Otti Urges Uzodimma, Diri, Ododo to Be Magnanimous in Victory

Otti Urges Uzodimma, Diri, Ododo to Be Magnanimous in Victory

•CSOs tabulate irregularities, call for cancellation

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia and Tony Icheku in Owerri

Abia State Governor, Mr. Alex Otti, has congratulated Hope Uzodimma, Douye Diri and Usman Ododo for emerging victorious in the recent off-cycle governorship elections held in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi States on November 11, 2023.

This was as a forum of domestic civil society organisations, accredited as observers for the November 11, 2023 Imo State governorship election has called for the total cancellation of the Imo election, alleging irregularities, which cast  doubts on the integrity of the  election.

Governor Uzodimma and his Bayelsa counterpart, Diri, had their mandates renewed by the electorates while Ododo was elected for a first term to succeed the outgoing Governor Yahaya Bello.

Otti conveyed his congratulations to the winners in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kazie Uko, noting the significance of the victories recorded by each of the winners.

Otti said it was gratifying that the Imo governorship poll was conducted in an atmosphere of peace, despite the initial uncertainties and doomsday predictions that dogged the campaigns.

He called on Uzodimma “to be magnanimous in victory and continue to work towards restoring lasting peace in Imo as he starts his second term in office.”

As Chief executives of two neighbouring and brother states, Otti promised to work harmoniously with Uzodimma for the peace and economic development of the South East. 

For the Bayelsa poll, Otti described it as “a hard fought contest”, adding that the outcome “is a vote of confidence on Diri by the people” he had already served for four years.

He said he was happy that Diri had already extended a hand of fellowship to his opponents in his victory speech, and urged him “to maintain that meek and humble spirit that has continued to endear him to Bayelsans.”

Otti, who is the only governor on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), also congratulated the governorship candidate of the party in the Bayelsa poll, Udengs Eradiri for his courage.

He urged the LP candidate not to feel disappointed over the outcome, but should remain steadfast and build on the experiences he garnered from the electioneering and the polls.

Congratulating Ododo, who won in Kogi on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Otti noted that it was “a spectacular win” for the governor-elect being his first shot at governorship seat.

The Abia governor advised Ododo that after taking the oath of office, he should focus on delivering on his campaign promises to the people of Kogi State, who have reposed their confidence in him.

Meanwhile, the forum of domestic civil society contended that over 2,000 polling units results as uploaded and seen in INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, and the total number of votes as allocated to candidates were higher than the actual number of accredited voters.

Noting that such a development had cast doubts on  the integrity of the  election, the CSOs, comprising eight observer groups, also tackled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for flouting its own rules on accreditation by  permitting  voting  in several polling units without the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) meant for accreditation of voters before voting

Other stakeholders indicted in what the Observers described as  widespread gross irregularities that dogged the election included security agencies  accused of  compromising their duties of ensuring credible, fair and free election.

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