After Saturday’s election, Charles Soludo, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), was at the threshold of victory, almost, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the collation of results and announced that election would be held in Ihiala on Tuesday, November 9 as required by law.
INEC said it could not conduct an election in Ihiala on Saturday because of a security threat.
Mr Soludo won in 18 out of the 20 local government areas where results have been announced. He scored a total of 103,946 votes.
His closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won in only one local government area and scored a total of 51,322 votes.
The margin between Messrs Soludo and Ozigbo is 52,624 votes but there are 148,407 registered voters in Ihiala, according to INEC.
In the eyes of the law, PDP can get enough votes in Ihiala to secure more votes overall than APGA in the governorship election.
That is why INEC insisted that the election must be held in Ihiala.
If this happens and PDP is also able to secure at least 25 per cent of votes cast in two-thirds of the 21 local government areas, Mr Ozigbo will leapfrog his APGA opponent and win the Anambra governorship election.
But in reality, can this happen? Can Mr Ozigbo beat Mr Soludo in Ihiala? Most unlikely, it appears.
Considering the history of poor voter turnout in Anambra, it is unlikely to have up to 40,000 voters coming out to vote in the election in Ihiala.
Even if PDP puts in its very best and achieves an excellent job in mobilising voters, it is improbable that all the voters will vote for one party.
Added to that is that Ihiala is an APGA stronghold, judging from the results of the three previous governorship elections.
In the 2010 election which APGA candidate, Peter Obi won, the party scored 5,996 votes in Ihiala, while PDP had 4,945 votes.
In 2013, another APGA candidate, Willie Obiano, the current governor of Anambra, scored 10,274 votes in Ihiala, against PDP’s 5,520 votes.
Mr Obiano won re-election in 2017. In that election, APGA scored 14,379 votes against PDP’s 4,706 votes.
Soludo waiting to be declared winner
Having performed poorly during Saturday’s election, APC appears to have given up. And there is no likelihood of the party joining forces with PDP in today’s election in Ihiala since both parties traditionally do not work together.
PDP is going to put up a strong fight in Ihiala, but it is unlikely for them to beat APGA in the area.
Mr Soludo is just waiting to be declared the winner, obviously.
Voting in Ihiala ends by 4 p.m., according to INEC. Nigerians should definitely know who is the next governor of Anambra later today.