By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared as “inconclusive,” the Okigwe senatorial zone re-run election, which took place last Saturday.
Also declared inconclusive were the state assembly seat result for Oru East and Isiala Mbano local council areas of the state.
Although Vanguard gathered that the Oru East state assembly re-run election had to be declared inconclusive because of the shoot out at Akata and Amiri communities in Oru East, between supporters of the rival parties midway into the election, the state Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, however, said that there was reportedly excess voting in the cancelled areas.
Vanguard equally gathered that there were some reported skirmishes in some voting centres in Okigwe and Onuimo local government areas, where the re-run poll took place.
The INEC Returning Officer, Professor Arinze Agbogu, who announced this yesterday, while addressing the press, however said that the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Benjamin Uwajumogu, had already scored a total of 48,921 votes, while the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag bearer, Chief Athan Achonu who grabbed 40,142 votes.
According to the figures released by the Returning Officer, in Okigwe local council area, the APC scored 9,355, while the PDP got 4,343.
In Onuimo Local Government Area, the APC garnered 3,630 as against PDP’s 3,850, while in Ihitte Uboma, the APC scored 10, 171, and the PDP 5,184.
The other results rolled out yesterday, by the Returning Officer for the two major parties in Obowo, Ehime Mbano and Isiala Mbano were APC 13,401; 5,795 and 6,569 respectively, while PDP got 6,041; 13,048 and 7,676 respectively, in the three remaining local council areas.
The Returning Officer equally announced that a new date would be announced for the supplementary poll in the 15 identified polling booths, where about 13,000 registered voters would be expected to cast their votes.
Vanguard recalls that as at 12.43pm Saturday, when the initial report was filed from Osu Achara Ward, Isiala Mbano local government area, there was no recorded incident of violence.
When contacted on his mobile line, the Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, who temporarily moved his Command’s Headquarters to Okigwe, confirmed that “there has been no reported case of violence anywhere in the affected areas”.
While saying that he had his men are on red alert, the Imo police boss also said that the Command was ready to tackle any eventuality, wherever and whenever it reared its ugly head.
“There is no recorded violence in any of the areas where the re-run election took place. Our men were everywhere and ready to promptly tackle any incident, whenever and wherever it reared its ugly head”, the CP said.
Reacting to the results, Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, said the results of the weekend’s re-run elections in the state, has proved that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was never under any threat by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Okorocha, who was reacting to the results so far released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, thanked Imo people for voting APC candidates.
“In the case of the Okigwe zone senatorial election, although INEC declared the election inconclusive after canceling the result from Osuachara ward in Isiala Mbano local government area, but the figures already on ground showed that the APC candidate, Ben Uwajumogu, is in a very comfortable lead to the extent that whatever will be the outcome of the Osuachara ward at the end of the day won’t affect his victory”, Okorocha said.
Addressing what happened in Oru-East and Owerri West state constituencies where election also took place, the APC candidates won, pointing out that “all these developments have gone a long way to entail that APC in Imo is never under any threat by the PDP”.
Continuing, Okorocha said that “with what happened last Saturday, it was now very clear that the PDP in Imo cannot win any election in the state in a free and fair poll”, adding that last weekend’s poll has made their (PDP) weakness in the state manifest.
While commending the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for ensuring free and fair election, Okorocha equally commended all the security agencies, who ensured that people’s votes counted.
“The Governor does not hold anything against INEC for declaring the senatorial election in Okigwe zone inconclusive because of one ward out of the 64 wards in the senatorial zone. We have always believed in the independence of INEC and that is why we won’t take exception to the declaration of the election in Okigwe zone inconclusive because of one ward”, Okorocha said.