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OFF-CYCLE GOV POLLS: Uzodimma retains seat, Ododo wins in Kogi, Diri leads in Bayelsa


OFF-CYCLE GOV POLLS: Uzodimma retains seat, Ododo wins in Kogi, Diri leads in Bayelsa

Vanguard News

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, won his re-election with a landslide victory. According to the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Returning Officer, Abayomi Fasina, Uzodimma won all the 27 local councils of the state. He polled 540,308 votes to floor Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who scored 71,503 votes and Senator Athan Achonu of the Labour Party, LP, who polled 64,081 votes.

Uzodimma’s victory elicited complaints from the PDP and LP candidates, who called for the cancellation of the result.

Ododo wins in Kogi

In Kogi, the APC Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo, coasting home to victory with 446,237 votes after the results of three remaining LGAs were released, last night. He was in massive lead in results from 18 of the state’s 21 LGAs released so far. He won 11 LGAs and garnered 417,166 votes, while his trailing Social Democratic Party, SDP, opponent, Murtala Ajaka won in six and polled 208,503 votes. The PDP Standard bearer, Senator Dino Melaye was yet to win any LGA and scored 41,925 votes. The African Democratic Congress, ADC Candidate, Leke Abejide, won one LGA.

The LGAs where election results had been collated and declared were Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Idah, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Mopamuro, Ofu, Okehi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba East and Yagba West, and the results from only one ward in Ogori Magongo LGA was received and announced.

The 11 LGAs the APC candidate won so far are Adavi, Ajaokuta, Bassa, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Mopamuro, Ogori Magongo, Okehi, Okene, and Yagba West.

The SDP candidate won in Ankpa, Idah, Dekina, Ofu, Olamaboro and Omala LGAs, with ADC candidate winning one LGA – Yagba East

after outstanding results from Ibaji, Lokoja and Igalamela-Odolu LGAs were released, Ododo jumped into an unassailable victory beating Ajaka(239,052 votes), melaye (46,237 votes) and Abejide (21819 votes.

Melaye quickly kicked against the results from three LGAs of Okene, okehi among others.

PDP maintains lead, wins 5 LGAs, APC wins 1 in Bayelsa
In Bayelsa, Governor Douye Diri, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the PDP was coasting to victory at press time after clinching five of the six LGAs so far announced by the INEC while Chief Timipre Sylva of the APC won in one LGA,Nembe.

According to the results announced by the State Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof Farouk Kuta, the PDP won in Sagbama, Ekeremor, Yenagoa, Kolokuma/Opokuma, and Ogbia LGAs.

The PDP has so far garnered 137,909 votes while the APC is trailing with 73,503 votes.

Meanwhile, the results for Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs are still being awaited as the INEC has adjourned the announcement of the remaining two LGAs to 12 noon today.

The Head of Department Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Bayelsa State, Mr Wilfred Ifogah who announced the adjournment after the session was reconvened by 7pm on Sunday, said there are challenges in coalition of some units and wards results of the two local government areas.

Earlier, yesterday, there was a protest at the office of the INEC over concocted election results from Nembe Bassambiri.

Top Bayelsa based civil society operatives, women groups, youth groups, state and National Assembly members and other concerned citizens gathered at the office of INEC to protest alleged moves by the top leadership of INEC to distort the votes in the Saturday election.

As early as 9am the angry protesters blocked the busy Swali Road location of INEC to prevent the commission from accepting the results from Nembe Bassambiri which they said were concocted.

The Bayelsa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dambo Biriyai, SAN, told journalists during the protest that the election did not take place in Nembe Bassambiri.

He called on INEC REC in the state, Mr Obo Effanga, and South-South Commissioner for INEC May Agbamuche-Mbu to do what is right by rejecting the alleged fake results.

LP, PDP’s candidates reject Imo result
The Imo LP Governorship Candidate, Senator Achonu, has rejected the result of Saturday’s election, saying he would seek redress in court.

Addressing newsmen in his Umulomo country home in Ehime Mbano LGA of the state, Achonu alleged that the election was “marred by irregularities, including vote-buying and physical assaults of LP agents, and thus deserving of outright cancellation”.

He further alleged that voting in many locations was done without BVAS accreditation, contrary to the assurances of INEC before the election.

Achonu also alleged compromise on the part of security personnel, adding that “recorded evidence abound, such as that of a police officer who was beaten by voters for attempting to snatch a ballot box”.

He commended LP supporters for their steadfastness in the face of provocation and assured them that they would get justice through the courts.

“Our democracy was raped in the full glare of security personnel, whose salaries we pay from our commonwealth. Collation was suddenly moved from the ward to LG centres, and only APC agents were allowed to enter, while agents of other parties were locked out.

“I have not lost hope in the judiciary, there are so many men of integrity therein, and we shall reclaim our mandate,” Achonu said.

