Awka – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will on Friday, present the Certificate of Return (CoR) to the winner of the just concluded Anambra State Governorship election, Professor Chukwuma Soludo.
Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was declared winner of the Anambra State governorship election by the Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Banku Obi.
The APGA candidate had at the end of the election which was held on Saturday and concluded on Tuesday after the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area (LGA), won 19 of the 21 LGAs in the state, polling 112,229 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Valentine Ozigbo, with 53,807 votes.
In third place with 43,285 votes, was the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Andy Uba, while the Young Progressive Party’s candidate, Ifeanyi Ubah, came forth with 21,261 votes.
After a meeting on Thursday in Abuja to review the Anambra election, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, revealed that Soludo and his running mate, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, will receive their Certificates of Return on Friday in Awka, the state capital.
“Following the conclusion of the election and as provided for in Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), certificates of return will be presented to the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect tomorrow Friday 12th November 2021 at our State office in Awka,” he said.
Okoye said the Commission is awaiting the reports of all officials deployed for the election for an in-depth review of the processes.
He noted that after the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday 9th November 2021 and before the process was concluded, the Commission commenced a preliminary review of the functionality of systems, particularly the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
According to him, the system performed two functions on election day.
First is the accreditation of voters using both the fingerprint and facial authentication.
“Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.
“This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 (88.5%) out of 5,634 polling units had been upoladed for public view.
“While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of voters and corrected them.
“Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction.
“We will carry out an in-depth examination of the system, review reports from accredited observers and the media and respond to all identified challenges ahead of the next major Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), holding on 12th February 2021,” he said.
Okoye maintained that the Commission remains convinced that despite some glitches experienced in Anambra State Governorship election, the deployment of technology in elections is better than the best manual process.
The commission noted that the 2021 Anambra State Governorship election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances.
“Never before did the Commission have to grapple with numerous issues ahead of an off-season Governorship election, including attacks on our facilities, withdrawals of critical service providers such as the ad hoc staff and transporters on the eve of the election and the general tension pervading the atmosphere. Happily, the election passed off peacefully,” Okoye heaved.
Expressing gratitude to all who made the election a success, the INEC said it looks forward to the support of all Nigerians in the forthcoming elections.
“We will continue to work hard to protect the sanctity of the ballot and to conduct free, fair and credible elections anywhere in Nigeria.
“We remain resolute that only the votes cast by citizens at polling units will determine the outcome of elections,” it noted.