Abuja, Nigeria: Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has been declared winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state after polling a total of 886,264 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Biokpomabo Awara who garnered 173,859 votes.
The result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) meant that Wike who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won by a margin of 712,405
Wike was in clear lead on April 2 when INEC resumed collation of Rivers Governorship result after polling 426,369 votes against 129,855 from 15 local government areas.
The lead was extended when the commission announced the remaining results from eight LGAs on Wednesday bringing Wike’s total vote to 886,264, while Awara had 173,859.
Wike’s victory comes after very a very tense polling exercise in Rivers State, which recorded cases of violence and electoral anomalies that sought to mar the election.
The pressure encountered in the course of the governorship race began to build up with the exclusion of the APC from ballot papers, following court injunctions barring INEC from recognising APC candidates for Rivers elections.
On Saturday, March 9, the governorship election in the state finally got underway, however, the process was marred in various locations by violence, with various reports of clashes between alleged thugs and security operatives.
INEC on March 10, suspended the collation of the results of the election in the state, citing electoral violence.
Following the suspension of collations, many calls were made from different quarters, urging INEC to continue the process, with some claiming that halting the exercise was a ploy to rob their various candidates of their mandate.
The electoral umpire went on to announced a schedule of activities for the resumption of the exercise, with collation and announcement of results slated to hold between April 2 and April 5.
With security beefed up in the state, and after the court dismissed a suit seeking to stop INEC from collating results, the electoral umpire headed back to Rivers to complete the exercise.
On resumption of collations on Tuesday, April 2, results for fifteen local governments were aggregated, after which the INEC postponed the exercise for a conclusion on Wednesday, April 3.
The collation exercise on Wednesday resumed amid protest by some party members and agents.
Officials of the electoral body were able to curtail the pressure and go ahead to announce the results for the remaining local governments where elections held.
Wike took an early lead on Tuesday and eventually won the race. He was declared the winner by the INEC returning officer, Professor Teddy Adias who adjudged that he had satisfied all the requirements and returned him (Wike), duly elected.