Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has dedicated his victory in the 2021 Anambra Governorship Election to three policemen killed when he was attacked by gunmen in April 2021 during a town hall meeting in his hometown in Isuofia in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He spoke during an acceptance speech shortly after he was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday morning.
The Returning Officer of the Anambra Governorship Election, Prof Florence Obi, announced the result on Wednesday morning at the INEC office in Awka, Anambra State.
“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar said on Wednesday.
Soludo, who was the apex bank governor between 2004 and 2009, was declared winner after a supplementary election was held in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday. He won 19 of the 21 local governments areas including Ihiala LGA.
Sixty one-year-old Soludo won with 112,229 votes beating Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress who got 43,285 votes. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes came fourth.
Describing the election as a reflection of the will of the people, Soludo said He promised to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state while extending an olive branch to his contenders in the race.
“Let me say with utmost humility and gratitude to God, I accept the results of the 2021 Anambra Governorship Election as declared by INEC. And this reflects the supreme will of the Almighty God and an overwhelming sacred mandate of the people…This is a divine journey whose time has come.
“At this moment we must remember and must continue to remember all those who died during the course of this moment, especially the three policemen who were killed by unknown gunmen during our town hall meeting with youths in my ward. May God continue to grant their soul eternal rest,” he said.
Soludo, whose walk to victory was paved with stony challenges including legal battles and intra-party squabbles, thanked the judiciary for standing tall.
“The election itself tested the integrity of our federal institutions. Many times there were tensions, especially as one party boasted that it must take or ‘conquer’ but the judiciary stood for the integrity of the judiciary,” he said.
Soludo is expected to be sworn into office next March after the expiration of the two-term tenure of the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, who is also of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).