Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner of the off-season governorship election held in Imo State on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
Uzodinmma has been reelected for another term of four years.
This was declared by Prof Abayomi Fashina, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, who is the state Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the election.
According to the final result announced by Fashina on Sunday morning, APC’s Uzodinma polled 540,308 votes to beat his rivals, Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 71,503, the Labour Party’s Athan Achonu, who garnered 64,081 votes, and Jack Ogunewe of the Action Alliance, 5,756.
Announcing the winner, Fashina stated: “I Prof. Fashina Abayomi Sunday, hereby certify that I am the Returning Officer for the 2023 Imo State governorship election held on the 11th day of November 2023.
“Uzodinma Hope Odidika of the APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
The election in which 18 political parties fielded candidates, was a keenly contested one, especially between Uzodinma the incumbent governor, and three other flagbearers, of PDP, LP, and AA.
According to INEC record, Imo has 2,419,922 registered voters, and 2,280,339 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were collected.
INEC’s declaration of Uzodinma as the winner comes amidst controversies trailing the election.
Earlier before the final announcement of the final result, a Labour Party agent, Calistus Ihejiagwa, was beaten and bundled out of the Imo State Collation Centre in Owerri.
Ihejiagwa had repeatedly raised objections to the results that were collated from the local government areas, claiming that the results presented to the state collation centre differed from those displayed on the Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
The Labour Party agent repeatedly said he had a petition to submit before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and demanded that the collation be suspended for certain reconciliation to be done between the numbers on the IReV and those brought by LGA collation officers.
Fashina, however, didn’t give the state collation agent an audience, stating that it was not his responsibility to receive petitions.
Ihejiagwa’s insistence on making the petition was perceived as a disruption of the collation process and at 5 am, he was bundled out of the collation centre.
The off-cycle governorship election was held simultaneously in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
There were reports of violence, voter apathy, and buying of votes across the states.
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