Despite trailing by more than 79,000 votes, with a near-impossible chance of upturning the deficit in the results of the governorship elections so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State has said that its candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, is on course to victory.
The Imo State Returning Officer, Ibidapo Obe, had declared the election inconclusive and announced that a supplementary election will hold in some wards across the state because the number of cancelled votes (144,715) was greater than the margin (79,529) between the two leading candidates.
The PDP, however, insists that Mr. Ihedioha “scored a majority of the popular votes cast by the Imo State electorates”.
Speaking to journalist few hours after the election was declared inconclusive, the Chairman of PDP in the state, Nnamdi Anyaehie, said results collated by the party’s agents at wards and local government collation centres show the party’s candidate was leading.
Mr. Anyaehie said there were widespread “manipulations, thuggery, harassment and intimidation visited on the electoral process, INEC officials and the voters”.
He said the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state indulged in widespread ballot box snatching, claiming that the Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, was a chief culprit.
He also accused the incumbent governor of “cajoling, intimidating and threatening assigned officials of INEC in their duties”.
Mr. Anyaehie also faulted the Returning Officer for reducing the score of the party’s candidate in Ezinihitte local government.
But PREMIUM TIMES can reliably confirm that the result from Ezinihitte was recalculated after it was discovered that the total number of votes cast as reported by the local government collation officer surpassed the total number of registered voters by over 20,000.
Mr. Anyaehie also complained that Emmanuel Opara, the electoral officer of INEC in Oru East, publicly confessed that she was kidnapped and taken to a secret location where she was forced to enter fictitious results.
He said the PDP will take appropriate steps to reconcile the results of areas affected by irregularities and will seek necessary redress.
He called on the party’s supporters and Imo people to remain calm and peaceful while these issues are resolved.