For hours, the people of Ekureku, Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State went into jubilation, after INEC announced Dr Alex Egbona as winner of the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency election.
Egbona’s re-election was a battle of some sort. His opponents put up a very good fight but he triumphed at the end of the day. Even the Labour Party candidate, Mr John Ifere that was seen as a thorn in his flesh, took the third position.
Egbona of the APC won with 20,482 votes. His closest rival, Eko Atu of the PDP, according to the returning officer, Prof Chike Ekeopara, scored 13,471 while Ifere came a distant third, with 10,845 votes.
The presiding officer, Prof Chike Ekeopara who made the declaration at Ugep, headquarters of the federal constituency said Egbona polled the highest number of votes to emerge winner. Egbona is currently the deputy chairman, house committee on petroleum downstream.
The following morning, Egbona drove himself round parts of the constituency where he thanked the people for giving him another opportunity to serve them in the National Assembly.
In a victory speech to the people, Egbona said he was thankful to God and the people of the federal constituency for the confidence reposed in him.
He said: “About four years ago, against all odds, you elected and sent me to the House of Representatives to work and speak for you. Of course you had other choices, but you chose me to be your voice in Abuja.
“I went there with a clear-cut agenda- to serve you with all my mind, with all my strength and with all my might. From day one, I set out to make a difference in all council wards of the federal constituency. I can say convincingly, that Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency is now on the path of progress, development and prosperity.
“It was the desire to do even more for you, that made me decide to come back to you for a renewed mandate. There are a lot of programmes and projects that I initiated which I need to conclusively execute. So I launched a re-election campaign, showcasing an undisputed report card of phenomenal achievements. Then, on February 25, 2023, you graciously gave me a fresh mandate to return to the National Assembly.
“I must thank you for choosing me again, from the list of candidates that contested the election. Some of you staked your life. A lot of you stood under the hot sun, waited for long hours just to vote for me. I am aware that some of you used personal resources to mobilise support for me.
“This victory is therefore dedicated to the Almighty God who gave me the grace to do all that I have done in the course of my service to our constituency. I equally dedicate the victory to those old men and women, those youths and ardent supporters for their steadfastness and courage all through the political battle.
“Let me assure you that I will not let you down. I will work harder than I did during my first term. I will surpass my own record and take this constituency to another level, to the envy of others.”