The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today present certificates of return to Anambra State governor-elect Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and the deputy governor-elect Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim at its state office in Awka, the state capital.
The exercise is in line with Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended),
Soludo was, in the early hours of Wednesday, declared winner of the governorship election held on November 6 and 9, 2021 by the state returning officer and vice chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Prof. Florence Obi.
He polled a total of 112,229 votes of the total 241,523 valid votes to emerge winner in a contest with 17 other party candidates.
Meanwhile, the INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances, it was peaceful.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) standard bearer in the election, Senator Andy Uba, has rejected the outcome of the election.
This is despite President Muhammadu Buhari congratulating Soludo on his victory at the polls.
Spokesman of Soludo’s governorship campaign organisation, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, in a statement released yesterday, said the result was unacceptable to the candidate.
Ugokwe said the outcome of the election was a charade and did not reflect the wishes of the people of Anambra State.
He said, “Our popular candidate, Senator Andy Uba is a victim of widespread electoral fraud and manipulation by INEC in cohorts with the Willie Obiano regime and the security forces deployed to oversee the Anambra State Governorship Election”, he said.
The statement further noted that the elections were characterised by widespread irregularities, intimidation and voter suppression in order to clear the path for the inglorious ‘victory’ of APGA in the polls.
It noted for instance, that “in polling units where the Biometric Voters’ Accreditation System malfunctioned, INEC went ahead to conduct the elections manually. There were numerous cases where votes announced by INEC exceeded the number of accredited voters in polling units”.
The campaign organisation noted that “Another clear manifestation of collusion between the Obiano Administration and INEC was the publishing of results on the Social Media handles of APGA even before official announcement by INEC. Yet mysteriously, the votes announced in advance by APGA always corresponded correctly with the official figures released by INEC”.
Ugwuoke said it is inconceivable that Uba, who polled over 200,000 votes in the APC primary election, would be allocated a slightly above 43,000 votes by INEC.
He added that it is surprising that APGA that lost almost 80 percent of its stalwarts through defection to the APC before the election came out ‘victorious’.
“A sitting APGA Deputy Governor, seven members of the House of Representatives, 10 members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, the APGA party’s member of Board of Trustees, many serving SA’s, SSA’s, in addition to a serving PDP Senator all defected to the APC very timely before the election, yet APGA emerged ‘victorious’. This is quite ridiculous!”
It added that “From all indications, the only people remaining in APGA at the time of the election were Governor Obiano and his household and a few staff of the Government House as well as Prof. Soludo and his household but majority of the electorates in Anambra State have moved to the APC. There was definitely no way the carcass of APGA could have defeated the APC without the active collusion and manipulation by INEC and the Obiano Administration”.
“What happened on November 6, 2021 fell far below the acceptable standard of a free and fair election and can best be described as an electoral fraud perpetrated by the INEC, Willie Obiano Administration and the security forces.
“We have noted that starting from the appointment of INEC ad-hoc staff, who mostly came from Calabar, to the distribution of electoral materials and the retention of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, who supervised the second term election of Governor Obiano, it was crystal clear that the game plan was to overturn the popular wishes of the people of Anambra State in the biggest electoral heist of all time in Nigeria’s political history”.
He, however, appealed to APC supporters to remain peaceful and calm, adding that the campaign will not relent in pursuing the “stolen electoral mandate to the limit of the law through all the constitutional means available as the facts on ground did not in any way reflect the outcome of the elections as announced by the obviously compromised INEC.”