Incumbent Governor of Anambra State, and candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Willie Obiano, has won the governorship election held on Saturday (yesterday) in the state.
Obiano scored the highest number of votes in all the 21 local government areas of the state, including the supposed strongholds of backers of his major opponents such as Chris Ngige, All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and Minister of Labour and Employment, and Peter Obi, the immediate past Governor of the state, who had campaigned tirelessly to ensure the removal of Obiano, and was viewed as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate’s major political enabler.
In the results announced Saturday by the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the election, Prof Zana Apkagbu, Obiano was declared winner having won a total of 234,071 votes.
APC candidate Tony Nwoye came a distant second with 98,752 votes, while The candidate PDP candidate, Oseloka Obaze polled 70,293.
Reacting to his victory before the official declaration of INEC, Obiano had attributed it to ordinary voters.
He said, “It belongs to the wheel barrow 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 and have rewarded our faith in them with an overwhelming verdict at the polls”.
The governor also congratulated his fellow contestants before expressing his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, INEC, and the security agencies.
He said, “My first and deepest gratitude goes to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President MuhammaduBuhari for proving to Ndi Anambra that under his watch, democracy will sink deeper roots in the Nigerian soil. Mr President promised us a free and fair election. Today, we can all see that he has kept his promise. Thank you so much Mr President!
“I must also thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting what has been widely adjudged a transparent election in Anambra State. With this election, INEC has shown that it has fully braced up for the 2019 elections. Thank you so much.
“I will also not forget the vigilance of the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army and other law enforcement agencies whose alertness ensured that the expressed will of the people was not thwarted. Indeed, you have done an incredible job!”
The candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Osita Chidoka, who came fourth in the election with a paltry 7, 903 votes, attributed his loss to the superior financial strength of the major parties.
“We lost to superior financial firepower. As Democrats, we concede to the voters’ choices,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
“The true hallmark of democracy is the respect for the voice of the ballot as that of the majority.
“But the inner truth is that we won! We won at the most important place; in the hearts of people; our people who saw us toil and push in the arena against all odds; who saw the sincerity of our mission and gave all in support of our quest for collective good. We salute you for your support and personal sacrifices to the campaign”, he said.
The Anambra governorship election had been the subject of much controversy.
From the long-drawn threat of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to derail the election through its boycott campaign and the highly charged intra-party and inter-party political squabbles, to the late drama over withdrawal of Obiano’s security personnel, and even the election-day charge of electoral law breach levelled against Obiano by opponents for supposedly campaigning, the election was defined by much intrigue.
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