Wild jubilation heralded the announcement of Barrister George Ogara Tabugbo (GOT) as the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries held in Enugu State on Thursday, the 4th of October 2018. The primary, which was rescheduled to 4th of October by the NWC of the party after the crisis that rocked the 30th of September primaries that was to be held at the UNEC mini stadium, saw Barrister Ogara winning the direct primaries with 57, 675 votes.
Declaring the results, the returning officer Chief S.N.C Nwagu, stated that the total number of votes collated from all 260 wards of the 17 local government areas of the state in the direct primaries ordered by the party leadership, was 128,166. Out of this, Barrister Ogara polled 57, 675 votes to beat his closest rival Mr. Ifeanyi Nwoga who scored 38, 449 votes. Others in the contest were, Akubue Augustine = 11, 536, Eche Benjamin = 12, 816, Ayogu Eze = 7, 690.
Presenting the result to party faithfuls in Enugu and a cross section of observers, Chief Nwagu declared Barrister Ogara duly elected and the flag bearer of the APC for the 2019 governorship elections in Enugu State.
It will be recalled that Enugu State APC has been in a protracted conflict for the governorship ticket for the next general elections with multiple accusations of intimidation, fraud and impositions that led the NWC of the party to resort to direct primaries rescheduled to the 4th of October.
Addressing journalists and party faithfuls after the declaration, Barrister Ogara expressed gratitude to the party and his supporters for the enormous support he has received since he declared interest in the position as APC guber candidate for the State.
His words: “My gratitude goes first and foremost to my great party APC, my leader Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, the honorable minister of Foreign Affairs, my family and everyone that believed we could pull this off”. He recounted the several pains and trauma he had undergone for APC over the years as the lawyer of the party in the South East and how the party had kept faith in him even while the candidates of the party preferred ‘settlements’.
The APC candidate expressed his desire to make Enugu State experience the ‘true change’ from the clueless leadership to the one that is focused on the emancipation of the State. He also declared that the current governor of the state, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is living on borrowed times and will be soundly defeated in the 2019 elections. He stated: “Enugu State is about to be liberated, and the ordinary people on the streets are my constituency”.