Former Director, Nigerian Army Finance Corps, Major General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere, on Saturday, emerged the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state for the 14 July governorship election in the state.
Airhiavbere came top with 403 votes, defeating his closest rival, Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon, who polled 178 votes in the primary conducted at the Ogbe Hard Court, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the state capital.
Other aspirants, namely Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, Professor Julius Ihonvbere and Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, scored 22 votes, 24 votes and 94 votes, respectively.
Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Eze Wike, who was the chairman of the state PDP Governorship Primary Election Committee, declared Airhiavbere winner of the special congress and governorship candidate of the party for the July election.
A total of 735 delegates, made up of 159 statutory delegates and 576 elected delegates, were expected to vote at the special congress for governorship primary.
However, only 725 delegates were accredited for the main voting exercise in which four votes were voided.
Among the statutory delegates who were missing from the arena for the special congress were former governor of the state, Chief Lucky Igbinedion; former deputy governor of the state, Reverend Peter Obadan; and a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia.
Just before the formal declaration of results, Imansuangbon stormed out of the venue of the primary in what seemed to be a protest against the apparent victory and imminent confirmation of Airhiavbere as winner.
Professors Ihonvbere and Osunbor also left the arena before the formal announcement of the total number of votes scored by each aspirant.
But the state state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, said with the successful conduct of the primary, the party was set to win the governorship election in the state.
On his part, the PDP governorship aspirant thanked the party’s leadership for creating a level playing field for all aspirants, just as he called on the other aspirants to join hands with him.