The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Francis Nwifuru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Ebonyi State.
Declaring the result at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) State Headquarters in Abakaliki on Sunday, the State Returning Officer, Charles Igwe, said Nwifuru garnered a total of 199,131 votes cast across the 13 local governments in the state.
His closest rival, Ifeanyi Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), got a total of 80,191 votes while candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Bernard Odoh, came third with 52,189 votes.
“I, Professor Charles Igwe, hereby certify that I am the Returning Officer of the governorship election held on 18th March 2023 in Ebonyi State.
“That Francis Nwifuru of the APC having satisfied the requirements of the law and having scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared winner and is returned elected,” Igwe said
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Igwe, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsuka, revealed the total valid votes was 342,554 while 7,387 votes were rejected; bringing the total votes cast for the election to 349,941.
Meanwhile, the governor-elect, Francis Nwifuru, has thanked the people of Ebonyi State for entrusting their mandate to him for the next four years.
In his acceptance speech, he declared his unalloyed loyalty to the patriotic citizens of Ebonyi State for electing him and promised never to disappoint them.
Nwifuru commended governor Dave Umahi for his support.
The governor-elect who is the current Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, described his victory as a victory for equity and justice.