Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious in Imo State’s governorship election held on November 11, 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) formally declared Uzodimma re-elected, with Vice Chancellor Prof Abayomi Fashina making the announcement after an extensive eight-hour collation process.
The 64-year-old incumbent governor, who initially assumed office following a Supreme Court decision in January 2020, faced opposition from various candidates, including Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nneji Achonu of the Labour Party (LP). Uzodimma secured victory by clearing all 27 local government areas, amassing 540,308 votes.
The collation process was marked by drama and protests, primarily from opposition party agents who raised concerns about discrepancies between the results presented at the state collation centre and those on INEC’s Result Viewing Portal. Despite the objections, the returning officer, Prof Abayomi Fashina, insisted on completing the collation.
The election, marred by allegations of vote buying, voter intimidation, and violence, witnessed the arrest of party agents with large sums of cash. Observers noted these irregularities as well as the prevailing security challenges in Imo State, including incidents involving “unknown gunmen” and secessionist groups calling for Monday sit-at-home protests.
In addition to Imo State, governorship elections were also conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa on the same date, with result collations adjourned to Sunday morning. The controversy surrounding Imo’s election underscores the broader challenges facing the electoral process in Nigeria, raising concerns about transparency and integrity.