The Independent National Electoral Commission declares Willie Obiano, candidate of APGA, the winner of the November 16 and 30 governorship election in Anambra State
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Dec. 16, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
DESPITE the mass boycott of the governorship supplementary election in Anambra State by major political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Willie Obiano, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the winner of the controversial poll. INEC said Obiano led other contestants in 19 of the 21 local government areas in the state.
According to James Epoke, INEC returning officer for the election, Obiano scored 180,178 votes to emerge the winner of the election. He said that Obiano met the 25 percent constitutional requirement in two-thirds of the total vote cast in 19 of the 21 local government areas in the state. Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who along with Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Ifeanyi Ubah, of the Labour Party, LP, boycotted the election scored 97, 500. Ngige got 95, 963 to come third while Ubah had 37, 495 votes to occupy the fourth position. The APGA candidate had scored 174, 710 votes in the previous election to come first, while Nwoye got 94,956 votes. Ngige came third with 92,300 votes, while Ubah was fourth with 37,446 votes.
Unlike the November 16, Anambra poll in which 23 political parties participated, only agents of APGA, the PDP and the Action Alliance, AA, were seen at the various polling units. The APC and LP, whose candidates came third and fourth respectively, during the earlier election which was declared inconclusive by the INEC, boycotted the election. Their supporters did not report at the polling units and the electoral body scored them zero. Though, the APC did not participate in the supplementary poll, some of its chieftains were seen at the various polling units ostensibly to gather evidence with which they will contest the result of the poll at the Election Petitions Tribunal.
Obiano thanked the people of Anambra for electing him as their next governor come 2014. He also called on his opponents at the poll to join him in making Anambra a better place. “Throughout history, societies that have crossed the threshold of development have always worked together collectively as one. Development comes faster where there is a social contract between leaders and the people. History has shown that no remarkable advancement ever comes through without a price. As industrious people, Anambrarians are naturally built for the tasking commitment that the long stride to greatness requires. Therefore, I extend my hand of fellowship to all my brothers who contested this election with me.
“I specifically urge my brothers: Nwoye, Ubah, Senator Ngige, Godwin Ezeemo and many others that I cannot easily mention now, to join us in the march to make Anambra State a better place. Please always remember that the blood that binds us is thicker than the politics that separates us. By my victory at the polls, the people have affirmed the long struggle of our great father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and have also upheld his view that our people should preserve our heritage through one united political roof,” he said.
The governor-elect said he was ready and adequately prepared to expand the boundaries of development so as to place Anambra State on the map of rapidly advancing states on all parameters of development. According to him, “we are fully aware that after Governor Obi’s glorious reign, Anambra can only advance to higher glory and as inheritors of this tradition of purposeful leadership, we shall dedicate ourselves to a life of service to be able to meet the needs of our people.”
The governor-elect on Monday, December 2, received the certificate of return from the INEC in Awka. Lawrence Nwuruku, national commissioner INEC, in-charge of Abia, Anambra and Benue, states, said while issuing the certificate, that Anambra was a lucky state as it had one of the best elections in recent times. “On behalf of the INEC chairman, I hand over this certificate of return to the governor-elect of Anambra, Chief Willie Obiano,” he said.
The APGA has dedicated the victory to late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, former leader of the party. The party also announced the adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan as its presidential candidate for 2015 apparently in appreciation of his support for the party in the governorship contest. Governor Peter Obi, Anambra State governor, thanked the people of the state for renewing the party’s tenure in the state. He also expressed gratitude to President Jonathan for his tremendous support to the state, which made the governorship election very successful. He said that APGA would reciprocate the gesture by adopting him as the party’s presidential candidate in 2015 election. He said the party would not field any candidate in the presidential election.
On his part, Victor Umeh, national chairman of the party, said the APGA family was very grateful to God for the historic victory which, he attributed to the good works the Governor Obi-led APGA government had done in the state since the past eight years. “On behalf of APGA, I want to say we are very grateful to God for this historic victory which our party recorded after a fierce but very easy battle for the party going by the result of this election. We dedicate this victory to the evergreen memory of our late leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, whose vision and legacy have been sustained by this emphatic victory by APGA in this election. The light which our late leader put on while he was alive is now shinning gloriously with this victory,” he said.
President Jonathan has congratulated Obiano on his emergence as governor-elect of Anambra State. A press statement by Rueben Abati, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, stated that as Obiano prepares to assume office in March next year, President Jonathan urges him to dedicate himself to building on the laudable achievements of his illustrious predecessor, Governor Obi. The President also urges Obiano to commit himself fully to the further socio-economic development of all parts of Anambra State and the protection of the interests of all citizens of the state irrespective of their party affiliations or political loyalties.
To promote greater peace, unity and harmony within the state, President Jonathan calls on Obiano to ensure that his incoming administration carries all stakeholders along in its bid to move Anambra forward,” the statement read. The President also assures Obiano that the federal government under his leadership would continue to work with the Anambra State government and all other state governments to achieve better living conditions for all Nigerians. Having also noted complaints about the conduct of the governorship elections in Anambra, President Jonathan calls on all aggrieved persons to keep their bids for redress within the bounds of legality, decorum and acceptable political conduct in conformity with the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
On a related development, Ken Emeakayi, state chairman, PDP in Anambra State, was kidnapped on Sunday, December 2, at Anyafulujiji junction in Agulu, Anaocha local government area of the state. A member of his family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the kidnappers had opened a channel of communication with the family but declined to disclose the exact ransom they were demanding or where he was being held. He said negotiations had begun and he would not know if the abduction was politically-motivated.
On Saturday, November 30, Emeakayi complained about the low turnout of voters during the supplementary election in the state. He also said the INEC, should not have allowed Obiano, candidate of the APGA, to participate in the election because of his alleged multiple registrations.