APGA Excited, PDP Hopeful, APC Confused As INEC Concludes Anambra Election

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In politics, it is not over until it is completely over.

In spite of coming a distant second, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the ongoing governorship election in Anambra State, Valentine Ozigbo has kept hope of winning the election alive.

So far, Prof Chukwuma Soludo of APGA has clinched 18 out of the 21 local government areas of the state to remain the lead candidate. Trailing behind him is Valentine Ozigbo of the PDP, followed by Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

INEC had on Sunday declared the election inconclusive because of suspension of voting in Ihiala Local Government Area on account of failure of electoral workers to go to the field because of insecurity.

The Commission had subsequently announced that a supplementary election will hold today, Tuesday, 9 November in Ihiala to conclude the election before the announcement of the winner.

Already, members of APGA in Anambra are already celebrating the victory of Soludo who has already opened over 56,000 lead over his closest challenger, Ozigbo of PDP.

Results declared so far indicated that the APGA candidate has not only scored the majority of the votes, but has met the constitutional requirement of winning in 18 out of the 21 local governments areas of the state.

But in an obvious bid to further solidified the victory of its candidate, the APGA led Anambra government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu on Monday urged the people of Ihiala to turn out in high numbers for the supplementary election.

Chukwulobelu said, “This is to inform the public, particularly, residents and voters in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Tuesday, 9th November, 2021 as the date for the 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial supplementary election for Ihiala local government area only.

“As Ndi Ihiala may have observed, elections were successfully and peacefully held in the other 20 local government areas of Anambra State and INEC has duly announced the results. No incidence of violence or voter molestation was recorded in the Anambra gubernatorial election, which held on Saturday, 6th November 2021.

Though Soludo is currently leading with about 56,000 votes, but with 148,000 votes in Ihiala still available, Ozigbo or APC’s Andy Uba, at least mathematically has the chance of upstaging the apple cart.

Thus, while APGA and its candidate believe that they already have victory in the bag, the PDP candidate believes that he can win the election in Ihiala and other places where election did not hold on 6 November.

On its part, the APC is crying foul with allegation that the election was rigged. The party is already threatening that it will go to court for annulment of the election if INEC declared Soludo the winner.

Addressing journalists on Monday, Ozigbo stressed that Ihiala was not the only place where elections failed to hold, saying that statistics at their disposal showed there were areas where INEC could not conduct election over the weekend.

“We have the statistics and know the areas where INEC could not conduct election on Saturday, and we call on them to ensure they do so.”

“With over 148,000 votes at stake in Ihiala and other places where election did not take place, the party still has hope of producing the next governor.

“After Ihiala, other places where elections did not take place will follow, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must obey the Electoral Law and conduct election where it did not hold.

“The party has all areas where election did not hold and will be happy if election is held there.”

Ozigbo enjoined the people of Ihiala and other areas to come out en mass to vote for PDP as better alternative in the governance of the state.

The PDP candidate however cited vote buying as a major menace standing in the way of the nation’s political development.

Responding to question on what his next move would be, Ozigbo said the party was only more concerned with the supplementary election for now and will decide on its next line of action after the completion of the outstanding elections

But Chairman of APC in Anambra, Basil Ejidike, has been speaking on both sides of his mouth on what will be the reaction of his party to the outcome of the election.

He accused the candidate of APGA and the sitting Governor, Willie Obiano, of manipulating the election to their advantage.

“We virtually won in all the local governments, but Willie Obiano and Charles Soludo, through instrumentality, corrupt-minded INEC officers, subverted the whole process in favour of APGA.

“But if INEC goes ahead to announce the results, we will definitely challenge the election process at the court of law, up to Supreme Court. Nobody can intimidate us.”

However, at a press conference in Awka denied calling for the cancellation of the election.

“There have been too many information ascribed to us that is not true. Some people wrote whatever they liked and credited it to the party, when it didn’t come from the party. One of them was the one that said APC has denounced the exercise, and called for cancellation, and the other was that we said we were heading to court to challenge the election.

“There is another one that said that I collapsed, after hearing the result of my ward, where they claimed I lost. I want to make it clear that they were false information. None of them emanated from us.

“The picture saying that I collapsed is false. My polling unit 002 bridgehead market, Onitsha, was won by APC. I had 95 per cent in the unit and even in my ward. If you look at the picture they are circulating, you will know that it has no resemblance of my person at all. Please, discard the information.”

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