Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has lost his senatorial bid to the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the district, Okechukwu Ezea.
Mr Ugwuanyi, who is rounding off his second term as governor, is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Enugu North Senatorial District election held on Saturday 25 February.
The Returning Officer for the election, Chukwuemeka Ubaka, announced the result at the collation centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nsukka Local Government Area headquarters on Monday at about 5: 20 a.m.
Mr Ezea, the LP candidate, polled a total of 104,492 votes to defeat Mr Ugwuanyi of the PDP, who came second with 46,948 votes.
The All Progressives Congress candidate for the district, Ejike Eze, garnered 6,816 votes to come a distant third.
Mr Ubaka, a professor, said Mr Ezea was declared the winner in the exercise because he “justified all the requirements of the law” having scored the highest number of votes in the election.
Earlier, there was mild drama at the INEC collation centre in the district, when Mr Ubaka, the returning officer, said he would not collate the senatorial results unless he was given the district’s authentic forms for results and declaration.
Some LP members had accused the returning officer of colluding with an unnamed opposition candidate to overturn the result against the eventual winner.
The results of the exercise from the six local government areas that make up the district had put Mr Ezea in front, after reportedly winning in nearly all the council areas.
The six council areas that make up the district include Nsukka, Igbo-Eze South, Igbo-Eze North, Igbo-Etiti, Uzo-Uwani and Udenu, where Mr Ugwuanyi hails from.
The defeat of Mr Ugwuanyi marked the first time an opposition political party would unseat a candidate of the ruling PDP in the state.
The PDP had never lost any election in the state since the return of democracy in 1999.
Chukwuka Utazi, the incumbent senator representing the district, had stepped down for Mr Ugwuanyi, ahead of the PDP primary election for the district in May last year.
Mr Ugwunanyi is a member of the G5 group of PDP governors opposed to their party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. He will exit office as the governor of the state on 29 May this year after his two terms in office.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the LP House of Representatives candidate for Nsukka-Igbo-Eze South Constituency defeated the PDP candidate in the constituency election for the first time since 1999.
The historic electoral wins by the LP in the state, observers say, were due to the “effect” of Peter Obi, the LP presidential candidate, who has been enjoying swelling support across the South-east and some parts of the South-south.
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