The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Imo, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, has taken an early lead as results for 9 out of 27 LG councils have been announced on Monday in Owerri.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ihedioha is leading with a wide margin in 5 LG councils including Ikeduru, Owerri municipal, Mbaitoli, Oguta and Aboh Mbaise, his own local government area.
The results were announced by local government collation officers namely Dr Felix Eke, Professor Daniel Njoku, Professor Raphael Okigbo, Dr C. Echerobia and Professor Imo Chilaka.
Ihedioha won his Aboh Mbaise local government area with 64, 219 votes out of 77, 199 valid votes cast to defeat his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA) who polled 4,296.
The state deputy governor, Mr Eze Madumere, however, lost his Mbaitoli local government to PDP, polling 3,704 votes as against the PDP’s 13,358.
The collation has however, taken a break, as it was disrupted by party agents who engaged in fisticuffs over results from Ideato south local government area.
Trouble started when the PDP agent, Barrister Uche Onyeagocha, said that the result ofthe area would not be announced.
Onyeagocha, a former All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, alleged that the results from the local government, were written by Governor Rochas Okorocha, after all the party agents of were chased away in the area.
Other party agents, however, insisted that the result should be announced owing to the fact that they had protested when that of Aboh Mbaise local government was presented for announcement.
Francis Otunta, the state returning officer, after inquiries, then asked that the result be announced.
But the PDP returning officer rushed to the table and tore the result sheet.
In a swift retaliation, another party agent rushed to the high table and tore result sheets of other local government that had earlier been collated.
Specifically, the special adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state on electoral matters, Steve Asinobi, and his (governor’s) associate, Paschal Onwukaike, violently disrupted the collation.
Asinobi and Onwukaike, who had insisted the results should be announced also violently scattered the remaining results and threw the entire hall into confusion.
As the situation escalated, party agents, journalists, observers, electoral officials, including the returning officer, ran away from the centre.
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The Imo state PDP had earlier maintained that it's governorship candidate, Ihedioha is in a comfortable lead in the gubernatorial election held in the state on Saturday, March 9.
Ray Emeana, state secretary of the PDP, claims that from the results collated at the various local governments by INEC offices so far, Ihedioha has won in 15 local governments out of 27.
According to Emeana, the local governments include Ideato North, Oru West, Obowo, Mbaitoli, Owerri West, Owerri North, Ikeduru, Owerri Munucipal, Ngor Okpala, Ahiazu Mbaise, Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte, Oguta and Orsu.
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