How Soludo Won Ihiala Supplementary Election

3 weeks ago

Mr Soludo defeated his closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of PDP, with 58,422 votes.

Charles Soludo, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, has won the Anambra State governorship election after winning in the sole remaining local government area in the state, Ihiala.

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Mr Soludo defeated 17 others, including Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election which was seen as crucial for the future of APGA as a political party.

The state Returning Officer for the election, Florence Obi, the vice-chancellor of University of Calabar, declared Mr Soludo winner in the early hours of Wednesday, around 1:57 a.m. at INEC’s state collation centre, Awka.

Mr Soludo, a 61-year-old professor of economics and former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), won the election in 19 out of the 21 local government areas of the state.

He scored 112,229 votes, while his closest rival, Mr Ozigbo of PDP scored 53,807, leaving a margin of 58,422 votes.

The APC candidate, Mr Uba scored 43,285.

The APGA candidate lost in Ogbaru Local Government Area, which was won by PDP candidate, and Nnewi North won by Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

The YPP candidate scored a total of 21,261 votes in the election to come fourth.

Mr Soludo won in Aguata Local Government Area which is where he and his two main opponents – Messrs Uba and Ozigbo – hail from.

The APGA candidate made a bold statement with his win in the polling unit of the Anambra Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke, who recently defected from APGA to APC. Mr Soludo went ahead to win the election in the local government area – Njikoka.

The total votes cast in the Anambra 2021 governorship election is 249,631.

Mr Soludo is the second CBN leader to be elected a state governor in Nigeria’s history after late Clement Isong who was government of the old Cross River State during Nigeria’s Second Republic.

The former CBN governor had previously taken a shot at the Anambra governorship in 2009 under the PDP, but lost the election to Peter Obi of APGA.

He resigned from PDP in 2013 and went over to APGA with the intention to contest the Anambra governorship election of that year but was declared unqualified by the party’s screening committee.

Supplementary election in Ihiala

Mr Soludo was already leading other candidates by a wide margin when INEC suspended the collation of election results in the early hours of Monday and announced that election must be held in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday as required by law – The margin between Mr Soludo and his closest rival, Mr Ozigbo was 52,624 votes, whereas there are 148,361 registered voters in Ihiala, according to INEC.

The commission said it was unable to conduct an election in Ihiala on Saturday because of a threat of violence.

At the end of Tuesday’s election in Ihiala, Mr Soludo scored 8,283 votes to defeat Mr Ozigbo who had 2,485 votes. APC scored 343 votes and YPP 344.

The accredited voters for the election in Ihiala was 12,299 out of the 148,361 registered voters.

During the political debate in Awka, Mr Soludo said Nigeria was going through “uncertain times” as it tries to move away from oil to a non-oil economy, and that Anambra, like other states in the country, needs a “transformational leader”.

He described himself as a “home boy” and the leader that Anambra needs in a “time like this.”

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