By Francesca Iwambe
Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) has won the March 18 governorship election in Abia State.
He trounced his opponents like Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Enyinnaya Nwafor of the Young Peoples Party (YPP).
Otti scored 175,467, Ahiwe polled 88,529 while Nwafor got 28,972. The LP candidate also won 10 of the 17 local government areas in the state, PDP got six while the YPP got one.
The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Prof Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti declared Otti the winner on Wednesday evening at the resumption of the final collation of governorship election results in Umuahia, the Abia State capital over 48 hours after INEC suspended the exercise in the South-East state.
“That Otti Alex Chioma of Labour Party having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner of the election,” said Nnannaya-Oti, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
The last time the LP produced a governor in the last 20 years was when Olusegun Mimiko was elected Ondo State governor from February 2009 to February 2017.
Before the announcement, Nnannaya-Oti said she will do the right of the people and protect democratic values.
“I shall stand squarely and unapologetically on these principles. The people's votes and mandate shall stand.
“The pastor and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children,” said Nnannaya-Oti, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
As it stands, the results of 25 of the 28 governorship elections have been announced. APC won in 15 states, PDP in eight, LP in one while the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) won Kano.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 15 states, including seven re-elected governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Mai Mala Muni (Yobe), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno).
The party also secured wins for eight new candidates: Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto), Dikko Radda (Katsina), Uba Sani (Kaduna), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Hyacinth Alia (Benue), and Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi).
On the other hand, the PDP secured eight victories including two reelected governors: Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).
Six first-term governors were also elected on the platform of the opposition party. They are Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Siminialayi Fubara (Rivers), Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), and Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta). In a historic win, PDP's Dauda Lawal unseated Zamfara State Governor and APC powerbroker in Zamfara, Bello Matawalle.
In a similar fashion, Abba Kabir of the NNPP unseated the APC in Kano State.