After days of political tension and uncertainty, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) finally announced the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Abia state on Wednesday. The candidate of the Labour Party, Alex Otti, emerged victorious with a total of 175, 467 votes, defeating his closest rival, Chief Okey Ahiwe of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 88,529 votes.
Enyinnaya Nwafor of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) came third with 28,972 votes. The announcement was made by the Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Professor Nnenna Oti, who confirmed that Otti had polled the highest number of votes and had met all the necessary conditions to be declared the Governor-elect of Abia state.
The declaration of the results came after days of political logjam and anxiety in the state, as stakeholders awaited the outcome of the closely contested governorship election. The tension was particularly high, given the history of electoral violence and irregularities that have marred previous elections in the state.
Despite these concerns, the election was conducted smoothly, and the results were declared in a timely manner, which is a testament to the commitment of INEC and other stakeholders to ensuring a free and fair electoral process in the state.
The victory of Alex Otti is significant for the Labour Party, which has not had a governorship win in the state since its creation in 1991.