The much anticipated Ngor Okpala State Constituency by-election has been effectively concluded following the official declaration of Amajironwu Blyden Okanni of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election.
The defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party according to political pundits puts paid to the lingering popularity contest in Imo State and consolidates the position of the APC as the Party of choice of Imo people.
The victory of the APC is also viewed as a vote of confidence on the Shared Prosperity mandate, leadership and government of Sen. Hope Uzodimma, the Governor of Imo State.
Among those said to be ruing the defeat of the PDP are members of the top echelon of the Party led by Chief Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State, as well as, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha.
Wike was said to have thrown caution and decency to the wind when he made what many considered to be uncouth jabs at the Governor of Imo State during his visit to the State to campaign for his Party’s victory. He had called on the PDP to unite and kick out the APC using the by-election as a possible launching pad.
Wike who has announced himself as the most qualified Presidential hopeful of the PDP was expected to use the victory of the Party in Imo State to bolster his Presidential ambition as the self-acclaimed ‘political oracle’ of Southern Nigeria. PDP’s defeat has, however, deflated any hope of such momentum, demystified his political clout in the region and, perhaps, also dampened his ego as the enfant terrible of Nigeria’s opposition politics.
The Ngor Okpala by-election result was announced by INEC’s Returning Officer Professor Ameh Dennis Akor of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi state. He made the announcement at the Council Headquarters of Ngor-Okpala LGA in Umuneke on Sunday morning.
According to Prof Akor, the APC polled 9,248 to defeat Jeff Nwachukwu of the PDP who polled 7, 071 votes.
He said the total registered voters across the 11 existing electoral wards in the area was 94,060, and the total number of accredited voters was 18,083, noting that polling commenced as early as 8:30a.m and ended at about 2:30p.m, noting that all accredited voters with Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) cast their votes without issues.
In addition, Prof. Akor said the election results were published, displayed and transmitted electronically using form EC60E and EC8A through INEC’s portal.
He further stated that the number of total votes cast was 17, 862 and total number of valid votes was 17, 280 with rejected votes being 582.
He commended the efforts of security agencies especially the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, CP Rabiu Hussaini and all stakeholders who participated before, during and after the elections for their maturity and understanding displayed.
No fewer than eleven registered political parties participated in the election. The parties included the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Labour Party (LP).
Others were the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Allied People’s Movement (APM), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
By the outcome of the election, the avowed objective of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to grow the ranks of the APC in the South East appears to have obtained a landmark validation and critical momentum.