Soludo, Deputy to receive Certificate of Return today


The Anambra State Governor-elect, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim will today receive their Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after emerging victorious in last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Soludo polled a total of one hundred and twelve thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine (112,229) votes to emerge the winner in the election which was announced by Prof. Florence Banku Obi, Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar who served as the Retuning Officer in the election.

Speaking in a statement in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye disclosed that “Following the conclusion of the election and as provided for in Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), certificates of return will be presented to the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect tomorrow (today) Friday 12th November, 2021 at our State office in Awka.”

He, however, informed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met yesterday and conducted an initial review of the Anambra Governorship election adding that the Commission was awaiting the reports of all officials deployed for the election for an indepth review of the processes.

Okoye who is also a National Commissioner in INEC observed that after the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday 9th November, 2021 and before the process was concluded, the Commission commenced a preliminary review of the functionality of systems, particularly the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

According to him, “The system performed two functions on election day. First is the accreditation of voters using both the fingerprint and facial authentication. Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 (88.5%) out of 5,634 polling units had been uploaded for public view. While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of  voters and corrected them.

“Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction. We will carry out an in-depth examination of the system, review reports from accredited observers and the media and respond to all identified challenges ahead of the next major Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), holding on 12th February 2021.

“We shall again test run the system in the bye-election (s) that may arise before then. The Commission remains convinced that despite some glitches experienced in Anambra State Governorship election, the deployment of technology in elections is better than the best manual process.”

He thereafter pointed out that the 2021 Anambra State Governorship election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances saying “Never before did the Commission have to grapple with numerous issues ahead of an off-season Governorship election, including attacks on our facilities, withdrawals of critical service providers such as the ad hoc staff and transporters on the eve of the election and the general tension pervading the atmosphere.”

“Happily, he continued, “the election passed off peacefully. The Commission expresses its gratitude to the security agencies, election duty officials, political parties and candidates, the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our former Head of State, His Excellency, General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR, religious and community leaders, socio-cultural associations, civil society organisations and the media for the enormous sacrifice and support in ensuring that the election was conducted and peacefully concluded.

“We look forward to the support of all Nigerians in the forthcoming elections. We will continue to work hard to protect the sanctity of the ballot and to conduct free, fair and credible elections anywhere in Nigeria. We remain resolute that only the votes cast by citizens at polling units will determine the outcome of elections.”

Photo: Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra State Governor-elect.

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