven Ukpukpen, whose demise led to the declaration of the seat vacant. Reacting to the victory, Governor Ayade said: “The election was more of a referendum on my acceptability and my stewardship to my people. There couldn’t be any more resounding affirmation than this from my people.
“Basically it is more or less like a referendum because my state house member representing Obudu State Constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly died suddenly and so, the bye election held today (yesterday). So, it is a validation of my own service.”
While lauding the general conduct of the election, Ayade said: “The turnout was impressive and the process was peaceful.
The governor who arrived kakum town hall polling unit with code number “004,” at Ipong registration area at exactly 10:25am, went through the accreditation process before casting his vote in the unit which has a total of 744 voters.
According to Ayade, “I am very impressed with INEC, my card read worked at the first instance, everybody got accredited without hitches, voting was done smoothly, there was no rancour, it was very peaceful. I want to commend INEC for this.”
Continuing, Ayade said information from other parts of the local government area indicated that “everything was peaceful, so I must also commend the security agencies.”
The governor said he never had any doubts about the likely outcome of the election.
“Of course, this is my own state constituency, the governor’s own state constituency. I am a member of the PDP and definitely I am happy that the party won.”
A local observer and member of Nigeria Progressive Union and Youths Development Initiative, Femi Rachael Promise, affirmed that “having gone round almost all polling units in the local government area, my team observed that the election was free, fair and credible. There were no cases of violence, riot and no report of snatching of ballot boxes.”