Soludo coasting to victory

APGA candidate wins 18 of 20 councils •YPP, PDP take one each •Final results after supplementary poll holds in Ihiala tomorrow

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof Charles Soludo, is coasting home to victory in the Anambra State governorship election.

According to the results so far released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the professor of economics and former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor has won majority votes in 18 out of 20 local governments declared so far.

Collation of results will continue after tomorrow’s supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area, where the election did not hold.

Returning Officer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof Florence Banku-Obi, said a valid declaration of a winner could not be made without the supplementary poll.

“It is important to complete the election before a determination can be made,” she said, explaining that the election did not hold in Ihiala due to logistics challenges caused by security threats.

The Young Progressives Party (YPP) candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, won Nnewi North council, while Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won Ogbaru council.

Soludo defeated the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige in his Idemili South local government.

Otu said he was forced to sign, alleging that even an official of one of the parties insisted he should sign the result or he would not leave there.

He said: “My experience was pathetic, but I thank God I’m alive. I signed the results, but I didn’t believe in the results. I was tear-gassed and almost collapsed. The situation was so bad that they didn’t even allow me to go and ease myself.”

LGA                  APC              APGA            PDP             YPP
•Dunukofia     1991             4124            1680              1360
•Awka South   2595           12891            5498             919
•Oyi                   2830           6133             2484             900
•Anaocha         2085           6911              5108              868
•Anambra East  2034        9746             1380              559
•Ayamelum       2409         3424             2804             407
•Idemili South   1039        2312              2016               752
•Onitsha South  2050       4281             2253                271
•Njikoka           3216          8803             3409              924
•Nnewi North  1278          3369             1511                6485
•Orumba South  2060      4394             1672              887
•Onitsha North  3909        5587             3781              682
•Aguata               4773         9136            3798             1070
•Ogbaru              1178          3051              3445             484
•Idemili North   2291         5358            2312              902
•Ekwusigo        1237           2570            1857              727
•Nnewi South     1307         3243          2226            1327
•Anambra West  1233         1918           1401              357
•Awka North      755           1908            840               381

When asked by the Returning Officer, Prof Florence Banku-Obi, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, to produce the results, Otu insisted he did not believe in the result, and at such would not go ahead.

But, the Electoral Officer accused Otu of inexperience, saying that he should be replaced.

She said: “He has never had the experience of how to collate results. He does not know the difference between conducting an election and collation.

“When collation officers finished their work, this man spent two hours on each. This man does not know his left from his right.”

Lamenting the incident, Obi said: “This is the only Local Government Area I got a distressed call from during the election.

“I had to call the commissioner of police that the life of my staff was in danger.”

APGA agent Senator Victor Umeh accused the collation officer of being “hired to destroy this election.”

He maintained his party won the election in the LGA, adding that there was nothing to sustain Otu’s allegations.

But, APC agent Chief Chibuzor Obiakor and his PDP counterpart, Dr Alex Obiogbolu, called on INEC to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Submitting the result sheets for the Orumba North, the Collation/Electoral Officer, Dr Michael Otu, said he was forced to sign them under duress.

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