The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Saturday Imo gubernatorial election and incumbent Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has won all the 27 Local Government Area results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
After more than eight hours of compilation of local government results, the state Returning Officer, Prof Abayomi Fashina of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, announced the re-election of the incumbent governor on Sunday.
“That you Hope Uzodimma of APC having satisfied the law is hereby returned elected,” Fashina declared.
Uzodimma, who was first declared as Imo State governor by the Supreme Court in January 2020 after the nullification of the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Uzodimma, 64, sought re-election in Saturday’s poll and cleared all the 27 local government areas in the state.
The APC candidate defeated PDP’s Samuel Anyanwu, Labour Party (LP)’s Nneji Achonu, Jack Ogunewe of the Action Alliance (AA), 14 other opponents.
The Incumbent governor polled 540, 308 votes to defeat his closest rivals, PDP’s Anyanwu, who scored 71,503 votes and LP’s Achonu who got 64,081.
The eight-hour marathon collation of results from 2:30am to 8:30am on Sunday was fraught with drama and protest from opposition party agents who complained that the results brought before the state collation centre were at variance with what was uploaded on the Result Viewing Portal of the commission.
Labour Party agents and others vehemently demanded the suspension of the results collation but the returning officer insisted that the collation be concluded.
According to INEC, the number of registered voters in the state for the poll was 2, 419,922 with 2,318,919 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected.
Generally, observers said Saturday’s governorship poll in the South-East state was marred by vote buying, voter intimidation, violence and other electoral malpractices with anti graft agencies arresting party agents with stashed cash.
Like Imo, governorship elections were held in Kogi and Bayelsa on November 11, 2023, though the collation of results in the two states has been adjourned to Sunday morning.