INEC declares Alex Otti winner of Abia governorship election

The Labour Party (LP) gubernatorial candidate in Abia state, Dr Alex Otti has been declared governor-elect.

Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Prof Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti, on Wednesday declared Otti the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Abia State.

The declaration was made at the resumption of the final collation of governorship election results in Umuahia, the Abia State capital over 48 hours after INEC suspended the exercise.

He scored 175,467, to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Okey Ahiwe and Enyinnaya Nwafor of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), his closes contestants.

Ahiwe polled 88,529 while Nwafor got 28,972. The LP candidate also won 10 of the 17 local government areas in the state, PDP got six while the YPP got one.

Before the announcement, Nnannaya-Oti, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, said she will do the right of the people and protect democratic values.

“I shall stand squarely and unapologetically on these principles. The people’s votes and mandate shall stand. The pastor and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children,” the INEC returning officer said.

She declared; “That Otti Alex Chioma of Labour Party having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner of the election.”

Abia is the first state a Labour Party candidate will be winning in the 2023 gubernatorial elections.

Meanwhile, Dr Alex Otti earlier declared that no amount of manipulation can alter the party’s victory in the state.

INEC had suspended the collation of governorship election results following claims that the ruling PDP in Abia attempted to rewrite the results in Obingwa Local Government to overturn the original results.

Results on iRev shows Otti leading in 10 out of the 17 local government after polling a total of 171,747 votes while Okey Ahiwe of PDP scored 79,477 votes after winning five LGAs.

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja, Otti said in part: “What has happened this time around is that the BVAS has demystified Obigwan Local Government in Abia State. You recalled that in 2015, when I contested for the first time, the PDP produced 82 thousand votes from Obigwan and upturned the victory that Abia people gave us. This time around, they want to do the same thing but the BVAS proved that there are no more than 30,000 votes in Obingwa.