The election observer group noted speculations that INEC might have relocated the polling units without an official notice or statement to prompt the electorate.

According to the report, in Okigwe LGA, observers also reported that elections did not occur in eight sampled polling units.
The report read in part: “In Oru East LGA, the election was not held in eight (8) of Yiaga Africa’s sampled polling units.

“In addition, elections were not held in seven (7) of our sampled polling units in Orlu LGA and in one (1) of our sampled polling units each in Ideato North, Ikeduru, Oru West and Owerri West LGAs.” The report also confirmed Yaiga Africa’s concern over uploading results from the enlisted LGAs where elections did not hold. “Yiaga Africa is deeply concerned with the upload of results from EC8A for some of the sampled polling units where elections were not conducted in Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ikeduru, and Okigwe LGAs on the IReV.”

Female NYSC member missing with BVAS, result sheet
Meantime, a member of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, who served as an ad hoc worker in Mbaitolu LGA of Imo State during the poll has been declared missing.

The BVAS and results in the female corps member’s possession were allegedly not recovered. While presenting his result, the local government collation officer, Dr Bolaji Olaleye, disclosed that the corp member did not answer several calls, further heightening fear that something bad might have happened to her.

Olaleye said: “I don’t know what happened to the female Corps member but we couldn’t locate the BVAS and result sheets in her possession, which led to the cancellation of the election in ward three polling units.”

Olaleye said: “I don’t know what happened to the female Corps member but we couldn’t locate the BVAS and result sheets in her possession, which led to the cancellation of the election in ward three polling units.”

Uzodimma’s re-election well deserved — Sanwo-Olu, Nwifuru, Kalu
However, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Ebonyi State Governor, Francis Nwifuru, have congratulated their Imo State counterpart and APC Candidate, Governor Uzodimma, on his victory, saying his re-election is well deserved.

Sanwo-Olu, in a congratulatory message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, said: “Uzodinma’s success in the election is a validation of people’s acceptance of his administration, having impacted positively in the lives of the citizens during his first term in office.”

He said the people of Imo State deserve commendation for coming out en-masse to perform their civic responsibility and for defying all odds to vote for the Governor Uzodinma-led APC administration in the state.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “Uzodinma’s victory is a clear manifestation that the APC remains the party of choice for Nigerians. The party will continue to work in the best interest of Nigerians in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

“I congratulate my brother and the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Governor Hope Uzodinma, for emerging victorious in Saturday’s gubernatorial election.

“I am glad that Governor Uzodinma was returned by the good people of Imo State after a convincing victory over his opponents as declared by the INEC at the poll.”

In his congratulatory message, Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State, expressed delight saying: “The outcome of the polls is a true reflection of the implicit confidence the people reposed in you. You have in the past four years offered quality leadership to your people through policies and programmes that have a direct and positive impact on the lives of the people.”

“This bold statement by the people at the polls has given you another opportunity to consolidate on your laudable achievements and continue with the reforms you have initiated in the State.”

Congratulating Uzodimma in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu said that Uzodinma’s margin of win has eloquently stated that the people of Imo State have reestablished their unwavering confidence in his administration, the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu and the APC.

He said: “On behalf of my family, the good people of Bende federal constituency of Abia State, I congratulate you, my big brother, the indefatigable governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma on your big win at the polls.

“Your margin of a win has eloquently stamped one fact: that the people of Imo State have reestablished their unwavering confidence in your administration, the renowned hope agenda of President Tinubu, and our party, the APC.

“The resounding victory is also a testament to your tireless efforts to reposition Imo State.”

We haven’t learned anything —Catholic Bishops
Assessing the conduct of the polls in the three states, Catholic Bishops lamented that Nigerians were yet to learn from past mistakes.

Events in the weekend’s off-cycle elections, the brutalization of the President of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and suffering foisted on innocent Imo people, were described as “a sure proof that Nigerians have learnt nothing from our history.”

President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, made the lamentation, yesterday, in a homily he delivered during his pastoral visit to Christ the King Parish, Umuoba, Uratta, Owerri North LGA of Imo State.

His words: “I have never ceased to ask whoever cares if we have learnt anything at all since 1999 when we started the current political engineering.

“Just yesterday (Saturday), I asked a few people if they were going to cast their votes during the off-cycle gubernatorial election and a number of them said they would not. They hinged their reason on the outcome of the February 25 polls and the judicial decisions.

“It is equally condemnable for labour to inflict hardship on hapless, innocent masses, which they are supposed to protect. There has not been a public power supply to the ordinary citizens, since the NLC President was assaulted and brutalized.

“NLC should allow the masses to breathe and survive the hard times. The people are not supposed to suffer for the sins of others.

“Government and the leadership of the NLC should quickly sort out their differences in the interest of the innocent masses. The warring parties must sheath their swords and let the poor masses.

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