By Kemi Busari
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Willie Obiano, has won the Anambra governorship election.
Mr. Obiano won in all the 21 local government areas of the state with a total of 234,071 votes.
His victory comes despite two other major candidates enjoying the backing of a sitting president and his predecessor.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday campaigned in Awka for Tony Nwoye, the candidate of his All Progressives Congress, APC. The president was joined in the campaign train by several other governors, lawmakers and ministers of the APC including Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi.
A day after Mr. Buhari campaigned for Mr. Nwoye, his predecessor, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan led about six governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to campaign for the party’s candidate, Oseloka Obaze.
However, none of the presidents could convince Anambra voters. Over half of the eventual voters opted for Mr. Obiano.
The Returning Officer for the election, Zana Akpagu, the Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, after announcing the results declared Mr. Obiano, the incumbent governor, as winner having polled the highest number of votes in the election.
Mr. Akpagu said that a total 448, 771 votes were cast during the election on Saturday. Of the total votes, 422, 314 were valid while 26,457 were rejected.
Mr. Obiano was followed, with a wide margin, by the APC candidate, Tony Nwoye, who polled a total of 98,752 votes.
Mr. Obaze of the PDP emerged third with 70,293 votes while Osita Chidoka of United Progressives Party, UPP, came a distant fourth after garnering 7,903 votes.
In his victory speech, Mr. Obiano asked the losing candidates to join him in administering the state.
The governor called on his co-contestants in the election to see the result as a victory for all Anambra residents. He said the interest of the state is bigger than the contestants’ private ambitions and urged them to join hands with him to build a better place for the people.
Mr. Chidoka, the UPP candidate has already accepted defeat in the election, saying the APGA candidate won because of his financial muscle.