Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidates in Abia and Taraba States, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and Darius Ishaku respectively and their Imo State counterpart, Chief Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, have won the rerun polls held on Saturday.
Results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC yesterday, showed that Okorocha polled 416,996 votes to defeat the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP, who scored 320,705. Ikpeazu garnered 264,713 votes to outrun Dr. Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, who received 180,882.
Similarly, Ishaku scored 369,318 votes to outshine Senator Aisha Alhassan of the APC who got 275,984 votes.
The April 11 governorship elections in the three states were declare inconclusive by INEC over irregularities which led to the polls being cancelled in several wards.
Savouring his victory yesterday, Okorocha urged the losers to join him to build the state for every resident.
Okorocha made the call yesterday at a church service at the Victory Chapel, Government House, Owerri.
The governor thanked Imo people for their support and described his victory at the poll as triumph for all Imo people irrespective of political party leaning and enjoined his rivals to accept the outcome with equanimity.
He promised to improve on his services to the state in the next four years which he declared will be action-packed and assured that he would not be concerned about who voted for him, hated or liked him but serve everyone.
His words: “Four years ago, insecurity resulting to kidnapping, armed robbery among others were the order of the day in Imo but today the situation has changed.
“In the next four years, my first industry would be education, second industry would be tourism. We will develop tourist centres to generate revenue for the state to build industries that would focus on offering jobs to Imo youths.”
Governor Okorocha was declared winner and returned elected yesterday morning by the INEC Returning Officer for Imo, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo Obe, after the collation of results of the rerun governorship election in 259 polling units where elections were cancelled during the April 11 exercise.
The media aide to Ihedioha, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, said his principal would have to liaise with the leadership of the PDP before making any public statement.
Although its candidate lost the election, the Abia State chapter of APGA has congratulated Ikpeazu for what it described as “a well-deserved.”
Ikpeazu was declared winner of the poll yesterday morning by INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba. He said Ikpeazu won the race with 264,713 votes as against Otti’s 180,882.
The governor-elect scored 16,254 votes, while Otti got 15,476 in the supplementary election held in nine local government areas of the state.
APGA Chairman, Prince Nnanna Ukaegbu, in a statement, made available to Nigerian Pilot, said:” The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia State chapter accepts the outcome of the results of the just-concluded gubernatorial election as reflective of the yearnings of the people of the state.
“We therefore congratulate Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor-elect, the PDP in the state for their well-deserved victory. More importantly, we congratulate the people of Abia State for upholding equity, justice, fair play, respect and progress; and also for rejecting narrow-mindedness, desperation, selfishness, naive and irresponsible ticket and parochialism.”
Ukaegbu also saluted Abia people for rewarding the Ukwa-Ngwa people for their hospitality and tolerance through the ages.
In Taraba State, the Returning Officer, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, who announced the result in Jalingo yesterday, said the PDP candidate scored 369,318 votes to emerge victorious, his closest rival Senator Alhassan got 275,984 votes while Chief David Kente of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, polled 29, 966 votes.
Mohammed said there were 1,461,645 total registered voters in the state, of which 787,516 were accredited for the election.
He added that the total valid votes cast were 681,166, while the votes rejected was 174,131.
The APC agent, Alhaji Gambo Umar, rejected the result, declaring that the party would challenge the outcome in court.
On his part, the PDP agent, Mr. Rembo Usman, said “this is a well deserved victory.”
Meanwhile, Alhassan has rejected the results of the governorship poll.
At a press conference in Jalingo, Alhassan described the entire electoral process as a “daylight robbery” and stated that her party would challenge the results at the elections petitions tribunal.
“The combined governorship elections in Taraba were characterised by violence, massive rigging, ballot snatching and abuse of the card readers in substantial parts of the state by the PDP and their allies,” she said.