#AnambraDecides: INEC spoils Soludo, supporters’ victory party

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Florence Obi: says she would not announce the result of the election until a supplementary election is held in Ihiala Local Government.

Supporters All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)’s candidate, in Anambra governorship election, Professor Chukwuma Soludo  will have to wait probably till the end of Tuesday, 9 November to celebrate his victory.

Political associates, youths and women in their hundreds had thronged to Soludo’s residence at Isuofia as they await the announcement of the result that they expect will confirm him as the next chief executive of Anambra State on Sunday evening.

Their excitement followed Independent National Electoral Commission INEC’s announcement of results of 20 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state which put Soludo in a very clear lead among the 18 candidates on the ballot for the election.

Soludo won 18 out of the 20 Local Governments election results declared by INEC.

Soludo polled 103,946 votes to lead his closest challengers in the election, Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP with 51,322 votes and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, (APC, scored 42,942 votes.

But he lost in Ogbaru to PDP and in Nnewi North to YPP.

However, election was not conducted in Ihiala local government area of the state as a result of insecurity.

Hence, the INEC said early Monday morning that the winner of the election can only be declared after poll was conducted in Ihiala local government.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Florence Obi said she would not announce the result of the election until a supplementary election is held in Ihiala Local Government which has over 148,000 registered voters.

Before suspending collation, Obi had given total number of votes already scored by candidates.

She said that Soludo polled a total of 103, 946 votes followed by Mr Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 51,322 votes to emerged second.

Sen. Andy Uba, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate got a total of 42,942 votes to emerge the third position.

Obi listed the areas where Soludo won to include; Dunukofia, Awka South, Oyi, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Idemili South and Onitsha South.

She also stated that the APGA candidate also won in Njikoka, Orumba South, Onitsha North, Idemili North, Ekwusigo, Aguata, Orumba North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas.

Obi stated that total number of valid votes already collated was 229,521, void votes 7,841 while total number of votes cast was 237,362.

She praised all parties for their support, noting that supplementary election would be held only in Ihiala.

She said that the final result will be announced after completing the election in Ihiala.

“Based on constitutional provision and consideration of the Electoral Act as well as the revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections issued by the commission, supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala Local Government Area,” Obi said.

According to the Professor, the constitution stipulates that for a candidate to be declared winner of a governorship election, he or she must score the highest number of votes cast and 25 per cent of votes cast in at least two-third of the local government areas of the state.

This, she said, makes it important for election to be conducted into all the local government areas of the state.

“Therefore, it is important to complete the election in Ihiala to make this determination,” she said while announcing Tuesday, November 9, as date for the supplementary election in Ihiala LG.

For now, Soludo’s supporters will have to moderate their celebration, though the APGA candidate, from the results declared so far is still very much in poll position to emerge as the next governor of Anambra State.