Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was yesterday declared the winner of the chairmanship seats in all the 17 local government areas of Abia State election conducted last Wednesday.
The Chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), Justice Igbozuruike Akomas (rtd), announced the results at about 3a.m. yesterday, saying the results of the 292 councillorship positions would be announced later.
The electoral body, as at press time, could not make available a copy of the poll result to journalists as officials claimed that none was available.
With this result, the ruling party has made good its promise to make a clean sweep of all the contested seats in the council poll in what it termed “operation no mercy” during its campaign.
The council poll, which came nine years after the last one, was marred by late arrival of electoral materials thereby making it impossible for election to hold in several parts of the state.
Expectedly, the opposition parties that participated in the election had kicked against the results announced by ABSIEC, vowing that they would not accept it as it did not reflect what transpired on the election day.
The state Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Sunday Onukwubiri, decried the outcome of the election, saying it was “a predetermined result.”
He told journalists that his party would not accept the result as announced by ABSIEC, adding that they would contest the outcome of the poll to any level.
Chairmanship candidates of opposition parties expressed that results could be announced in areas where it was glaring that votes were not cast due to logistical problems.
Speaking with THISDAY on a telephone interview, the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chinwendu Uruakpa, said he was surprised to hear that result was announced for Ukwa West Local Government Area where he contested for the seat.
He said following the burning of ABSIEC office at Okeikpe, the council headquarters election did not take place in any part of Ukwa West hence whatever result was announced was “manufactured.”
In the result for Ukwa West as announced by ABSIEC chairman, APC scored 3,450, APGA 2,105 votes, and PDP was credited with 22,180 votes.
The APC candidate said the fire incident “destroyed most of the electoral materials” meant for the election, adding that “no ad hoc staff or ABSIEC officials visited any polling unit in Ukwa West.
“There was no election in Ukwa West,” he insisted, adding: “I am unequivocally saying a new date be given for fresh election in Ukwa West Local Government Area.”
The Publicity Secretary of Abia PDP faulted the stance of the opposition, noting that the dynamics of Abia politics favoured the ruling party to win as it was the only party that really campaigned for the election.