Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
Winners of the 2023 House of Assembly election in Abia yesterday received their certificates of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with four political parties on the honours list.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) managed a slim majority with 11 seats edging the Labour Party which won 10 seats, to a second position as the party with the highest number of seats.
The Young Progressives Party (YPP) picked two seats while the All Progressives Congress (APC) got one seat.
The INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye Esq, who is in charge of Abia, Anambra and Benue States handed over the certificates to the state legislators-elect at a ceremony in Umuahia.
He told the newly-elected lawmakers that a great responsibility was attached to the mandate given to them by the Abia electorate.
Okoye reiterated that democracy could only grow and blossom when the people vote and protect their votes, adding that those that receive the mandate should live up to expectations.
He advised that any House of Assembly member-elect nursing the ambition of becoming Speaker of the ninth Abia House must be ready to seek and get the consent of the 23 other members.
Earlier the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Abia, Mr. Clement Oha, recounted persistent attempts by unnamed persons to blackmail the electoral umpire with allegations that they compromised the electoral process. He noted that the blackmail was already pervasive in Abia and only fizzled out after the results were announced leading to people erupting in spontaneous jubilation.
Oha said that the results of the elections had been accepted by many stakeholders across party lines as a true reflection of how the people voted, adding that it has proved that INEC was impartial.
“I am recommending to the nation the Abia political formula, the Abia political sagacity and the Abia electoral formula,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the members-elect, Hon. Ibekwe Nnamdi Chimdi of the PDP from Bende North state constituency said that with the 2023 general election now over, what remains now was for everyone to join hands to build a new Abia.
He stated that the forthcoming ninth Abia House of Assembly would strive hard to ensure the emergence of a new Abia that the people would be proud to identify with.