JUST IN: INEC Declares Hope Uzodimma Winner in Imo State Governorship Election
In a formal announcement, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Hope Uzodimma, the incumbent Imo State Governor and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the triumphant candidate in the recently conducted state governorship election. Professor Abayomi Fasina, the Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, disclosed the results at the INEC state collation centre in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, on Sunday morning.
Uzodimma secured victory with a substantial 540,308 votes, while the candidate from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Samuel Anyanwu, lagged behind significantly with 71,503 votes. Athan Achonu of the Labour Party claimed the third position with 64,081 votes. Anthony Ejiogu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Jack Ogunewe of the Action Alliance secured the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.
Professor Fasina officially declared Uzodimma as the winner, stating, “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.”
INEC’s results indicated a clean sweep for Uzodimma across all 27 Local Government Areas of the state. Consequently, Uzodimma is set to be inaugurated for a second term in office on January 14, 2024.
The announcement was not without controversy, as earlier during the collation process, Callistus Ihejiagwa, the State Agent of the Labour Party (LP), was forcibly removed from the state collation centre after protesting the results, alleging manipulation in favor of the APC candidate. Similarly, the PDP’s State Agent, Kissinger Ikeokwu, left the collation centre in protest. Both the PDP and LP had called for the outright cancellation of the election on Saturday night, asserting that it was rigged in Uzodimma’s favor. Tony Nwulu, the LP’s deputy governorship candidate, claimed that security agents facilitated rigging, urging INEC to annul the election.