By Vincent Ujumadu, Tony Edike and Charles Kumolu
AWKA- THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Monday declared the November 16, 2013 governorship election in Anambra State inconclusive and ordered supplementary election in 208 polling units which have registered voters strength of 113,113, in parts of the state.
The highest number of the repeat exercise would be held in Idemili North local government area, which is the stronghold of the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige where the election would be held in 160 polling units. The affected areas in the local government have combined registered voters’ population of 89,997.
INEC returning officer for the governorship election, Professor James Epoke, who is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, said the decision to order for supplementary election in such areas was informed by the inability of the commission to conduct the exercise there due to alleged electoral malpractices.
Other areas where the supplementary election would hold include three poling units in Ayamelum local government (1247 voters), one poling unit in Anambra East (250 voters), six units in Anambra West (2000 voters), one unit in Anaocha (276 voters), two units in Awka North (1356 voters), one unit in Aguata (310 voters) and one unit in Awka South (249 voters).
Others are three units in Ekwusigo (884 voters), two units in Idemili South (800 voters), one unit in Onitsha North (484 voters), 17 units in Onitsha South (12299 voters), four units in Orumba North (588 voters) and four units in Oyi (1202 voters).
According to Epoke, the supplementary election became necessary because the number of registered voters in the cancelled polling units would significantly affect the final scores of the candidates if election was conducted in the affected areas. He, however, did not give the date for the supplementary election.
Before taking the decision, the 21 collation officers for all the local government areas of the state, who were all from the University of Calabar, had announced the results of their assignment which showed that the APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano scored a total of 174, 710 votes to place first, followed by the PDP candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye who polled 94,856 votes, while Senator Chris Ngige of APC polled 93,300 votes to place third.
Obiano also won in 16 of the 21 local government areas, while Nwoye and Ngige won in two local government areas each.
The APGA candidate won in Aguata, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Anaocha, Awka North, Awka South, and Ekwusigo. He also won in Ihiala, Njikoka, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Orumba North and Orumba South.
The PDP candidate won in Dunukofia and Oyi, while the APC candidate won in Idemili North and Idemili South.
Umeh insists Obiano would win
The national chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who was Obiano’s agent at the collation center, expressed optimism that his party would ultimately carry the day, describing the development as a mere delayed victory.
According to him, it would be difficult for any other candidate to upstate APGA in view of the gap already given the other parties,
He said: “Some of the places affected by the supplementary election were places where APGA won, adding that while other candidates would be striving to meet his party, the party would also be garnering more votes.”
He also said that the supplementary election would prove whether the number of voters often claimed to be in the register of voters is actually authentic.
Vanguard recalls that the candidates of PDP, APC and LP had, at a joint statement in Awka before the release of the result of the election, called for total cancellation of the November 16, 2013 polls in view of alleged massive irregularities that marred it.