Politics

Anambra election: INEC declares APGA’s Chukwuma Soludo as winner of governorship poll

Hope of former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, to become the next Governor of Anambra state becomes brighter on Monday, as Justice Charles Okay of Awka High Court 2 reinstated him as the authentic candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6, 2021 Governorship Election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Charles Soludo, the winner of the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state.

The election’s returning officer, Prof Florence Bankuwho announced the results early Wednesday, in Awka, Anambra State.

She said, “Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and returned elected”.

Soludo beat off competition from the candidates of other parties, including Andy Uba and Valentine Uzigbo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.

Soludo polled 112,229 votes and won in 19 of the 21 local government areas (LGAs), beating his closest opponent by over 50,000 votes. Valentine Ozigbo (PDP) polled 53,807 votes to emerge second, while Andy Uba (APC) polled 43,285 votes to emerge third.

Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, campaigned on better economic growth for Anambraians. The economist is well-remembered for the increase in banks’ capital base that he introduced during his tenure as the CNB governor, which saw massive mergers and the collapse of many financial institutions as they bid to meet the minimum requirements.

The victory marks a trend of financial whizzes running Anambra state, after Governors Peter Obi and Willie Obiano.

The November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra was marked by heightened tension in the run-up to the election. From inter-party tussles to the stay-at-home order by the proscribed secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the days leading to the election were fraught with uncertainty and expectations of violence.

IPOB had stated that the election would not hold if its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is not released on or before November 4. Kanu is currently being tried by the federal government and has been in DSS custody since his re-arrest in June in Kenya.

The government stepped in, with security agencies sent to the state days ahead of the election to secure the election materials and ensure the election is not stalled. TheWILL reported that the Inspector-General of Police, xxx, directed his men to use force where necessary to ensure law and order is maintained in the lead up to and during the election.

The election day came around and a significant number of voters came out to choose who would lead Anambra for the next four years and a probable eight years. However, the malfunctioning Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was stalled the process, forcing INEC to extend the election to Sunday.

INEC in a statement issued on Saturday afternoon by the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Nwachukwu Orji, said the extension applies to areas where polling units were opened after the commencement period of 8:30 am.

The Commission called for patience, assuring the electorate that no voter will be disenfranchised and all votes will count.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the period for opening and closing of the poll from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm. This revised closing time applies to areas where Polling Units opened after the commencement period of 8.30 am. In line with existing regulations and guidelines of the Commission, any intending voter who is on the queue by 4.00 pm shall be allowed to vote. All Polling Unit staff must comply with this directive,” the statement read.

“The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others.”

A few hours after this statement, there was a further extension till Sunday. However, the Commission’s call for patience was reiterated by the governor-elect, Soludo, who himself could not cast his vote at his polling unit until Saturday evening.

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