GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka and DOM EKPUNOBI, Onitsha
Former governor of Anambra State and Senator representing Anambra State, Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, yesterday emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State.
He scored 63,255 votes to beat his only contender, Chief Godwin Ezeemo who scored 9,564 votes.
The exercise started peacefully as the primaries Committee led by former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau distributed the materials and deployed the officials early.
Declaring the result at the central collation centre at Emmaus House, Awka, chairman of the election committee and chief returning officer, former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau expressed happiness over the peaceful conduct of the election and commended members of the party for their maturity and cooperation.
The chairman of primaries committee, Shekarau noted that the primaries was the major outing of APC in terms of participating in election organized by INEC and that the party was mindful of that fact, hence it was ensuring that every thing was put in place to make it the best in the state.
In his short address after receiving the certificate of return, the APC candidate Senator Dr. Chris Ngige thanked the APC members for finding him worthy to carry the banner of the party the forth coming gubernatorial election.
He called on all of them especially Senator Annie Okonkwo and Chief Godwin Ezeemo, to join hands with him in the coming governorship battle in other to ensure victory for the party.
Senator Ngige remarked with delight that the insistence of Chief Ezeemo, had made the party to realize that it had more than 60,000 registered members pointing out that it was an indication that the party had already been assured of more than 240, 000 votes from these members and their nuclear families.
He explained that the essence of the direct open balloting used by APC was to know the strength of APC in Anambra, adding that the party has over 70,000 registered members which according to him was enough to dictate any electoral fraud during the November 16, 2013 governorship election.
He explained that the committee held a meeting with the two aspirants and that they signed an undertaking to abide by the outcome of the exercise.
Also speaking, another member of the committee, Senator Osita Izunaso said the party chose direct primaries in other to test the popularity of the aspirants.
In his own remarks, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai said that the choice of direct primaries was also to eliminate corruption and avoid the controversies that trail delegate elections.
Speaking with newsmen Ezeemo said he has satisfied his conscience by insisting that there be a primary election, adding that when two people contest for a position, only one would win.