By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has won the Delta State governorship election and has been declared the state’s governor elect.
Declaring Okowa winner of the Saturday, March 9, gubernatorial election in Delta State, the INEC State Collation/Returning Officer of INEC, Prof. Seth Accra Jaja, noted that Okowa as the candidate of the PDP satisfied the statutory requirements to be returned as governor-elect.
Jaja, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, said, ”I hereby certify that I was the State Returning Officer for March 9, 2019 governorship election.
”The election was keenly contested by different candidates of various political parties, and Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of the PDP polled a total number of 925,274 votes to defeat his first runnerup, Chief Great Ogboru of the All Progressive Congress who polled a total of 215,938 votes.
’’Okowa is hereby declared the winner and hereby returned as duly elected.”
He put the total number of registered votes in the election in the state at 2,831,205, saying that the total number of accredited voters was 1,188,784.
The total number of rejected votes is 24,147 and the total number of votes cast is 1,178,335, while the total number of valid votes is 1,154,188, Jaja said.
Okowa secured over 709,300 votes more than that scored by his closest rival, Ogboru of the APC who scored 215,938.
The PDP and Okowa won in 23 out of the 25 local government areas of the state while Ogboru and APC won in two areas but with 18.7% of the total valid votes cast.
From the final result, Okowa garnered over 80 percent of the valid votes cast as against the 18.7% win by Ogboru.
Okowa also recorded 63,851 votes in Bomadi local government area, while Ogboru scored a total of 4,437 votes.
After the formal declaration, the representatives of different political parties signed the INEC result sheet except the agent of the APC, Prof Festus Arubaye, who refused to append his signature on the document for alleged discrepancies in the entire election process.
Ogboru has gone to court each of the four times he had previously contested but failed in his gubernatorial bid, and the refusal by the APC agent to sign the INEC final result sheet is indicative of Ogboru’s readiness to yet again challenge his loss in court.