Many knew it was just a mere formality, but in Nigeria where political magicians achieve the unthinkable, they waited with with bated breath until the State Returning Offiver and Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Florence Obi, declared early Wednesday:
“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
Therefore, Professor Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) takes over from Governor Willie Obiano, in a few months, and seeks to surpass the indelible record of Obiano’s predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi.
But watchers hope Soludo will be humble in the land of the proud Anambra people, known for industry and filthy wealth. They are also found in every corner of the world where a buck can be made.
Soludo won by clinching outright victory in 19 of the 21 local government areas of the state.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Valentine Ozigbo; and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, each won a local government; but All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, was unable to win any local government in the election.
Soludo, 61, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, secured 112,229 votes, twice more than his closes rival – PDP’s Ozigbo to be returned as winner of the election.
Ozigbo had 53,807 votes while the other two frontline contenders – Uba and Ubah scored 43,285 and 21,261 votes respectively.
Anambra has a total of 2,466, 638 registered voters, while 253, 388 were accredited for the election.
The result of the supplementary election held in Ihiala local government area on Tuesday showed that Soludo of APGA polled 8,283 votes, while Ozigbo of PDP polled 2,485 votes. Senator Uba of APC scored 343 votes in the local government.
The collation officer for Ihiala, Dr Jarma Anagbogu of the University of Calabar, who announced the result from Ihiala, said there was no election in Orsumoghu and Lilu communities because of security challenges.
Anagbogu said: “In the process of the election, we received report that there was resistance in Orsumoghu and Lilu where INEC had deployed staff members but they could not enter the communities.”