Saturday’s off-cycle governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states are gradually coming to a close, with the declaration, yesterday, of Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), and the APC candidate in Kogi State, Usman Ahmed Ododo, as winners by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Although the exercises had yet to conclude in Bayelsa State and some parts of Kogi State, results so far declared by the electoral body also showed that the governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, was already leading with comfortable margin.
But the opposition candidates across the three states, where elections were held, rejected the results released and subsequently called for their cancellation, particularly, in Imo and Kogi states, where Uzodimma and Ododo had been returned elected.
The objections came as Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation (CSO), asked INEC to clarify the status of locations, where voting did not hold in the off-cycle polls, yet results were announced.
Returning Officer for the Imo State governorship election, and Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Professor Abayomi Fasina, announced the results yesterday morning at the state collation centre in Owerri, the state capital.
Fasina declared Uzodimma winner of the election with 540,308 votes. He announced that Senator Samuel Anyanwu of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came a distant second with 71,503 votes, while Senator Athan Achonu of Labour Party (LP) polled 64,081 votes to come third.
Fasina declared, “That the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Good Hope Uzodimma, having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner of the election and returned elected.”
In Kogi, from the 18 local government areas results already declared, the APC candidate, Ododo, who was declared winner, polled 446,237 votes, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Murtala Ajaka, trailed behind with 259,052 votes.
The PDP candidate, Dino Melaye, scored a paltry 46,362 votes, while his counterpart in African Democratic Party (ADP) got 21,819 votes.
The returning officer, Professor Johnson Urama of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, announced the results late last night at the state collation centre in Lokoja.
“Ahmed Ododo, having certified the requirements of the law, is hereby declared winner and returned elected,” Urama declared.
Nonetheless, INEC said collation of the remaining results will continue in Kogi State today, as scheduled.
The local government areas, where election results had been collated and declared included Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Idah, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Mopamuro, Ofu, Okehi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba East, and Yagba West. The results from only one ward in Ogori Magongo Local Government Area was received and announced.
The APC candidate won in 11 local government areas, out of the 18 declared so far, namely, 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 local government areas, while the ADC candidate, Leke Abejide, won in Yagba East Local Government Area.