By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Chief Nyesom Wike, the incumbent Rivers State Governor, who is seeking reelection has taken a clear lead in the state’s governorship contest as collation of results of the poll held on March 9 resumed with the governor winning 13 of the 15 local governments of the state as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It would be recalled that the collation of results was suspended by INEC following the takeover of the collation centre in Port Harcourt, the state capital, by soldiers on March 10. But INEC announced a couple of weeks back that it would resume the exercise yesterday, stating that it had results of 17 local governments ready for collation, while it might hold supplementary election in six other local councils on April 13. Yesterday’s exercise, which continues today, was boosted by the ruling of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja that dismissed a suit filed by the African Action Congress (AAC) seeking to stop INEC from tallying the results of the poll.
In the results released so far, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is Wike’s party vehicle won 13 of the 15 local government areas. He polled 426,279 votes ahead of Mr. Biokpomabo Awara of the AAC, who garnered 129,855 votes, leaving a margin of 296,424. The AAC had the backing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that missed out on the ballot because of internal fights that resulted in multiple court judgments that excluded it from the contest.
In the results so far collated, the Wike and the PDP won in Ikwerre Local Government Area, which is the home of Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, where Governor Nyesom Wike polled 14,938 to beat Amaechi’s adopted candidate, AAC’s Biokpomabo Awara, who got 5,660 votes. Wike also won in Port Harcourt, Andoni, Eleme, Opobo/Nkoro, Bonny, Okrika, and Omuma Local Government Areas. Others won by Wike are Tai, Ahoada East, Emohua, Etche and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Areas.