By MORRISON HAYBLE
AUCHI – The All Progressives Congress, APC Senate ticket in the 2015 general election for Edo North Senatorial district Monday night eluded the incumbent, Domingo Obende who opted for a second term slot after he secured a paltry 198 votes as against his co-contestant Barr. Francis Alimikhena who garnered a total of 831 out of the 1,851 votes cast emerge winner.
On the other hand, the closest rival in the contest and Secretary to Edo State government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere polled a total of 815 votes to place second with a slim margin of 16 behind the winner.
Accreditation of the 1,858 delegates from 62 wards in the six Local Government Areas of the senatorial district started at about 2.00pm while the entire process extended into the night, terminating at about 12.20 a.m. yesterday when the results were announced by the Electoral Returning Officer, Prince Tony Momodu.
An embarrassing drama however ensued at about 8.30pm while voting was still on as the venue was invaded by a hail of pebbles and sticks thrown in by hoodlums from outside the fence to disrupt the process, but was quickly curtailed by security operatives.
Meanwhile, initial objection and protest over alleged plans by political leaders to impose a preferred candidate for the senatorial ticket almost marred the exercise.
However, the other two contestants for the senatorial ticket, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere and Barri. Francis Alimikhena had shortly on arrival at the venue expressed contrary opinion to the alleged imposition plan, saying that there would not had been need for the exercise if a candidate was adopted.
While insinuations were rife within and outside the venue that local government chairmen in the district were allegedly instructed to deliver a particular candidate, chairman, Etsako Central, Mr. Emmanuel Momoh reacting to the allegation told newsmen that he was not aware of such alleged instruction, adding that if that was true, it would have been needless to dessipate so much energy and resources conducting the exercise.