In every contest there is always a winner and a loser at the end of the exercise.
The candidate of the ruling party in the state, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo won the election. He polled a total of 112,229 votes out a total of the 241, 523 valid votes of the 249, 631 total votes cast in the election to defeat the other 17 contestants who competed with him.
The candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, former boss of the Transcorp PLC, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo came second with a total of 53,807 votes, followed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, erstwhile governor of the state for 17 days, and, two- time Senator, Senator Andy Uba who scored a total of 43,285 votes.
While Soludo polled the highest votes in 19 out of the 21 local government areas of the state, his closest challenger, Ozigbo, scored the highest votes in one local government (Ogbaru), while Andy Uba did not win highest votes in any of the local governments. Incidentally, it was the candidate of the Young Progressives Party, YPP, the incumbent senator representing Anambra South senatorial district, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah who, though came fourth in the contest with a total of 21,261 votes that also recorded highest votes in one of the local governments, Nnewi-North LGA.
Meanwhile, while Soludo and his party, APGA are viewed physical winners, and the other 17 contestants and their parties as the losers in the same consideration, political analysts however believe that the real winners and losers of the election are beyond Soludo, APGA one hand, and, the other 17 co-contestants and their parties on the other hand.
Some analysts who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday said in addition to Soludo and APGA, other winners of the governorship election included the people of Anambra State, especially the voters, the incumbent governor, Chief Willie Obiano, INEC, ad-hoc electoral officials, voters who rejected money offered them to vote for a particular candidate, security agencies and all the other critical stakeholders who contributed in one way or the other to the success of the election, including the election observers (local and international), Civil Society groups, COS, media and other similar organs. On the other hand they listed the real losers to include those who defected to the federal government-controlled APC shortly before the election, any of the other 17 candidates who rejected the outcome of the poll and political parties that rejected the outcome.
Already, Andy Uba and Dr. Godwin Maduka, candidate of the Accord Party who scored 2,054 votes have rejected outcome of the poll.
Among frontline politicians who defected to APC in the build up to the election who are counted among the major losers include the deputy governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Senator Stella Oduah; House of Reps members who crossed over from PDP to APC, including Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu (Onitsha South/Onitsha North), Chris Azubuogu( Ekwusigo
But Ozigbo, Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP who scored 2,085 votes to place fifth position have accepted the result as a true reflection of the wishes of the majority of voters and people of the state. They have also congratulated Soludo and pledged their support to ensure that his administration succeeds.
Ozigbo, one of the earliest contenders to concede defeat stated; “I have just called Professor Chukwuma Soludo and congratulated him on being declared the winner of the Anambra State governorship elections, 2021. I wish him well and pray for his success”.
Though Ozigbo stated that the election was fraught with a lot of electoral malpractices, including disenfranchisement of voters due to malfunctioning BVAS, vote-buying, intimidation of voters by security agencies in favour of a preferred political party candidate, among others, Ozigbo nonetheless stated; “In all, I am more determined to work for a better future for our children by remaining in active politics and rebuilding our party to be more united and more robust for those who come after us”.
In a similar manner, Ifeanyi Ubah and Obiora Okonkwo described the outcome of the election as a true reflection of the popular mandate of the people of the state.
Ubah pledged his support to the Soludo administration just like Okonkwo.
Among others who commended the conduct of the election and its outcome as a sign of great leap in the advancement of the country’s democratic system included dons, lawyers, history scholars, civil society activists, etc.
For instance, Prof. Alex Asigbo of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK, Awka described the outcome of the election as the wishes of majority of Anambra people.
Prof Asigbo said; “This election is not just a milestone but a turning point in elections in Nigeria. The ultimate winners are Ndi Anambra in particular and Nigerians in general. INEC must be commended for introducing BVAS. Now the people know that their votes, if INEC stays on the course, will count. That revolution we have all been dreaming of will happen from 2023 when Nigerians will chase out these megalomaniacs through the ballot box”, Prof. Asigbo said.
In his own view, Mr. Ejike Anyaduba, a history scholar and politician stated; “Winners are Governor Obiano who would had been condemned for letting APGA down the people of Anambra and the entire South East. Losers are Andy Uba, Hope Uzodinma, the defectors, and those other forces outside the state determined to foist the party on the state”.
Mr. Tony Okafor, a lawyer and journalist told LEADERSHIP; “The winners of the poll are those who were courageous to come out to cast their votes on the election day without fear of imminent danger of various threats that trailed the election, especially the threat by the unknown gunmen who had burnt private and public places and killed and maimed many people before the election.
“Another set of winners of the election are those who refused to sell their votes on or before the election day.
“They chose to do the right thing instead of collecting money to vote against their consciences; some of them were women at Ukwulu and Ebeneme communities who were seen in video clips.
“Perhaps the heroes and heroines of the poll were security operatives, various workers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, including members of National Youth Service Corps who performed excellently by not comprising in their duties.
“Obviously, Anambra residents are the general winners of the poll by doing the right things expected of them, especially shunning violence during the electioneering.
“Perhaps the Anambra poll would go down in history as the only poll in the country in recent times where no single gunshot was fired or snatching of ballot boxes recorded.
“Again, in my view, APGA as a political party won my heart in that poll by working hard to retain the state and thereby immortatising the legacies of its guardian spirit, the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
“Prof Chukwuma Soludo is a winner in the election, having achieved his age-long ambition of becoming the governor of the state; a journey he began in 2010 when he first contested for the governorship of the state.
“The Anambra election has once again demonstrated the majesty of democracy.
“Professor Soludo, an economics professor, is putting his glittering credentials to test. He cannot afford not to do well”, he stated further.
Interestingly, winners and losers of the governorship election are not essentially measured in terms of what those who stand the chances of exercising the mandate and those who contested and the supporters but who probably would not have direct access to exercising the mandate. Winners and losers are rather looked at from the standpoint of those who accepted the outcome and those who have rejected it and threatened to challenge the outcome in the election tribunal.
Already, though leader of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC national leadership have congratulated Soludo as winner of the governorship election, the APC candidate, Uba, and director-general of his governorship campaign organisation, Mr. Paul Chukwuma, have rejected the outcome and said that they would challenge it at the election tribunal.
“I reject the outcome of the Anambra state governorship election and I am going to challenge it at the tribunal to retrieve the mandate given to Professor Charles Soludo of the APGA,” Andy Ubah assured his supporters in Awka, yesterday.