The Labour Party candidate, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, came fourth with 37,495.The formal declaration was made bythe Chief Returning Officer, Prof. James Epoke, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar around 1 am on Sunday.
The declaration of the winner brought to an end a long-running and controversial process of electing a new governor for Anambra State.
The entire process of electing the new governor was dogged by controversy as three of the major political parties that fielded candidates called for its cancellation and vowed to boycott the supplementary election.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who admitted the errors committed in the election, apologised to the nation but said the errors were not substantial enough to warrant the cancellation of the entire exercise.
The supplementary election was eventually held on Saturday but was characterised by low turnout. The Agbaja Polling Unit 22 in Abatete, Idemili North Local Government Area, which has a voting population of 739, for instance, had only 24 candidates accredited and 20 of them voting in the supplementary election.
The main election, which held on November 16, could not be concluded on the same day and INEC announced that election in 65 polling units in Obosi ward in Idemili North Local Government Area would be repeated.
The Chief Returning Officer said the voting population in the areas where election did not take place was large enough to make the second or third person defeat the leading candidate. He, therefore, declared the election inconclusive.
Following the development, INEC declared that supplementary election would in 210 polling units, where 113,113 voters could not vote on November 16. The areas affected cut across 15 local government areas and most of them (160)were in Idemili North.
Epoke said the Electoral Act required that for a winner to be declared in an election, the difference in the total voting population of the areas where election was cancelled should be less than the difference between the votes scored by the candidate with the highest votes and the votes of the candidate with the second highest votes.
The returning officer had reported that the total voting population in the areas where election was cancelled was 113,113, which was higher than the 79,754 difference between the leading candidate’s votes and the second highest candidate’s votes, saying the commission had no choice but to declare the election inconclusive.
“The rule guiding this election is that for a winner to emerge, he must have majority of votes cast and the required spread of 25 per cent of votes in two thirds of the local government areas.
“We observed that due to many reasons, there were a lot of cancelled votes that made it difficult for a winner to emerge,” Epoke said.
He said the winner of the election would be declared only after election has been conducted in areas where the election was cancelled.
In declaring Obiano winner, Epoke said the APGA candidate did not only win the majority of the votes cast, but also fulfilled the requirement that the winner should score 25 per cent of the total votes cast in two thirds of the local governments in the state, in Anambra’s case 14 local government areas.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission Resident Commissioner in Rivers State, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, has commended the people of Anambra for coming out to vote in Saturday’s supplementary governorship election.
The electoral commissioner, who supervised the election in Onitsha South and Onitsha North council areas, spoke at Okija hall, where voting took place in four polling units.
“The important thing here is that for so many places where I have visited, the party agents were there, especially those of the major parties.
“It is a clear indication that there had not been any boycott of the election by any of the parties.
“The people were interested in completing this exercise so that at the end of the day, their governor would be announced to them,’’ he said.
Ikoiwak said NEC directed its poll officers to display the Form 60E on the day of the exercise, which would show that the election had been completed peacefully.
“You cannot display that form if you do not have a conducive environment.
“And that form would display the result in each unit for members of the public to copy and know what happened in the unit,’’ he said.