Soludo wins Anambra governorship election

The Independent National Electoral Commission has proclaimed Prof Chukwuma Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the winner of the Anambra Governorship Election.

Prof Florence Obi, the Returning Officer for the Anambra Governorship Election, declared the results at the INEC headquarters in Awka, Anambra State, on Wednesday morning.

“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar said on Wednesday

After INEC ruled the November 6 election inconclusive and a supplementary poll was held in the state’s Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday, Soludo, who served as the central bank governor from 2004 to 2009, was proclaimed the winner. Ihiala LGA was one of the 19 local government areas he won.

Soludo, 61, received 112,229 votes to defeat Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who received 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, who received 43,285 votes. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party finished in fourth with 21,261 votes.

The road to victory for Soludo was strewn with stumbling blocks, including court fights and intra-party feuds, but the Supreme Court in Abuja confirmed him as the APGA governorship candidate. This came after the court dismissed Chukwuma Umeoji, a former APGA candidate.

Umeoji, who now represents the Aguata Federal Constituency in Anambra State in the House of Representatives, was recently discharged by a court judgment after his name was named as APGA’s candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The court subsequently ordered INEC to replace Umeoji with Soludo as the APGA’s legitimately elected governorship candidate.

During a town hall meeting in his hometown of Isuofia in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra in April 2021, during the run-up to the election, Soludo almost averted death when gunmen opened fire on him and his security aides.

Three of his police orderlies were slain in the “senseless” attack, according to him. In his acceptance speech on Wednesday, Soludo dedicated his triumph to the three police officers.

After the two-term tenure of the existing governor, Willie Obiano, who is also a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, expires in March, Soludo is anticipated to be sworn in.

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