Incumbent Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade has been returned as the Peoples Democratic Party flag bearer for the 2019 election.
Governor Ayade, who was the only aspirant for the gubernatorial ticket, got the affirmation of not less than four hundred delegates across the 18 Local Government Areas in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The event, which was held at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar capital city, was peaceful as the Nigeria Police Force alongside the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, NSCDC, provided the necessary cover for the success of the primary.
In a brief remark, Governor Ben Ayade expressed gratitude to the delegates for giving him the mandate to represent the party at the 2019 elections alongside contenders from the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress has postponed its governorship primary from Sunday to Monday due to the delayed arrival of electoral panel officials and voting materials to Cross River.
Hilliard Etta, the APC National Vice Chairman south-south, explained to newsmen in Calabar that late arrival of the materials implied that the party would deliver them to the wards all through Sunday night, while the process would commence on Monday.
Etta said contrary to allegations that the materials were hijacked to frustrate the primary, the seven-man committee members visited some security agencies to seek support for the conduct of a peaceful exercise across the State.
“I have heard the allegation that I have connived to hijack election materials. Let me assure all our members that nothing is farther from the truth. We have just returned from visits to security services and INEC,” the National Vice Chairman stated.
Explaining further, Etta stated :“The materials are in the custody of the Ali Magaji committee. All the materials will be distributed through the night and by tomorrow, election will commence across the 196 wards in the state”.
Earlier, two governorship aspirants, former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke and Professor Eyo Etim Nyong alleged that materials meant for the conduct of the election were hijacked by the National Vice Chairman, Hilliard Etta.
The two aspirants alleged that the National Vice Chairman was in favor of a particular governorship hopeful and accused the committee of bias.