Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) was Thursday declared winner of a hotly contested governorship election in the country’s oil-rich Edo state amid allegations of fraud from the main opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Godwin Obaseki polled 319,483 votes to beat his major challenger Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who got 253,173 in Wednesday’s poll.
The INEC, chief returning officer in the state, Professor Kayode Soremekun, who announced the final results, declared Obaseki the governor-elect of the South-South state.
The PDP rejected the result, alleging widespread manipulation and fraud.
Ize-Iyamu told reporters in Benin, the state capital: “The figures announced … do not represent the massive turnout. We have told our agents to bring all the results issued at the polling units.
“We do not want to rely on the messages they sent. In the next three or four days, we will have a complete record. From the findings, it is clear a lot of manipulation has taken place.”
The APC supporter, Eugene Oseyomon responded to Ize-Iyamu allegations and said “He is talking about himself whose secretary recorded on a cellphone making plans with other PDP members to rig the election.
“He is just angry that he was stopped, and he lost the election, He is, therefore, pointing fingers and making wild accusations. The outcome confirmed the popularity of the government”.
Hundreds of PDP supporters stormed the headquarters of the electoral commission earlier to reject the poll’s outcome.
The PDP said the election was judgment time for APC President Muhammadu Buhari whose handling of the economy, now officially in recession after two consecutive dips in GDP, has elicited varied responses from Nigerians.