The Independent National electoral commission, INEC, Ebonyi State chapter, on Monday declared Mr. Francis Nwifuru of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the 2023 governorship election that took place across the state.
The INEC State Returning Officer, Prof. Charles Igwe, said that Nwifuru polled a total of 199,131 votes to emerge winner of the governorship polls.
Prof Igwe noted that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii polled a total of 80, 191 votes to come second, while the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Prof Benard Odoh, polled 52, 189 to come third in the contest.
Also, Prophet Chris Adol-Awam of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, scored 674 votes, while the candidate of Labour Party, LP, Edward Nkwagu scored 6, 793 votes.
While the state has 1, 597, 646 registered voters, the number of accredited voters was 350345. Out of 349, 941 total votes cast, 7387 were rejected votes leaving 342, 554 valid votes.
Prof Igwe announced: “That Nwifuru Francis Ogbonna, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared winner and is returned elected.”
The governor-elect, Nwifuru won in 10 local government areas, while Prof Odoh of APGA won in two LGAs and PDP won one LGA.
Responding, the state agent of PDP, Mudi Erhnedi said: “INEC has failed in its duties [and] fallen short of Nigerians expectation, especially PDP. In every contest, there’s winner and losers. I will sign, so that I will have something to present to my Principal.”
Also, agent of APGA, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, described the election results conducted by INEC in the state, as a sham and short of Nigerians’ expectation.
In a swift reaction, Governor-elect Francis Nwifuru described the election as the most credible, free and fair election.
He commended the governor, David Umahi and prominent stakeholders of the state for their doggedness in ensuring that APC emerged winner in the concluded election.
According to him: “This is a thoroughly deserved victory for Ebonyi people, for continuity and consolidation on the brilliant works of the present administration. We came on divine mandate and together, we shall all work to meet the needs of Ebonyi people, that is why our manifesto is themed “The People’s Charter of Needs.”