National chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Victor Oye, has applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission, describing its performance in the conduct of the Anambra governorship election as commendable.
Oye, who spoke shortly after the incumbent Governor, Dr. Willy Obiano, emerged winner of the poll in Awka, dismissed allegations of rigging, urging other contestants to accept the result in the spirit of sportsmanship.
“I already said it before that after listening to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, during the stakeholders meeting, I was sure he would conduct a credible election,” he enthused.
Obiano had defeated other contestants in the poll, who included arch-rivals like Dr. Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress, and Mr. Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Oye said Obiano who had no godfather before the election, won mainly because of his various achievements, “which the people can see for themselves.”
At press time, losers in the poll were yet to pass comments but sources within the APC and the PDP told our correspondents that their candidates would contest the election results at the election petition tribunal due to be constituted.
Our correspondent observed that there was considerably large turnout, especially in the rural areas, despite threats by the Independent Peoples of Biafra group that it would disrupt the exercise.
Hours before the INEC declared Obiano winner, his camp had been jubilant as he had started leading in 13 out of the 21 local government areas. Results from the poling units were compiled and announced in the presence of the agents in most places.
Voting in the tension-soaked poll began early across the state and except for a minor incident recorded at Usugbe, the hometown of the APC governorship candidate, where a man disrupted voting and was arrested by the police.
It was also observed that there was heavy voter turnout in poling centers located in the rural areas and low turnout in the urban centres, apparently because most people travelled to the hinterland to cast their votes.
Governor Obiano voted at about 9.27am, while the candidate of APC, Nwoye, voted at about 1.pm. Obaze of the PDP voted around the same time. Addressing reporters after casting his vote, Obiano commended the INEC and security agencies for ensuring that the exercise went on smoothly.
PDP’s Obaze, in his reaction after casting his vote, said although there were reports of apathy in many places, INEC should be commended for conducting a peaceful exercise.