Rep. Nnenna Ukeje, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Bende Federal Constituency on Thursday lost the PDP ticket to vie for a record fourth tenure in the House of Representatives.
Ukeje, polled 70 votes to trail behind businessman Chimaobi Anyanso, who polled 82 votes during the party’s House of Representatives indirect primaries held at the Bende Local Government headquarters.
Former Commissioner for Sports, Chief Paul Mba, polled six votes to place third, while the PDP First Deputy Chairman, Chief Chima Onyegbu, polled three votes to take the fourth position.
The fifth aspirant, Mr Chidiebere Nwokocha, had no vote, having stepped down for Anyanso.
In an interview with newsmen at the end of the voting, Anyanso thanked the delegates and the people of the constituency for the confidence they reposed in him.
He promised to offer quality representation to the people, expressing optimism that he would emerge victorious at the polls next year.
Also speaking with newsmen, Ukeje, who conceded defeat, described the process as “free, fair and transparent,” adding that she had no regrets losing the contest, having had the privilege to represent the area for 12 years.
She dismissed speculations that she would defect to another party in order to pursue her aspiration.
Ukeje said she remained a strong member of PDP on whose platform she had served over the years.
The lawmaker, who was first elected into the National Assembly in 2007, got re-elected in 2011 and 2015, respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 161 party faithful took part in the exercise, which was aborted on Wednesday by irate youths.
The youths went berserk and forced the officials and delegates to scamper to safety, following widespread rumour of an attempt to manipulate the exercise to favour one of the aspirants.
In a related development, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, emerged the PDP’s candidate at the end of Thursday’s primaries.
Onuigbo polled 117 votes to defeat his closest rival, Chief John Nwadinobi, who polled 70 votes.
Chairman of Abia Warriors FC Chief Emeka Inyama, polled 49 votes, ahead of two other aspirants, including Mrs Ijeoma Wada, the wife of former Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi, who polled 30 votes.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives primaries of the All Progressives Congress, which was scheduled to take place in the area on Thursday, had been postponed to Friday.
One of the aspirants, Mr Ben Kalu, told party members, who had arrived at the venue for the exercise that the voting had been rescheduled. due to late arrival of the primaries committee in the state.