By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Finally, Hon. Emeka Ihediohanma the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the March 9 governorship polls in Imo State, has emerged winner of the election. Prof. Francis Otonta, the Returning Officer (RO) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the final results at the Imo governorship election Collation Centre in Owerri, the state capital on Tuesday.
Ihediohanma, who was a former Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, won in 11 of the 27 Local Government Area, polling a total 273,404 votes to defeat his closest contender, Mr. Uche Nwosu, a stooge outgoing Rochas Okorocha of the Action Alliance (AA) who won in 10 LGAs and scored 190,364 votes.
The other contenders who make up the numbers in the 70-man Imo gubernatorial contest include Mr. Ifeanyi Araraume of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a former senator who had 114,676 votes, winning in four LGAs. APC’s Hope Uzodinma, a serving Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district garnered 96,458 votes and won in two LGAs to take the fourth position. There was also a former governor of the state, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim of the Accord Party, who polled 6,846 votes to trail alongside others, did not win in any of the council areas. INEC said a total of 739,474 votes were cast with 25,130 of the votes rejected while 714,344 were valid.
The RO, who is also the Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike thanked INEC officials, political party agents, security operatives and journalists for their patriotic commitment to national assignment. He said, “I salute your patriotism and commitment to this national assignment. I hereby declare that Emeka Ihedioha, having satisfied all the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes has won the election and is hereby returned.”
With this declaration, there was spontaneous wide-spread jubilation across the state with Imo state indigenes dancing and chanting mock songs targeted at Rochas Okorocha and his thugs who tried everything within their means to coerce INEC and its officials in Imos State to rig the elections like was done in the presidential and Senatorial elections when Okorocha intimidated INEC officials to declare fake results.
This time around, Imo people in the face of harassments, intimidation brute state power stood their grounds and insisted that over their dead bodies would Okorocha force INEC to declare his son-in-law governor ahead of Ihediohanma, the true son of Mbaise and the peoples choice in the last election.