The Independent National Electoral Commission announced on Sunday that Governor Hope Uzodimma, the All Progressives Congress candidate, had won the governorship election in Imo State on Saturday. The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party immediately protested this decision.
Uzodimma’s reelection was confirmed by the electoral board since she had won in each of the state’s 27 local government districts.
With 540,008 votes, the governor secured a second term in office, according to the commission.
With 446,237 votes, APC candidate in Kogi, Usman Ododo, was proclaimed the victor of the poll.
The state Returning Officer, Prof. Johnson Urama, revealed the results late on Sunday night. He reported that Ododo received 259,052 votes, closely followed by Social Democratic Party candidate Muri Ajaka.
Adejo Okeme of the LP received 567 votes, Dino Melaye of the PDP 46,362; and Leke Bejide of the African Democratic Party 21,891.
There were 1,932,474 registered voters overall, and 794,500 recognized voters.
Of the 791,890 votes cast, the commission reported that 9,601 were rejected.
The results from the Brass and Southern Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa State would be made public on Monday, according to the INEC (today).
The results collation process would continue today, according to a statement sent on Sunday to state party agents, election observers, and media by Mr. Wilfred Ifogah, Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC office, Yenagoa.
The Imo State Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, who is the vice-chancellor of the University of Oye in Ekiti State, announced Uzodimma’s victory by revealing that the Labour Party’s Athan Aconu received 64, 081 votes, while PDP candidate Samuel Anyanwu received 71, 503 votes.
Following the announcement, the PDP and LP demanded an entire cancellation of the polls.
They claimed that INEC employees and security personnel colluded to enable APC members to rig the election.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference, Anyanwu said that INEC and the security forces had failed to fulfill their constitutional duty to provide the state’s citizens with a credible election. He also demanded the annulment of the results.
Rather, he said that the security officers shielded INEC employees “while the APC members rewrote results.”
Anyanwu declared that the PDP and he would only accept the complete cancellation of the election.
Achonu, the LP candidate, promised to appeal to the election tribunal.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday at his country home in Umulomo, in the state’s Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, he said that the election was “deserving of outright cancellation because of irregularities, including vote-buying and physical assaults of LP agents.”
In addition, he said that, in contrast to INEC’s pre-election promises, voting took place in numerous places without the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System accreditation.
Together with accusing the security staff of collusion, Achonu said that there was “plenty of documented proof, including the example of a police officer who voters defeated for trying to steal a ballot box.”
He congratulated the LP supporters for their courage in the face of intimidation and gave them confidence that the legal system would provide justice.
“Under the full scrutiny of security personnel, whose salaries we pay from our commonwealth, our democracy was raped,” he declared.
Collation was abruptly relocated from the ward to the LG centers, with the exception of APC agents who were denied entry and other party agents being kept out.
“And to all of you, my supporters: I am proud of you all and I want to thank you for your perseverance and steadfastness. You all battled so hard.
“We will regain our mandate, and I have not given up on the judiciary; there are so many men of integrity there.”
He demanded that those who mistreated Mr. Callistus Ihejiagwa, the state chairman of the LP, be arrested right once and denounced the attack and detention of the guy.
A widely shared video shows that my party chairman was assaulted at the collation center. Furthermore, the police detained and arrested him rather than arresting the people who had beaten him.
“Let’s prevent our nation and its democracy from descending into anarchy. We demand that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, annul the alleged results because there was no election yesterday, Achonu added.
Additionally, Tony Nwulu, the LP’s deputy governorship candidate, said that the security personnel had protected APC members and INEC employees in order to thwart the state’s popular will.
He asserted, in a Saturday night interview with media, that voting papers had been sent to every LG secretariat “where rewriting of the election results was allegedly ongoing.”
Nwulu asserted, “Imo State did not hold an election on Saturday.” The electoral materials were diverted to the residences of the populace and the headquarters of the LGA council. The actors were protected throughout by the army, police, and DSS.
“The Imo people rejected them when they showed up at the polling places with enormous sums of money to buy votes. They have now turned to stealing voting materials and transferring them to people’s houses and the LG headquarters, where they are presently manipulating the results.
“In all of these shameful activities, the APC members and INEC employees are being protected by the police, army, and DSS. All the records are with us. We are alerting Nigerians to the fact that Imo state did not hold an election on Saturday.
“Our party’s position, as well as that of my principal, Senator Athan Achonu, the party’s candidate for Imo State governorship, is that this sham of an election should be called off completely.”
