Thursday, December 2, 2021

Soludo’s victory on-hold as INEC fails to determine winner of Anambra guber election

Mr Soludo leads by 52,624 votes, far below the 148,407 registered voters in Ihiala LGA. But with 10 per cent turnout seen so far, observers have concluded APGA’s imminent victory.

• November 8, 2021
Andy Uba, Charles Soludo, and Valentine Ozigbo
Andy Uba, Charles Soludo, and Valentine Ozigbo

Nigeria’s electoral office INEC has postponed conclusion of Anambra governorship election until November 9. Returning Officer Florence Obi said election did not hold in Ihiala Local Government Area and will therefore be difficult to announce winner due insufficient margin of victory for the leading candidate Charles Soludo.

Mr Soludo’s APGA has maintained a comfortable lead over his main challengers in APC and PDP, but Ihiala has more registered voters than the margin between APGA and its runner-up PDP. Elections were held in 20 of the state’s 21 local government areas on Saturday, leaving Ihiala as the only precinct outstanding. Technical glitches, logistics and uncertainties over security did not allow residents of the local government to exercise their franchise, officials said.

Ms Obi, a professor of special education at the University of Calabar, said a supplementary poll will be held on Tuesday morning to finally decide a winner, even though Mr Soludo’s victory appeared insurmountable at this point.

Ms Obi said Mr Solude of APGA scored 103,946 votes; Valentine Ozigbo of the PDP scored 51,322 votes; while Andy Uba of the APC came third at 42,942 votes.

Ihiala has 148,407 registered voters and is considered as one of the LGAs where Andy Uba of the APC can do well in the election, although he has failed to win any local government area so far, including his home Aguata. Mr Soludo leads Mr Ozigbo with 52,624 votes, far below the 148,407 registered voters in Ihiala. But considering the average turnout of about 10 per cent in results declared so far, observers have concluded APGA’s imminent victory.

Ms Obi cited Section 179 (3) of the Constitution and said “a run-off shall be between the candidate with the highest number of votes and one among the remaining candidates who secured a majority of votes in the highest number of local government areas in the state.”

“Collation and announcement of any result until elections are conducted in 320 polling units in the Ihiala local government,” Ms Obi said.

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