The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has reacted to the outcome of the just concluded Anambra State Governorship election.
The Returning Officer of the Anambra governorship election, Florence Obi, on Wednesday morning declared Chukwuma Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as the winner of the 2021 polls.
Soludo emerged winner with 112,229 votes to defeat Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who got 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress who got 43,285 votes. Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes to come fourth.
Soludo’s victory was announced after he won the supplementary election conducted in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday.
Reacting to the INEC declaration in a statement made available to newsmen Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General of the Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, cautioned all the candidates who took part in the race to respect the verdict of the people.
Ohanaeze admonished Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to emulate his Edo State counterpart, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu by not challenging the outcome of the polls in court.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo urged all the candidates in the election to accept the electoral body’s verdict.
Ohanaeze’s statement reads: “On no account should it be challenged in the tribunal as there was no evidence of widespread electoral fraud and malpractice.
“This is the verdict of the people and Ndigbo congratulates Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo for the resounding success and victory in this election.”
The Igbo group praised INEC for conducting a free, fair and credible election in Anambra, reiterating that no candidate should move to challenge the outcome, utilizing the Supreme Court to swap the people’s mandate given to Soludo by Anambra people.
Ohanaeze commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “allowing the INEC to be truly independent and carrying out her constitutional duties, without influence or manipulation in favour of APC which came third in the contest.”
The Igbo group, however, noted that “the disgraceful defeat of APC in the Anambra election was based on the wrongful choice of Governor Uzodinma as coordinator of the APC National Council for Andy Uba’s campaign, and the incarceration of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.”
Ohanaeze called the attention of the APC National leadership to how Governor Uzodinma had led the party to disgraceful defeats twice in two governorship elections, earlier in Edo State and now in Anambra.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo compliments the uncommon courage of Ndi-Anambra to sustain the visions of the legendary icon, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, knowing that the only way to immortalise him was to ensure that APGA remains the Igbo identity.
“Governor Willie Obiano’s prompt payment of Anambra workers’ salaries and welfare benefits is a great model for other states to embrace and have been the secret of the electoral success and victory in the November 6 governorship elections.”