The candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi and Imo states, Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo and Senator Hope Uzodimma, were yesterday declared winners of the governorship elections held in the two states on Saturday.
LEADERSHIP reports that off-cycle governorship elections were conducted in three states in Nigeria – Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer in Kogi State, Prof. Johnson Urame, announced that the candidate of the APC, Ododo, got 446,237 votes to beat the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, who polled a total of 259, 052 votes to come second in the exercise.
The governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, came third with 46, 362 votes.
In Imo State, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, Prof Abayomi Fashina, also declared Governor Uzodimma winner having polled the highest number of votes in all the 27 local government areas of the state.
Uzodimma emerged winner of the election with 540,308 votes, Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came a distant second with 71,503 votes, followed by Athan Achonu of the Labour Party with 64,081 votes.
However, Labour Party’s candidate Athan Achonu and his PDP counterpart, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, have both called for the cancellation of the entire exercise.
The state chairman and agent of the Labour Party, Barr Callistus Ihejiagwa, was beaten and thrown out of the collation centre following his strong objection to the results announced by the local government area returning officers. The PDP agent, Barr Kissinger Ikeokwu, stormed out of the collation centre visibly angry.
The deputy governorship candidate of Labour Party, Hon Tony Nwulu, held a press conference on Saturday night and called for a total cancellation of the exercise on the grounds that the whole election had been compromised.
Nwulu said throughout the 27 LGAs, the ruling APC, in connivance with INEC officials and backed by security operatives, subverted the will of the people.
According to him, APC members engaged in vote buying, intimidation of voters, snatching of electoral materials and the diversion of the poll materials to the homes of individuals and the council area headquarters for manipulations.
Nwulu said, “There was no election in Imo State on Saturday. What happened was the diversion of the electoral materials to the homes of people and the LGA council headquarters. In all this, the police, army, DSS provided security to the actors.
“They came with huge sums of money to the polling units for vote buying but the Imo people rejected them. They now resorted to snatching of electoral materials, diversion of the electoral materials to homes of individuals and to the LGA headquarters where they are currently rewriting the results.
“In all these things, the police, army, DSS are providing security to the APC members and staff of INEC in these disgraceful acts. We have all the records. We are putting Nigerians on notice that there was no election in Imo State on Saturday.”
The PDP candidate, Senator Anyanwu, in a separate press conference, said that INEC and security agents failed in their constitutional responsibility to deliver credible elections to the people of the state.
Instead, according to him, the security agents protected INEC staff as the APC members rewrote results.
Anyanwu said that he himself and his party, the PDP, would not accept anything other than a total cancellation of the poll.
Bayelsa: INEC Resumes Collation Of Brass, Southern Ijaw Results Today
Meanwhile, INEC, yesterday suspended collation of results from Southern Ijaw and Brass local government areas (LGAs) for the governorship election in Bayelsa State, saying it would continue today.
The head, Voter Education and Publicity department, INEC, Mr. Wilfred Ifogah said last night that the collation centre will reopen at noon today.
Meanwhile, the PDP is leading in five out of the six local government areas officially announced by INEC, while the APC won in one LGA.
The LGAs so far announced are Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa, Ogbia, Sagbama, Nembe, and Ekeremor while the results from Brass and Southern Ijaw LGA were yet to arrive at the INEC state collation centre before the suspension.
According to the results announced so far, PDP scored 37,777 votes while APC got 14,534 votes in Yenagoa while in Kolokuma/Opokuma, PDP got 18,465 votes and APC got 5349 votes.
Also, the PDP polled 18,435 votes in Ogbia while APC scored 16,319 votes; PDP secured 35,504 votes in Sagbama with APC having 6608 votes; PDP had 23,172 votes in Ekeremor, APC scored 8445 while in Nembe, APC polled 22,248 votes while PDP got 4556 votes.
From the already declared results in the six local government areas, the PDP is leading with 137,909 votes, followed by the APC with 73,503 and Labour Party coming third with 704 votes.
Addressing newsmen in an interview, the state chairman and party agent of APC, Barr. Dennis Otiotio, frowned at the cancellation of ward 11, ward 12 and ward 13 in Nembe local government area which he described as APC strongholds.
“In Nembe local government area that is the stronghold of APC, the collation was moved from Nembe to the INEC headquarters here. In Brass, INEC is insisting that the collation be moved to the state headquarters of INEC. In Southern Ijaw, they are insisting that the collation be moved to the state headquarters.
“Brass is where our governorship candidate comes from, Southern Ijaw is where our deputy governorship candidate comes from. We are very skeptical; something is wrong and it has just played out itself,” Barr. Otiotio said.