Even after begging the people of Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in Cross River State, a former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke was disgraced in his local government and in teh federal constituency, as he failed to deliver his surrogate and speaker of the state house of assembly, John Gaul.
Gaul stood against the candidate of the APC, Dr Alex Egbona in the election. A few hours after the election was postponed, Imoke was said to have moved round to meet the villagers in Abi, where he pleaded with them not to disgrace him. He had asked them to vote for Gaul, against Egbona, his former chief of staff, whom he opposed in 2015.
He also moved into Ekureku, home of Egbona, where he also told the villagers not to vote the APC candidate. But the people appeared very resolute in their decision to go against his wish.
When the results started pouring in, it became clear that Imoke and Gaul, who are both from Abi, had lost out.
Egbona shines in Abi
Alex Egbona defeated the Speaker John Gaul. He polled 14,376 votes as against 7,834 votes to John Gaul to claim victory in Abi LGA. While Imoke won in his Itigidi, he could not do much outside the area. Also, the speaker won massively in his Adadama area.
In Yakurr, the scored 13,794, while the PDP got 17, 534. On the whole, Egbona scored 29,432 while Gaul scored 26971. INEC's returning officer for Abi/Yakurr, Prof Chike Ekeokpara who announced the result said having got the highest number of votes, Egbona was the winner and therefore returned elected.
As soon as the result was announced, supporters of Egbona went into serious jubilation. They mocked Imoke whom they said was the actual loser and not Gaul. Some of the women used their wrapper to sweep the roads and asked Egbona to walk through.
Egbona thanks all
House of Representatives member-elect for Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency, Chief Alex Egbona has expressed appreciation to the people of the constituency for standing by him and their show of support, which has resulted in his emergence as winner of the election.
Egbona said in an interview shortly after he was declared winner by INEC, that he stood by all the promises he made to the people during his campaigns. He said he would not let them down in any way.
He said: “today, you have demonstrated that power actually resides with you, the good people of Abi/Yakurr. I must say that I am overwhelmed by the show of love and commitment to the struggle to enthrone a new order in our federal constituency.
“You did not only turn out enmasse to vote, you made sure you protected your votes and you even followed up by keeping vigil until the long sought victory was achieved. I can only ask God to bless you and keep you alive to reap the fruits of this sacrifice.
“For me, I have believed that once the people remain united, they can achieve so much. We saw Goliaths on the way. There were mountains that appeared insurmountable. One big man from our place even told me that I was contesting the election against him and not my own opponent. I only laughed because I knew that if God did not speak, nobody can declare a thing and it would come to pass.”
Duke Congratulates Egbona
A former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke has congratulated the winner of the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency election in the state. In a telephone call to Egbona, Duke is was the presidential candidate of the SDP said it was gratifying that his former deputy chief of staff, Government House, emerged victorious.
Egbona's village agog
The sleepy town of Ekureku went agog on Monday, as the news filtered that their son had been declared winner of the election for Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency. With several rounds of gun salute, the villagers received Egbona into Ekureku, celebrating the person they called a god man.
Some of the villagers who spoke to TNN described him as a man with milk of human kindness. They said it would have been disappointing if Gaul had won. In fact, they said a victory for Gaul would have meant victory for Imoke.
“ Imoke was trying to play God. How can he say that our own Alex Egbona will not win election. Is he God? How can he pursue Alex like that? What did the man do against him? This is the man that stood by him throughout his days of troubles with the EFCC. This is the same man who vacated his personal property at the state housing for him, because he saw him as his boss and that his own compound was not befitting of a governor. So, Alex parked out of his house and handed over the place to him. Yet, he was not happy. As far as he is concerned, Alex and him cannot reign in Abi. He pursued the man in 2015 and then now again, he came to fight him. We have decided to retire Imoke,” a man who gave his name as Egbe Sunday said.
Another person who spoke to TNN, Elder Julius Egbe said “I am proud. Happy and excited by the call to victory of Chief Egbona. This puts to an end the political blunders we have been experiencing in this place.”
Mr Destiny Imong who also spoke on the issue said “Alex's victory is a monumental and capitulated defeat to PDP and his victory is a victory for the masses. Egbona's victory will generate new breed of politicians in Abi/Yakurr and beyond.
Mr elemi elemi: “He is a man of the people. His victory compliment the deceits of 2015. It is a victory for the people of Abi/Yakurr. We expect a good representation from him.”
Mrs Egede: “I am so glad and grateful to God for allowing our son win this contest. DrAlex Egbona is a man of the people and his winning is a stepping stone to good jobs to our graduated children. We are grateful it is Alex.”