Callistus Ihejiagwa, the state’s LP chairman, stated that the election procedure that resulted in the governor’s victory needed to be changed and was riddled with anomalies.
He said that Achonu had won the election based on the real results, calling the poll “a daylight robbery and a rape of democracy.”
In Orsu, Orlu, Ideato North, Okigwe, Oguta, and Owerri municipal elections, according to the LP chair, “yet INEC in collaboration with APC and security agents wrote the results.”
In addition, he criticized the returning officer for not responding to his plea before tallying the votes and declaring Uzodimma the victor.
“What happened in Imo state on Saturday was a sham,” declared Ihejiagwa. The way the security personnel shielded APC members and INEC employees so they could rig the election was disgusting.
“Our records show that Senator Athan Achonu, our candidate, prevailed in the election. We want to contest in court Hope Uzodimma’s declaration as the election victor. Our candidate and the Labour Party won’t remain silent if someone doesn’t. The election went to us. In court, we will reclaim our mandate.
Governor Uzodimma, soaring with triumph, called on his rivals to stand with him in advancing the state.
Speaking on Sunday in Owerri, the state capital, just after being named the poll’s winner, Uzodimma predicted that the state will greatly profit from his next four years in power.
The state’s citizens, security personnel, and INEC employees were all thanked by the governor for helping to guarantee a peaceful election in the state.
He expressly thanked President Bola Tinubu for endorsing his candidacy for reelection.
“I am humbled and honored by your overwhelming support in yesterday’s election,” Uzodimma declared. It inspires and greatly pleases me that you have faith in me to continue leading our beloved State.
We have won handily together, and I’m determined to keep my end of the bargain.
You can be confident that your interests will continue to be the top priority of my administration as we move forward toward the Next Level of Shared Prosperity.
“I reach out to my fellow candidates from other parties, inviting them to work with me to develop and improve our one and only dear State. We shall run our administration inclusively, putting the interests of people ahead of political divisions.
A female youth corps member who worked in Mbaitolu LG as an ad hoc worker was reported missing, and the BVAS and results that were in her possession had not been found.
The local government collation officer, Dr. Bolaji Olaleye, stated during the presentation of his findings that the youth corps member did not answer calls, fueling concerns that something horrible might have happened to her.
“We couldn’t locate the BVAS and results sheet in her possession, which led to the cancellation of the election in ward three polling units,” Olaleye said, adding that she wasn’t sure what had happened to the female corps member.
However, the SDP branch in Kogi State demanded that the results in the LGs of Okene, Okehi, Ogori Magongo, Adavi, and Ajaokuta be canceled, citing allegations of vote-buying, corrupt practices, and excessive voting.
David Edibu, the party’s collation agent, presented a petition to Prof. Johnson Urame, the State Returning Officer, who promised to review it.
In agreement with Edibu, Abubakar Mahmood, the PDP agent stationed at the collation center, stated that the number of malpractice cases in the aforementioned LGA was concerning.
In a same vein, Kogi State’s PDP standard bearer, Dino Melaye, has urged the electoral commission to call off the state’s off-cycle poll.
Speaking at a press conference in the state capital of Lokoja on Sunday, Melaye claimed that result sheets had been tampered with prior to the start of voter accreditation on Saturday.
“The five local governments in Kogi State’s central senatorial district did not hold elections yesterday. Surprisingly, accreditation was ultimately completed manually without the assistance of the BVAS, according to Melaye.
The APC, on the other hand, has urged INEC to uphold the integrity of the state’s voting process rather than giving in to demands for the poll to be called off.
The APC’s candidate, Ododo, is already “coasting to a spectacular victory,” according to Felix Morka, the publicity secretary for the party.
According to a statement released by Morka on Sunday, Ododo is “maintaining a landslide lead in Kogi West and Central, with a competitive showing in Kogi East” based on the results that have been released and uploaded thus far.
We are well aware of the tremendous pressure that trailing opposition party agents and supporters have been putting on INEC employees, including violent threats, with the intention of improperly influencing or interfering with the state’s ongoing results collation process.
The party spokesman issued a statement saying, “We urge INEC to stand fast in the discharge of its constitutional duty to deliver free, fair, and credible elections in the state and ensure that the freely exercised will of the Kogi electorate prevails.”
Hundreds of Bayelsa PDP supporters demonstrated on Sunday in Yenagoa, the state capital, demanding that the election results from Nembe-Bassambiri, Nembe LG, not be taken to the collation center.
