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Results so far released from more than 20 polling units of different wards for the Anambra State governorship election have placed the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano in an early lead with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the 34 other contending political parties trailing.

Voting in Saturday’s keenly contested election started as early as 8am in most polling units across the state with large turnout.

Except for a minor incident recorded at Nsugbe, the home town of the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Tony Nwoye, where a local government chairman was said to have disrupted voting and was arrested by the Police, the exercise was generally peaceful and orderly.

There was heavy voter turnout in poling centres located in the rural areas and low turnout in the urban centres, apparently because most people travelled to the hinterland to cast their votes.

Despite the call by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for people to boycott the election, there was an impressive turnout with the voters going to their various polling booths without any fear or intimidation as the security operatives at the centres and those conducting stop-and-search behaved in a civilised manner.

Obiano voted at about 9.27am, Nwoye voted at about 1pm and PDP’s Oseloka Obaze cast his ballot few minutes to 2pm.

Addressing reporters after voting, Obiano hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for ensuring a smooth election devoid of crisis.

He said that although the card reader could not recognise his finger prints but he was able to vote manually.

Obaze, who spoke to journalists after casting his vote, said that although there were reports of apathy in many places, INEC should be commended for conducting a peaceful exercise.

The results at the polling units visited by News Express were compiled, announced before the voters and observers, and subsequently pasted on the walls of the polling centres.

Collation of final results from the 21 Local Government Area is already underway and would be delivered at the state headquarters of INEC in Awka where the winner would be announced by the governorship returning officer.

Most people waited patiently after voting until the votes were counted and in many places.

APGA took the political scene like a storm as most of the areas it polled high votes were known stronghold of chieftains of other political parties.

For instance, APGA won convincingly in many wards in Nnewi, the home town of the deputy governorship candidate of PDP, Mrs. Chidi Onyemelukwe, and at the home town of former Governor Peter Obi at Agulu Nri, which is the home town of Mrs. Uche Ekwunife of APC.

Addressing journalists in his country home, Amawbia, the national chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Ike Oye commended the INEC National Chairman of Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu for ensuring that the election was free and fair, saying that anything short of the result that had trickled in would only introduce anarchy in the state.

POLITICS

APC Reacts To Shehu Sani’s Resignation, Reveals Next Step

Peter Okunoren

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the resignation of one of its senators, Shehu Sani, from the party.

Senator Sani had announced his resignation in a letter addressed to his ward chairman in Kaduna state on Saturday over the prolonged crisis in the state chapter of the ruling party.

According to his letter, “I present to you my highest compliments and wish by this communication to formally offer you my resignation from the APC.

“I had joined the APC and remained with it against all odds in the belief that it will constitute a veritable platform for the realisation of those democratic ideals which I hold very dear.

“I joined in the belief that honour and integrity will be the ultimate ethos of the party and most importantly, that internal democracy will always be the norm.”

Speaking on the development, APC in a terse statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said it was studying and relating all the facts before taking an appropriate action.

The statement read: “We received the news of the alleged defection of Senator Shehu Sani through media reports.

“The party leadership will relate with all the facts concerning the reported defection and react appropriately in due course.”

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POLITICS

Senator Shehu Sani Dumps APC

Peter Okunoren

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Following controversies that trailed the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) has resigned from the party, The Cable reports.

Sani has been at loggerheads with the Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

The lawmaker sent his resignation letter to the chairman of the APC in ward 6, Tudun Wada north, Kaduna.

“I present to you my highest compliments and wish by this communication to formally offer to you my resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“l had joined the APC and remained with it against all odds in the belief that it will constitute a veritable platform for the realization of those democratic ideals which I hold very dear, that honor and integrity will be the ultimate ethos of the patty and, most importantly, that internal party democracy will always be the norm. However, only posterity can affirm the extent to which the APC has committed to and reflected these values.

“As I exit the APC at this point in time. I wish to formally thank the party for availing me the platform upon which I am currently serving this country in the honoured capacity of Senator of the Federal Republic.

“I wish the party well in all her future endeavors and ask sir, that you please accept the assurance of my highest considerations,” the letter read.

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BIG STORY

No Way For Dapo Abiodun In Ogun, Akinlade Remains The Consensus Candidate — Amosun

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Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described his reported support for the emergence of Prince Dapo Abiodun as the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state as false.

Amosun declared that he stands solidly behind the duly elected consensus candidate of the state APC, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade.

This was contained in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Otunba Dayo Adeneye, and made available to reporters yesterday. The governor said he had followed with deep reflection and consternation, “the false and embarrassing reports in some sections of the media” that he had been prevailed upon by some party leaders in the state to support Abiodun.

According to him, the reports were nothing but another in a series of political propaganda to tarnish his image. He added that those behind the “unfounded rumours” are doing so to heat up the polity ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Amosun implored political actors to be wary of statements that could demarket the state and reverse the enormous gains of the recent years. He said: “Those behind the unfounded rumours are doing so to heat up the polity ahead of the 2019 general elections. They are doing it on behalf of their paymasters for cheap political motives. It has become a routine of many political jobbers in Ogun State.

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