The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate and incumbent governor of Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano has won in all the 21 local government councils of the state to emerge winner in the keenly contested governorship election in Anambra.
The Returning Officer, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Zana Akpagu, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, announced the results of Saturday’s election, on Sunday in Awka, the state capital where unprecedented thirty-six candidates contested. Declaring the result in Awka Prof. Akpagu, said Obiano polled 234, 071 votes to defeat his closest rival Mr Tony Nwoye of All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 98, 752 votes.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Mr Oseloka Obaze, came third with 70,293 votes. He said that the total valid votes cast at the poll was 422,314; total number of rejected votes, 26,457 while the total votes cast was 448,771 votes. The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Dr. Ukwachukwu Orji, commended the people of the state for exhibiting good behaviour, saying “no bloodshed was recorded”.
“Let this election not divide the people of the state but bring you together,” he said Orji said Obiano would get his certificate of return from INEC on Wednesday. “We promised free, fair and credible poll and that is what we have fulfilled that,” he said. Obiano said his victory belonged not to him or his party (APGA) but to all Anambra people. In his acceptance speech titled, ‘Time to Build a New World” he read from his country home in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government, the governor declared that “this sweet victory belongs to Ndi Anambra”.
“It belongs to the wheelbarrow pushers and the okada (motor cyclists) riders who have clearly seen in our recent political experience, a glimmer of light in the horizon. “It belongs to the farmers in Ayamelum, Onono, Ogbaru, Omasi, Omor and Ufuma who have now realised that agriculture is the future of Nigeria. “It belongs to the teachers and civil servants who have seen that a motivated workforce is the greatest asset of any government.
“It belongs to the illustrious sons and daughters of Anambra State who have seen the star of this great state rise in the Eastern Skies and have answered our call to bring home their naira and dollars to put our dear state on the investment map. “This victory belongs to all of us. My dear people, this victory is not a winner takes it all.” Obiano said “in the New Anambra of my dream, everyone is a winner.”
He urged other governorship candidates to join in building the new Anambra that the citizens would be proud of. “I say to you; my brothers, we have all fought a good fight, but Anambra State is the winner. “The interest of Anambra State is bigger than the private ambitions of anyone of us. “Our beloved state needs our talent and our time. The time to build a better place is now. He described the victory as “a referendum on the solid resolve of the people of Anambra to rise above average in all endeavours. “We have demonstrated that we are indeed capable of taking charge of our lives and making difficult decisions that will brighten the future of our children. “I have no doubt in my mind that we shall continue to lay the building blocks for a prosperous tomorrow for all.
“This mandate is dear to my heart. I see it as a historic call to inspire my people to greatness. I see it as a call to deny myself sleep that my people might sleep better. “I will not give myself rest until our beloved state has fully assumed the status of the model state of Nigeria. This is my promise to you all.” He said the victory did not come by chance but the final product of the combined efforts of brilliant men and women who sacrificed their comfort to ensure that Anambra’s steady march to progress was not derailed.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for proving to the people of Anambra that under his watch, democracy would have deeper roots in Nigeria. “Mr President promised us a free and fair election. Today, we can all see that he has kept his promise.’’
He thanked INEC for conducting a transparent election in Anambra, stressing that with this election, the commission had shown that it was prepared for the 2019 elections. Obiano commended the security operatives whose alertness ensured that the will of the people was not thwarted.
The governor said “my team and I shall never fail you” and urged the people to prepare for the speedy transformation of Anambra into a prosperous sub-national entity in the next four years. “We have stepped into our finest hour. Our journey into greatness is now assured. “We are ready and willing to work with anyone who has something to share that will make Anambra State great. ‘’We are open to new ideas, new visions of society and a new hope,’’ he declared