Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, has reacted to his victory in the Anambra State governorship election.
Giving his acceptance speech on Wednesday shortly after he was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the governor-elect described the feat as the will of God.
“Let me say that with utmost humility and gratitude to God, I accept the result of the 2021 Anambra governorship election, as declared by INEC,” said Soludo who contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“And this reflects the supreme will of the Almighty God and the overwhelming sacred mandate of the people.”
He thanked his wife and children for encouraging him despite their reservations at some point, saying his victory in the election was a result of his perseverance in the last 12 years.
The former CBN governor also thanked the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano; the leadership of APGA, party faithful, as well as the residents of the state for their love and support all through the events that lead to his victory in the poll.
While remembering the three policemen killed by gunmen in the period of the campaign, he extended a hand of fellowship to his co-contenders in the election to move the state forward.
Almost four days after the keenly contested election and a supplementary poll that ensued, INEC finally returned Soludo elected as the winner.
Soludo polled a total of112,229 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 53, 807 to emerge second.
Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate got a total of 43,285 votes to emerge the third position.
Prof. Florence Obi, Returning Officer for 2021 Anambra Governorship election announced this in the early hours of Wednesday at INEC headquarters, Awka.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC suspended collation of results late Sunday night and declared the exercise inconclusive following non conduct of election in Ihiala local Government area.
The commission however, fixed Tuesday November 9 for supplementary election in Ihiala.
Announcing the final result, Obi noted that after adding up the results collated from Ihiala, Soludo continued his lead in the election.
She said that Soludo won in 19 out of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.
Obi listed the areas where Soludo won to include; Dunukofia, Awka South, Oyi, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Idemili South and Onitsha South.
She also stated that the APGA candidate also won in Njikoka, Orumba South, Onitsha North, Idemili North, Ekwusigo, Aguata, and Nnewi South, Orumba North and Ihiala Local Government Areas.
The PDP candidate won in Ogbaru with 3,445 votes, APGA scored second while APC came third in the same council.
Sen. Ifeanyi Uba of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) won in his home Local Government, Nnewi North in spite of coming a distant fourth in the overall score card with 21,261 votes.
The returning officer, who doubles as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, said: “Prof. Chukwuma Soludo having scored the highest number of valid votes was declared winner of the election”.
Obi said that total number of valid votes was 241,523, while 8,108 were void.
The returning officer had earlier stated that Anambra with a total number of 2,466,638 registered voters only had a total of 253, 388 accredited voters for the election which began on Nov. 6 and was extended to Nov.9, 2021.
Soludo, a onetime Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, was born on July 28, 1960 and hails from Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He obtained a first in Economics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and worked in many national and international organizations including the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for West Africa and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Prof Soludo was the Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Commission among other achievements.