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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Sunday declared Governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State.

Declaring the result of the election, which was keenly contested by 37 candidates, in Awka on Sunday, INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Zana Akpagu, said Obiano polled 234, 071 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Tony Nwoye of All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 98, 752 votes.

Akpagu who is the Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar said the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, came third with 70,293 votes.

He also added that the United Progressives Party (UPP) candidate, Chief Osita Chidioka, polled a total of 7,903, while the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, scored a total of 2787 votes to clinch fifth position.

According to him, the total valid votes cast at the poll was 422,314, with a total number of 26, 457 rejected votes, while the total votes cast was 448,771 votes.

After declaring votes scored by each of the contestants, Akpagu described the conduct of the poll as free and fair, devoid of violence.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Dr Ukwachukwu Orji, commended the people of the state for exhibiting good behavior.

“No bloodshed was recorded. Let this election not divide the people of the state but bring you together”, Orji noted.

He said Obiano will get his certificate of return from INEC on Wednesday.

Also, Governor Obiano said yesterday that his victory in the governorship election does not belong to him or APGA alone, but to all the people of Anambra

In his acceptance speech titled, ‘Time to Build a New World’, Obiano said, “This sweet victory belongs to Ndi Anambra. It belongs to the wheelbarrow pushers and the okada riders who have clearly seen in our recent political experience, a glimmer of light in the horizon.

“It belongs to the farmers in Ayamelum, Onono, Ogbaru, Omasi, Omor and Ufuma who have now realised that agriculture is the future of Nigeria.

“It belongs to the teachers and civil servants who have seen that a motivated workforce is the greatest asset of any government.

“It belongs to the illustrious sons and daughters of Anambra State who have seen the star of this great state rise in the Eastern skies and have answered our call to  bring home their naira and dollars to put our dear state on the investment map.

“This victory belongs to all of us. My dear people, this victory is not a winner takes it all. In the New Anambra of my dream, everyone is a winner”.

He implored other governorship candidates to join in building the new Anambra that the citizens would be proud of.

He said the victory did not come by chance but the final product of the combined efforts of brilliant men and women who sacrificed their comfort to ensure that Anambra’s steady march to progress was not derailed.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for proving to the people of Anambra that under his watch, democracy would have deeper roots in Nigeria.

“Mr. President promised us a free and fair election. Today, we can all see that he has kept his promise’’, he said.

Ahead of the campaigns for the governorship poll, the people of the state had resolved that the governorship seat should rotate among the three senatorial zones of the state on equal uninterrupted two-tenure of eight years.

According to the zoning arrangement, the North senatorial district where the incumbent governor hails from is expected to relinquish the governorship seat to the South senatorial district in the next four years being 2022 when the tenure of the winner of the just concluded governorship election would have elapsed.

Mindful of the zoning arrangement as a strong factor in the governorship election, other frontline political parties in the election, including the APC and PDP had selected their flag- bearers from the North senatorial district, Dr. Tony Nwoye and Mr. Oseloka Obaze respectively.

Conscious of the zoning arrangement, these two candidates went as far as signing Memorandum of understanding (MOU) that they would serve only one term if elected and thereafter relinquish the office to a successor from the South senatorial district in the spirit of honouring the zoning formula.

Meanwhile, the PDP’s candidate, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has rejected the results, saying it did not reflect the realities of the votes cast on by the electorate.

According to a statement by his media office yesterday, Obaze noted that the over-voting and inconsistencies between the counted ballots and card reader data remains exceedingly worrisome.

The United Progressive Party, UPP, governorship candidate, on the other hand, Chief Osita Chidoka, has accepted defeat even before INEC’s final declaration of the winner.

Chidoka, a former Minister of Aviation, wrote while accepting the defeat in a statement titled ‘Politics Anambra election: Why I lost polls’.

“I have accepted defeat in the Anambra governorship election even as result is still being announced by the INEC.”

Source: Leadership

Author: Yemi Olarinre