INEC declares Governor Okowa winner of Delta State elections

Gregory Ekpezu, Lagos 

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The Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has been re-elected for a second term in the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial election.

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC made the announcement after collating all the results from the 25 Local Government areas of the state.

Okowa, representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP pulled a total of 925,274 votes to beat his closest rival, Chief Great Ogboru of the ruling All Progressive’s Congress, APC who garnered 215,938 votes.

Total Registered Votes was 2,831,205, Total Accredited Votes stood at 1,188,784, Total Rejected Votes amounts to 24,147. Valid votes was 1,154,188 while total votes cast remained 1,178,335.

PDP won all the local councils, except Ughelli North and Ethiope East where results proved a keen contest.

Declaring Okowa and his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro as the winners of the state Gubernatorial election, the State Returning Officer, Professor Seth Accra Jaja said having fulfilled all the necessary requirements, and having authenticated the results, he stand re-elected for another four years.

The incumbent governor got staggering votes from Warri South West, Bomadi, Ika North and Oshimili South Local councils which put him ahead of his rival before the results were completely announced.

The outcome of the election was greeted with wild jubilation in the state capital, Asaba.

Inec staff started the exercise in the early hours on Saturday, 9 March and culminated at 2:00 pm as stipulated by  law. Thereafter, collation of results started and was completed on Monday, 11 March.

Fifty candidates of various political parties contested for the gubernatorial while the state Assembly saw about two hundred candidates jostling for the top jobs.

The announcement of results by Returning Officers were not without scenes, as party agents monitoring proceedings constantly protested the results.

Notably among the agents was APC’s Turner Ogboru who constantly rejected the results from some of the Local Councils, stressing that the results were doctored to favor the opposition party. He particularly rejected results from
Isoko North, Ethiope West and Oshimili North, calling for the cancellation of the results.

According to him “ this results are outrageous. How can the incumbent be polling results that are more than the registered voters in  the area. I am very disappointed at the he way things are unfolding, and more by the returning officers. These are Professionals. We are talking about Professors and doctors of the University. If they are doing this, then we have lost confidence in them,” he added.

Reacting to Ogboru’s petitions,  the State returning officer said that his petition can only be handled by the Judiciary. He says” they are others who have the same grievances like you, but we can’t help you here. If we dwell on that here, we won’t leave this premises. Inec stipulates that you seek redress in court of competent jurisdiction when you feel you have been short changed. All you need do is to gather your evidence. INEC has rules, so if it flaunted, go to court.

The exercise was not without incidents at the Local councils as returning officers complained of cases of ballot box snatching, violence and fighting.

Ime Njoku