The atmosphere at the Imo State INEC Secretariat along Port-Harcourt Road, Owerri, was last night electrified with an uncontrollable jubilation by both PDP accredited agents, party officials and friends as Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was duly declared the elected governor of the state by the State Collation Officer in the just concluded Governorship/House of Assembly Elections, Professor Francis Otunta.
Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha was declared a winner at about 11:05p.m on Monday with a total number of 273,404 votes to beat others.
From the final result released amidst tight security, the following scores were obtained by some of these contestants and their parties: Ikedi Ohakim’s Accord party – 6846, Action Alliance – 190,364 (Ugwumba Nwosu), APC – 96,458 (Senator Hope Uzodinma), APGA – 114,676 (Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume) and others.
The State Collation Officer/Returning Officer who is the Vice-chancellor of the Michael Opara University of Agriculture – Umudike-Umuahia, gave the number of registered voters as 2,221,008, Accredited number of voters – 823,743, total valid votes – 714,355, rejected votes – 25,130 and total valid votes cast stood as 739,485.
Meanwhile, the Imo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dasuki Galadanchi, has reassured residents of the state of the readiness of the Command to keep protecting them even with the end of election in Imo, saying that anybody found to have committed any electoral offence must face the law.
He made his position known to newsmen while speaking on the recent arrest of Hon. Barr. Uche Onyeagocha (PDP agent), Barr. Asimobi Steve and Paschal Onwukaike (Action Alliance Agents) who tore some submitted results sheets at INEC Secretariat few days ago, leading to the sudden stoppage of results declaration by the electoral team responsible for that.
The residents celebrating the victory by pulling down campaign paraphernalia of Nwosu, the runner up.
Ihuoma Chieke, A 33-year-old trader, urged the governor-elect to ensure he fulfilled his campaign promises, especially those affecting the women and youth of the state.
A pensioner, Mrs Rose Agomuo, said that she was delighted with the outcome of the elections.
According to her, Ihedioha should remember that he has been elected to serve the people and not to see the position as an avenue to amass wealth or become a tyrant.
Agomuo urged Ihedioha to pay attention to payment of pensions, fixing of drains and roads, putting in place better health, education and transportation systems and generally, making Imo more habitable for residents.
Similarly, a teacher, said Charles Nwaehujor, that Ihedioha’s victory was a welcome development because of his political experience.
According to Nwaehujor, Ihedioha as a career politician, is better equipped to handle the “political intricacies of the state”.
He urged him not to toe the line of his predecessors who disappointed people of the state as soon as they were elected into office.
A civil servant, Paul Iwuh, described his victory as equitable, while noting that any other outcome would have been unfair to Owerri zone and its people.
Iwuh commended the electorate for voting their choice and doing all they could to ensure they were not shortchanged.
Another civil servant, Emeka Eze, commended INEC for ensuring the true results of the election were announced and for frustrating attempts at rigging the elections.
Ihedioha, an experienced politician and investor, was born on March 24, 1965.
He had at different times represented the Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency, Imo, and was also the former Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives.
Nduka Val, Owerri