By G9ija

A former Chief of Staff to ex-Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State, Peter Mba, has emerged winner of the Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial primaries in the state.

The ex-Commissioner for Finance in the same administration polled 790 votes in the primaries contested by nine aspirants.

His closest rival, Chijioke Edeoga, polled nine votes, followed by Chinyeaka Ohaa with three votes, while Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Chukwunta Gilbert had one vote each.

The other five contestants, including: Prof. Hillary Edeoga, Ken Onoh, Prof. Barth Nnaji and Senator Gilbert Nnaji, scored nil vote.

Only three void votes were recorded in the primary election.

The Chairman of the PDP Gubernatorial Primaries Electoral Committee in Enugu State, Senator Zik Sunday, who declared the result, described the process as “transparent, credible and peaceful”.

Sunday said that 812 delegates were accredited for the exercise, with 807 votes cast.

He said that at the close of accreditation, two delegates from Oji River Local Government Area were absent.

The electoral committee chairman said that independent observers, including officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, were on ground to monitor the exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria further reports that 19 aspirants purchased the gubernatorial nomination form of the party.

However, prior to voting during the primaries, eight of the aspirants stepped down for Mba.

The aspirants who announced their withdrawal included Chukwudi Nneji, Kingsley Udeh, Erasmus Anike and Nwabueze Ugwu.

The rest were Ifeanyichukwu Nwoye, Onyekwere Nnaji, Beloved-Dan Anike and Gabriel Ajah.

In his acceptance speech, the governorship candidate, pledged to serve with humility and build on the success of the current administration if elected.

According to Mba: “It is our vision to transform our state with the support of the people of the state.”

It would be recalled that Ekweremadu had in a statement in the early hours of Wednesday announced his withdrawal from the contest.

NAN further reports that voting at the primaries, which held in the mainbowl of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, started by 2:22pm.

Mba, a legal professional, who hails from Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state, is the Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Oils Nigeria Limited.