20 November 2017
By Justice Nwafor
During the build up to the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra state, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, deployed almost all its arsenal in vigorous campaign for its flag bearer, Tony Nwoye.
The campaign drew the attention of the whole country when it literally dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the south-east zone for the first time since the commencement of his administration in 2015.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as well as some APC state governors at one time or the other also stormed the state to canvass support for Nwoye.
The long term desire of the party to capture Anambra is not far-fetched. It hoped to use the governorship contest to gain a foot hold in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, dominated South-east of the country, a mission which, if it had succeeded, would have dealt a more devastating blow to PDP.
On the other hand, PDP also made a spirited bid to make the region its exclusive enclave by clinching the only APGA controlled state in the region. Even in its loss, most of the party’s faithfuls preferred losing to APGA .
But as APGA’s Obiano retained his seat, the power equation remained the same with all the leading political parties maintaining their strong holds preparatory to the 2019 general elections.
Announcing the results of the election at the INEC Headquarters in Awka, the Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Zanna Akpagu, said Obiano won in all the 21 local councils of the state.
According to the final results, Obiano of APGA polled 234,071 votes to defeat his closest rival, the candidate of the APC, Hon. Tony Nwoye, who polled a distant 98,752 votes. Mr. Oseloka Obaze of the PDP polled 70,293 votes to place third.
Candidates of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Osita Chidoka, and Progressive People Alliance, PPA, Mr. Godwin Ezemo, placed a distant fourth and fifth respectively with 7,903 and 2,787 votes.
There were a total of 2,064,134 registered voters in the state, out of which 457,311 were accredited.
According to Akpagu, there were a total of 448,771 votes cast, with 422,314 votes and 26,457 votes as valid and rejected votes respectively.