By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the rerun election for Yakurr II State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly held on Saturday, March 12.
The PDP candidate, Mr. Eteng Jonah Williams, was declared winner of the keenly contested election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The declaration of result sheet endorsed by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ghesila Khan, which was made available to journalists yesterday showed that Williams scored 4,380 votes to emerge winner, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bassey Utum Inah, polled 3,670 to place second and the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Eno Utum Inah, scored 2,180 votes to place third.
Reacting to the outcome of the election, a visible, angry chieftain of the APC in the state who hails from Yakurr, Chief Utum Eteng, attributed the defeat of the party in the election to infighting within its fold in the state.
Eteng lamented that from the votes scored by each candidate, the APC would have won if the supporters did not split their votes with the LP.
“I feel very bad that APC has not been able to put its act together in this state from inception. The infighting is still on. There is infighting between the old and new members. Those who voted for the APC and LP are all supporters of the APC. It is very unfortunate that a constituency where a minister comes has been won by PDP due to crisis of confidence in the party. The APC may claim that they came second, but in an election to the House of Assembly, there is no prize for second place so; the APC should not think it has done well,” Eteng said.
Eteng appealed to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, who is from the constituency to support and help the acting state chairman of the party, Mr. John Ochala, to reorganise the APC in the state and move it forward so the party can win elections in future.
The Appeal Court sitting in Calabar and presided by Justice Onyekachi Otisi had January 8, 2016 ordered a rerun in the constituency within 90 days, after annulling the April 11, 2015 House of Assembly elections which saw INEC originally returning William as winner.
The LP candidate had filed an appeal on 12-grounds challenging the verdict of the election tribunal which upheld the declaration of Williams as winner of the April 11, 2015 election.
At the Appeal Court, the LP candidate, through his lawyer, Mr. Egere Osim; had among other issues, argued that it was illegal for the INEC to have issued a certificate of return; Exhibit 24 RE10, to Williams, on April 13, 2015, when election had not been concluded. ThisDay
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