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BusinessDay

Jubilation continues in Aba as INEC declares Otti Abia governor-elect

There has been jubilation in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, since Wednesday night, March 23, 2023, following the declaration of Alex Otti, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), as the winner of the March 18, 2023, gubernatorial election in the state.

Otti, according to INEC, polled 175,467 votes to defeat Okey Ihaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) his closest rival, who polled 88,529 votes to come second.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, March 20, 2023, suspended the collation of results from Obingwa Local Government Area, as a result of the invasion of its office and hostage of its staff in Obingwa Local Government Area on Sunday, March 19.

The stoppage of the collation of Obingwa LGA results was done to enable INEC review results from the area.

Collation, however, resumed at 4.00 pm  Wednesday and at the end of the exercise, Alex Otti of the Labour Party was declared winner, by Nnenna Oti, INEC returning officer, having met the required criteria.

Read also: How Peter Mbah of PDP emerged Enugu governor-elect.

Nnenna Otti is the substantive vice-chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).

The declaration of Otti of the LP as the winner, which was broadcast live, drew applause from residents, who were in suspense for four days after the election.

Youths hit the roads of Aba chanting Labour Party jingles, as fireworks rented the air.

Alex Otti, Abia governor-elect, born on February 18, 1965, is an economist, banker, investor, philanthropist and politician. Otti is the former group managing director of​ the defunct Diamond Bank PLC, a retail financial institution..

Otti was a gubernatorial candidate of the​ All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2015 and 2019.

On December 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal, which sat in Owerri removed​ Okezie Ikpeazu​ of the​ Peoples Democratic Party,​ as governor of Abia State and declared Otti the winner of the April 11 and April 25, 2015 Governorship elections in the state.

On February 3, 2016, the Supreme Court of Nigeria reversed the verdict of the Court of Appeal and affirmed the election of Ikpeazu, as governor.