According to the results, Governor Douye Diri of the PDP received 137, 909 votes, Timipre Sylva of the APC received 73, 503, and Udengs Eradiri of the LP received 703.
To protest the polls in the APC strongholds, especially the Nembe LG, where Sylva received 22,248 votes, PDP supporters, however, invaded the INEC headquarters.
However, Dennis Otioto, an APC agent at the Yenagoa collation center, defended the party’s win, pointing out that Sylva’s agents, Ofoni and Kolokuma/Opokuma, were driven out.
The PDP supporters claimed that the results from the voting places in the area were manipulated and that the election did not actually occur in Nembe-Bassambiri.
Security personnel stopped the demonstrators as they marched toward the INEC office on Swali Road.
Around 9:30 am, they had gathered at the Isaac Boro Peace Park in Ovom on the Mbiama-Yenagoa Road. From there, they marched up the Swali Market Road to the INEC Office gate.
However, as the demonstrators advanced from Lambert Eradiri Road to Swali Road and passed the roundabout that connected Mgbi Road, a number of armed security personnel set up a roadblock on the route and prevented the demonstrators from approaching the intersection that led to the INEC office entrance.
The security personnel took up strategic positions surrounding the area and blocked the road with armored personnel carriers and multiple security patrol vans.
The state commissioner for education, Gentle Emelah, said in a press conference that the demonstration was started because it was unacceptable that PDP voters in Nembe-Bassambiri who were entitled to vote were not given the opportunity to cast ballots.
Insisting that voting did not take place in the community, he urged INEC and State Resident Electoral Commissioner Obo Effanga to reject the Nembe-Bassambiri results.
“We are here to tell the world that election is not violence,” Emelah declared. A crucial responsibility is election. Each and every person with the right to vote should do so.
However, what is taking place in Nembe-Bassambiri is unacceptable since you cannot deny qualified people their right to vote and force INEC to carry out your request. Every adult who is of voting age should have equal access to the voting process.
“We are aware that Nembe-Bassambiri did not have an election. We are speaking with INEC to get that result discarded as a result. And if possible, allow them to look at the Bassambiri case again and guarantee that everyone is able to cast a ballot.
Speaking as well, Diriyai Dambo, SAN, the state attorney general and commissioner for justice, called the Nembe-Bassambiri affair “a rape of democracy.”
He asserted that party members who were traveling to Nembe in advance of the governorship election on November 10 were put in a potentially fatal circumstance.
Dambo claimed that phony results were created and shared on social media, and that voting was not done in Nembe-Bassambiri, especially in constituencies 2 and 9.
“There will be a massive rape of democracy if what we are here for is allowed to continue,” Nembe native Dambo declared. We came here because, in my hometown of Nembe-Bassambiri, we were denied the right to vote. Specifically, on November 10th, the majority of our folks traveled to Nembe in 58 busses, leaving Yenagoa behind with escorts.
“The SWAT Team and other APC-acclaimed teenagers were obstructing the entrance to Nembe when we arrived. They advised us to descend so they could search us. Kile, one of our boys, went down, and they started beating him up. He made his getaway by sly means.
They began threatening us after that, even going so far as to hurl tear gas at us. They told us we couldn’t enter, and most of them had to leave because they were afraid for their lives.
A concerning issue is that a few INEC officials are being kept captive in the Brass LG.
The INEC urged the police and other security personnel to look into the matter and help with the officials’ release in a post on its X handle on Sunday.
“The unfolding situation in Brass Local Government Area,” was the post’s headline. The Commission is keeping a careful eye on the hostage situation involving our officials in Brass LG, Bayelsa State.
“This undermines the legitimacy of elections. We demand that the security services help to free them right now.
According to reports, a guy named George Sibo passed away on Sunday afternoon in Twon-Brass, the Brass LG’s headquarters, following an attack by a crowd thought to be made up of APC supporters.
It was discovered that the deceased, a member of the PDP, was attacked at the council area headquarters during the compilation of results from a few wards in Constituency 2 for the governorship election.
Sibo, also known as “Kobo-Kobo,” was reportedly a Twon-Brass native and a political assistant to a local official.
Daniel Charles, a representative for Brass Constituency 1 in the Louisiana House of Assembly, denounced the man’s horrific murder.
He asked security personnel to apprehend and charge the individuals responsible for the heinous deed right away.
Asinim Butswat, the police public relations officer, stated that he was waiting on the area commander in Brass LGA to provide him with the incident’s specifics.