The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented the certificate of return to the Anambra State governor-elect, Charles Soludo and his deputy, Gilbert Ibezim, on Friday.
INEC on Wednesday declared Mr Soludo, the candidate of the Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), as the winner of the governorship election held on 6 November as well as the 9 November supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
He led the poll with 112,229 votes while his closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), came a distant second with 53,807 votes.
Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came third with 43,285 votes while Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) was fourth with 21,261 votes.
Messrs Soludo and Ibezim received their certificates at the INEC state office in Awka, the capital of Anambra, in company of key supporters.
At the event, the supervising national commissioner for the state election, Festus Okoye, said the presentation was in compliance with Section 75 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) although the tenure of the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, will not expire until March 17, 2022.
“There is no doubt that the Commission conducted the 6th and 9th November 2021 Governorship election in difficult circumstances. Indeed, the election was conducted in a challenging environment accentuated by fear, anxiety and uncertainty occasioned by political agitation in the south-east geopolitical zone.
“As we all know, agitations of this kind occur often in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural political settings where identities are politically mobilised in the struggle for power and resources and sometimes in the desire for a just and equitable society,” he noted.
Mr Okoye reiterated the commission’s confidence in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) despite the fears expressed by some Nigerians owing to the glitches recorded during the 6 November poll.
“With specific reference to genuine concerns expressed by citizens on the performance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the February 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election, the Commission wishes to state categorically that it stands to benefit from such criticisms and promises that these challenges will be addressed as was evident in the improved functionality of the BVAS in the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area.
“We are confident in our judgment that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System will remain a fundamental feature of our accreditation process as it will consign into the dustbin of history worrisome incidents of multiple voting and identity theft that in the past denied the country’s electoral process the desired public trust and confidence. On this note, the Commission will continue to improve on and perfect the technology for subsequent and future elections,” he said.
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