The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday finally declared Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) Governor-elect of Abia State after the controversial Obingwa result was collated. The controversy emanating from the result of Obingwa halted the collation on Monday and the officials had to travel to the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday to resolve it. Upon their return yesterday the outstanding result of Obingwa was collated.
The Commission had concluded the collation of 16 local government areas and was about to collate Obingwa when INEC issued a release suspending the collation. The Commission ordered a review of the Obingwa result and at the end of the day the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 9,962 votes while LP had 3, 776. Announcing the result, the Returning Officer, Professor Nnenna Otti declared that Otti polled a total of 175, 467 votes to beat his closest rival, Okey Ahiwe of the PDP with 88529 to emerge winner.
“That Alex Chioma Otti having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared winner,” Prof. Otti declared. Her announcement meant that Dr. Otti finally realised his dream of becoming governor after three attempts. Spontaneous celebration erupted in Umuahia yesterday after the declaration. The celebration was exceptional as everyone, the young, the old poured out to the streets of the Abia State capital to celebrate what they described as “Abia’s liberation”. Commercial transporters including tricycles, buses and bikes joined the celebration. Before now many of the candidates of other political parties, including Prof. Gregory Ibe of the APGA, had congratulated him and called on the INEC to declare the results.