Elections: APC’s Uzodinma, Ododo win Imo, Kogi, PDP’s Diri wins Bayelsa

L-R: Hope Uzodinma, Usman Ododo and Duoye Diri

By Marvellous Nyang

Governor Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been reelected for a second term in Imo state, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him the winner of the Saturday, November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.

Same for the incumbent governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, who was announced as the winner of the state governorship election by INEC.

The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday, November 13.

Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.

The electoral body also declared Usman Ododo of the APC as the winner of the governorship election in Kogi State.

Earlier on Sunday, November 12, the INEC Returning Officer in Imo State, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof Abayomi Fashina, declared Uzodimma reelected at about 10:00 am after over eight hours of election results in different local governments in the state.

“That you Hope Uzodinma of APC having satisfied the law is hereby returned elected,” Fashina declared.

The 64-year-old Uzodinma sought reelection in Saturday’s poll and cleared all the 27 local government areas in the state.

Recalled in January 2020 after the nullification of the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uzodimma was first declared as Imo State governor by the Supreme Court, a development which heightened tension fetching a lot of political enemies for the state helmsman.

It was long that things degenerated into a political crisis in Imo State now faced with serious security challenges with “unknown gunmen” abducting innocent citizens and enforcing the Monday’s sit-at-home by pro-secessionist sects.

However, INEC said Uzodinma polled 540,308 votes to defeat Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party’s Athan Achonu, who polled 71,503 and 64,081 votes respectively.

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The 15 other candidates got less than 10,000 votes each.

In Kogi State, Ododo polled 446,237 to defeat other contestants, followed by his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who polled 259,052 votes; Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 46,362 and Leke Abejide of the African Democratic Party (ADP), 21,819 votes.

The Kogi State Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Johnson Urama, said the number of cancelled votes in the areas where the election did not hold was 16, 247 and could not substantially affect the outcome of the result.

But candidates of the major opposition parties in all three state elections rejected the outcome, describing it as a charade and mockery of the electoral process.

They alleged that elections were not held in the majority of the polling units but results were “manufactured” and uploaded on INEC’s Results Viewing (IReV) portal.

They also alleged that where elections were held, the results announced by INEC were at variance with what was uploaded on IReV.