Chief Emeka Ihedioha, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been declared winner and governor-elect for Imo State following the March 9 gubernatorial election in the state.
The declaration was made at about 10.00pm yesterday Monday 11 March by Prof. Francis Otunta, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer for the election.
In his breakdown of the votes, Mr. Ihedioha scored 273,404 votes to defeat his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance who garnered 190,364 votes.
Senator Ifeanyi Ararume of All Progressives Grand Alliance polled 114,676 to place third, followed by the candidate of the central ruling party, All Progressives Congress, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who got 96,458 votes.
Former governor Ikedi Ohakim of the Accord Party who lost power in 2011 to incumbent governor, Rochas Okorocha came a distant and disappointing fifth position with only 6,864 votes.
The Commission said there were 2,221,008 registered voters in the state but only 823,743 were accredited on election day. He said the total votes cast was 714,35; rejected votes 25,130 and total valid votes was 739,485.
Prof. Otunta in declaring the winner said, “I, Francis Otunta, hereby certify that I am the returning officer for the Imo state elections. That the election was contested and the candidates received the following votes.
“Ihedioha Emeka of PDP, having satisfied the constitutional requirements, is hereby declared the winner.”
Tumultuous jubilation immediately erupted inside the collation center and quickly spilled into the nights sky of the streets of Owerri, the state capital.
— orjisblog (@orjisblog_001) March 12, 2019
The election had been one of the most hotly contested gubernatorial polls in the country pitting the other candidates against Mr. Nwosu of Action Alliance. Nwosu, popularly called Ugwumba is the son-in-law and a former Chief of Staff to the incumbent and outgoing Gov. Rochas Okorocha who backed him to the maximum even against the dictates and interest of the governor’s own party, the APC and its candidate, Chief Uzodinma.
The election however had not been without controversies leading to delays in announcing the final results since the polls ended in the evening of Saturday 9 March.
Mr. Nwosu and his Action Alliance disputes the result and insists Mr. Ihedioha ought not to have won the election and vowed to contest it in the election tribunals. In a press statement he released shortly after the declaration, he said “the PDP did not meet the constitutional requirements” to win the election.
But other contestants like Ex. Gov. Ohakim have congratulated the winner.
Former Imo State Governor and Accord Party Candidate for the 2019 Imo Governorship Election, Chief. Sir. Ikedi Ohakim congratulates Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha on his victory as the next Governor of Imo State.
— orjisblog (@orjisblog_001) March 11, 2019
Emeka Ihedioha was the Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives between 2011-2015.
Following his declaration as Governor-elect, he tweeted to his supporters, “Thank you Ndi Imo. It’s a victory for all of us! I will not fail! My word is my bond.”