By Favour Goodness
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof Charles Soludo, is set to be declared the winner of Saturday’s Anambra State governorship election as results so far released by the Independent National Electoral Commission indicate that he won in 17 of the 19 local government areas of the state.
Out of the 19 local governments declared as of 6.10pm on Sunday, the APGA candidate was declared the winner in 17; the candidate of the Young Progressive Party, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, won in one; while the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Chief Valentine Ozigbo, took the other one. The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Andy Uba, had yet to win any local government.
The result for the Idemili South Local Government Area could not be announced as a result of a dispute between the returning officer and the supervising polling officer, while election did not hold in the Ihiala Local Government Area due to the failure of the Bimodal Verification Accreditation system.
In the Orunmba South Local Government Area, APGA scored 4,394 votes to defeat the APC, which got 2,060 votes; the PDP scored 1,672 votes; while the YPP got 887 votes.
In the Awka South Local Government Area, APGA got 12,891 votes, while the PDP, the APC and the YPP scored 5,498; 2,595 and 919 votes, respectively.
INEC declared that APGA got 4,124 votes in the Dunukofia Local Government Area, while the PDP, the APC and the YPP were credited with 1,680; 1,991 and 1,360 votes, respectively.
In the Oyi Local Government Area, APGA secured 6,133 votes against the PDP, the APC and the YPP’s 2,484; 2,830 and 900 votes, respectively.
In Anaocha, which is the local government area of a former governor of the state and a chieftain of the PDP, Peter Obi, APGA got 6,919 votes to defeat the PDP, which got 5,108, while the APC and the YPP scored 2,085 and 868 votes, respectively.
In the Anambra East Local Government Area, Soludo’s APGA secured 9,746 votes; the APC came a distant second with 2,034 votes, while the PDP and the YPP got 1,380 and 559 votes, respectively.
In the Idemili South Local Government Area, where the Minister of Labour and Employment and a former governor of the state, Senator Chris Ngige, hails from, APGA recorded 2,312 votes against the PDP’s 2,016; while Ngige’s APC got 1,039 votes and the YPP recorded 752 votes.
In the Onitsha South Local Government Area, APGA secured 4,281 votes; the PDP, 2,253; the APC, 2,050; and the YPP, 271.
Similarly in the Onitsha North Local Government Area, APGA secured 5,587 votes to defeat the APC and the PDP, which got 3,909 and 3,781 votes respectively, while the YPP recorded 682 votes.
In the Njikoka Local Government Area, APGA got 8,803 votes; the PDP scored 3,409 votes; the APC, 3,216 votes, while the YPP secured 924 votes.
The trend was, however, different in the Nnewi North Local Government Area, where the YPP candidate won with 6,485 votes as against the candidates of APGA, the PDP and the APC, who polled 3,369; 1,511 and 1,278 votes, respectively.
In the Aguata Local Government Area, where Ubah, Soludo and Ozigbo hail from, APGA got 9,136 votes; the APC scored 4,773; the PDP got 3,798, while the YPP secured 1,070 votes.
Just like in Nnewi North, the result for the Ogbaru Local Government Area was a departure from the trend as the PDP won by 3,445 votes against APGA’s 3,051 votes; the APC recorded 1,178 votes, while the YPP picked up 484 votes. Senator Stella Oduah, a chieftain of the APC; and Chuchu Onyema, a chieftain of the PDP and a member representing the Ogbaru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, hail from the local government.
In the Idemili North Local Government Area, APGA got 5,358 votes to defeat the APC, which could only poll 2,291 votes, while the PDP and the YPP got 2,312 and 902 votes, respectively.
In the Ekwusigo Local Government Area, APGA had 2,570 votes, while the PDP, the APC and the YPP scored 1,857; 1,237 and 727 votes, respectively.
The result for the Nnewi South Local Government Area showed that APGA recorded 3,243 votes to defeat the PDP, which got 2,226 votes; the YPP secured 1,327, while the APC got 1,307 votes.
In the Ayamelum Local Government Area, APGA secured 3,424 votes; the PDP, 2,804; the APC, 2,409, while the YPP got 407 votes.
In the Awka North Local Government Area, APGA maintained its form by securing 1,908 votes in contrast to the PDP, which secured 840 votes; the APC got 755 votes, while the YPP recorded 381 votes.
