Supplementary Poll: Soludo, Ozigbo Battle For Ihiala Today

Candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Charles Soludo; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Valentine Ozigbo; All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Ifeanyi Uba are battling for today’s supplementary poll in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed today for the supplementary poll in the local government for the conclusion of the Anambra governorship election held on Saturday.

Daily Trust reports that Soludo has polled 103,946, Ozigbo 51,322, Uba 42,942 and Ifeanyi Uba 20,9217 from the 20 LGAs where the election was held.  

There are 148,407 registered voters in the 326 polling units in Ihiala LGA. The electoral body will, after the outcome of the supplementary poll, announce the winner of the governorship poll.

The tenure of the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, will elapse on March 17, 2022. Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is coasting to victory from the result of the 20 LGAs announced by the electoral body.

The chairman of APC in the state, Mr Basil Ejidike, has said the party was short-changed in many areas during last Saturday’s election.

“We cannot start going to court in an election that has not been concluded. We cannot call for cancellation of an election that is still on going. Our party never made the statement, and never said those things, so we urge you to discard them.

“What happened on Election Day with the BVAS was a surprise to us. We were surprised to discover they did not function appropriately. Voters turned out but ended up not voting,” he said, while addressing newsmen yesterday.

Ozigbo, the candidate of the PDP on Monday said the battle was not yet over, expressing optimism that he would emerge victorious at the end of today’s poll. He lamented that many voters turned out but were unable to vote.

Meanwhile, INEC has adjusted the commencement and closing time for the Ihiala LGA supplementary election.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said in the statement that polling in respect of the Ihiala supplementary election will commence Tuesday at 10am and end at 4pm.

Daily Trust reports that the other elections in 20 LGAs were scheduled for between 8.30am to end 2.30pm.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has urged INEC, political parties and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary election is conducted with “sincerity and within the electoral guidelines.”

CDD, during a post-election press briefing yesterday, stressed the need for the federal government to take drastic measures to curb worsening insecurity across the country to ensure that the 2023 elections are not undermined.

It stated that failure for election to hold in the local government was taken as a preemptive measure by INEC to ensure electoral irregularities were not carried out as there was information of breach of security and disruption of election.

While blaming IPOB’s threats as a factor for low voter turnout, it stated that its pre-election “engagements with stakeholders found that a key driver of apathy in Anambra which goes back to many elections is citizens’ disenchantment with a democratic system that holds no tangible benefits for them. 

“Many question the rationale for voting when doing so has never produced desired socio-economic benefits,” it said.

DAILY TRUST

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