The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially declared Hope Uzodimma, the incumbent Governor of Imo State, as the winner of the state’s governorship election held on Saturday. The announcement was made by the state returning officer, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, at INEC’s state collation center in Owerri, the state capital, on Sunday morning.
Uzodimma, representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), secured victory with 540,308 votes, leaving Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a distant second with 71,503 votes. Athan Achonu of the Labour Party came in third with 64,081 votes, followed by Anthony Ejiogu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in fourth place with 6,392 votes. Jack Ogunewe of the Action Alliance (AA) rounded up the top five with 5,756 votes.
The returning officer, Prof. Fasina, stated, “I, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, was the returning officer for the Imo state governorship election held on November 11, 2023. That the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Good Hope Uzodimma, having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner of the election and returned elected.”
Notably, Uzodimma secured victories in all 27 local government areas of the state, consolidating his hold on the governorship.
The results announcement was not without controversy, as the State Agent of the Labour Party, Callistus Ihejiagwa, was reportedly beaten and ejected from the state collation center after protesting the results, alleging manipulation in favor of the APC candidate.
The state agent of the PDP, Kissinger Ikeokwu, chose to leave the collation center in response to the unfolding events. Both the PDP and LP had called for the outright cancellation of the poll, citing allegations of rigging and security forces favoring the APC during the election.
With this victory, Hope Uzodimma is set to be sworn in for a second term in office on January 14, 2024, as the electoral drama in Imo State continues to unfold.