In the Anambra West Local Government Area, APGA polled 1,918 votes against the PDP, which got 1,401 votes; the APC recorded 1,233 votes, while the YPP got 357 votes.
Election did not hold in the Ihiala Local Government Area as a result of faulty INEC Bimodal Verification Accreditation system.
On Saturday, polling could not commence until around 3pm in more than 60 per cent of all the polling units in all the 21 local government areas and wards in the state because of faulty BVA machines, which could not verify the fingerprint or capture passport photograph of the voters, which disenfranchised many of the voters who turned out for the exercise.
Soludo had to wait for about five hours and 40 minutes before INEC technical officers came with a supplementary BVA, which now accredited him and he was able to vote at the Ofiyi Square, Isuofia Ward 13, polling unit 002 around 5.08pm.
89 polling units’ result sheets stolen by supervising polling officer – Returning officer.
The Returning Officer for the Idemili South Local Government Area, Dr Gabriel Othong, said 41 out of the 42 result sheets for 89 polling units were taken away.
Othong, who is from the University of Calabar in Cross River State, made the allegation while submitting the results for the area.
He alleged that the result sheets for the affected area were taken away by the Supervising Polling Officer posted to the area.
According to him, there was no election in Oba Ward 1, Oba Ward 11 and Akukwu Ward.
Othong stated, “One of the SPOs carted away 41 result sheets out of the 42 result sheets meant for the 89 polling units in the affected wards.
“Over 40,000 voters were not able to vote in the affected areas due to the development.”
The returning officer said electoral officials could not be deployed in some of the polling units due to gunshots being fired by unknown people.
The agent of the APC, Chief Ebere Obiakor, however, said there was election in those places, but the results were not collated.
But Dr Alex Obiogbolu, the collation agent of the Peoples Democratic Party, said there was no election in the affected places.
Senator Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance corroborated Obiogbolu’s position and insisted that there was no election in the affected areas.
I signed result under duress, says Orumba North returning officer
The Returning Officer for the Orumba North Local Government Area, Dr Michael Otu, said he nearly lost his life when suspected thugs attacked the local government’s collation centre.
Speaking at the state collation centre at the INEC office in Awka, he said teargas canisters were fired at him in the ensuing fracas.
He added that the result sheets were mutilated and he was forced to sign a fake result sheet under duress.
“I am lucky to be alive. Teargas canisters were fired at me and as a patient with high blood pressure, I nearly lost my life. I was forced to sign a result, which wasn’t collated by me. The polling officer, Comfort Omoroge, who worked with me, compromised.”
Reacting to the allegation, Omoroge stated that Otu was confused and did not know the difference between casting of votes and collation of results.
She stated, “This man (Onu) had not been involved in an election before and this was obvious from the way he behaved. His actions put us at risk.
“He said I didn’t pay the police, which is wrong. I actually handed over the money to the DPO, which is the normal practice. But because of his actions, the place was heated up.
“I almost lost my life too.”
The Returning Officer, Florence Obi, however, directed some officials to reconcile the Orumba North figures using the forms EC8A and EC8B since election took place and it was the collation at the local government level that was in contention.
APC wants election cancelled, accuses APGA of rigging
Meanwhile, the APC has accused APGA of rigging the election.
The Chairman of the APC in the state, Chief Basil Ejidike, said, “What is happening in Anambra is never an election, but big time electoral fraud and malpractice. We want the whole world to hear our voice that we will never accept the outcome of the Anambra gubernatorial election.
“The candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance and the sitting governor, Willie Obiano, manipulated the whole electoral system and we will stand to resist it.
“Ndi Anambra wants an APC governor and there’s nothing anyone can do to deny them that opportunity. We virtually won in all the local governments, but Willie Obiano and Charles Soludo, through the instrumentality of corrupt INEC officers, subverted the whole process in favour of APGA.
“We want INEC to cancel the election and fix a date for a fresh election devoid of manipulation and malpractices. But if INEC goes ahead to announce the results, we will definitely challenge the election process in the court of law, up to the Supreme Court. Nobody can intimidate us.”
The Chairman of APGA in the state, Nobert Obi, however, said the accusation of rigging was uncalled for as everyone witnessed a free and fair election.
“I don’t want to talk about the accusation. The accusation is uncalled for as everyone witnessed a free and fair election. I don’t know where they got such information from,” he added.