By Uche Amunike
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed a supplementary election for Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State for Tuesday, November 9, even as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Charles Soludo leads in Anambra, with a wide margin, so far.
This announcement was made by the Returning Officer for the November 6 governorship election in the state, Professor Florence Obi in the early hours of Monday.
The reason for the supplementary elections shifted to Tuesday in ihiala Local Government Area was because of the difficulties met by INEC that made it unable for them to conduct elections there on Saturday.
Professor Obi however attributed the failure of the elections in Ihiala to the security challenges that prevented the electoral body from deploying materials and personnel to the Local Government Area.
She maintained that INEC collated results for 20 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state, except for the Ihiala Local Government Area, where they couldn’t deploy materials for various reasons.
This, she said, is the reason why it will not be possible to collate results or even declare a winner in the Local Government Area because without elections in any Local Government Area, a winner cannot be declared. The election will be termed inconclusive.
She explained that Ihiala was the only Local Government, out of Anambra’s 21 Local Government Areas where elections could not hold.
Results, according to her, were announced for all other Local Government Areas, even as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Charles Soludo, leads in Anambra, 18 out of the 20 Local Government Areas whose results have already been declared.
Prof Obi insisted that even in spite of the fact that Soludo leads in Anambra, so far, it is important to bring Ihiala Local Government Area at par with the remaining 20 Local Government Areas, before a valid declaration in the election can be made, based on the extant laws.
Hear her: ‘Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary elections shall be conducted where the commission due to logistic challenges is unable to deploy on Election Day,’ Professor Obi said.
‘Therefore, I, Professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as Returning Officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
‘I have conferred with the commission, being the body that fixes the date for the election, and the commission has decided that the supplementary election will take place on Tuesday, 9th November 2021. Therefore, the collation of results shall resume thereafter’.
She pleaded with party agents and the general public to support INEC during the supplementary election in order to ensure that the election is satisfactorily concluded for the good of Anambra state, the people of Nigeria and the glory of God.