The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented Akwa Ibom state governor-elect, Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with his certificate of return on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
INEC declared Umo Eno the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state. He won in 29 of the 31 local government areas with a total of 354,348 votes to defeat his closest rival, Bassey Albert of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), who won in two local government areas, scoring 136,262 votes.
At INEC’s State Headquarters, situated along Udo Udoma Road in Uyo, the electoral umpire presented a certificate of return to Eno and 25 state legislators. Ms. May Agbamuche-Mbu of the electoral body supervised the event.
Rant HQ recalls the PDP produced 23 state parliamentarians in the March 18 election and the YPP produced two parliamentarians. While the Etim Ekpo/Ika state constituency was declared inconclusive by INEC.
After receiving his certificate of return, Umo Eno said, “Let me again use this opportunity to invite my brothers who, also, aspired and contested for the same position that it has pleased God to entrust me with today, to join me in this great journey of deepening the continued peace and progress of our dear State.
“As I said in my acceptance speech, we all ran a good race, but in any contest, a winner must emerge and it has pleased God to make me the winner. I am committed to remaining magnanimous in victory and being a Governor for all Akwaibomites irrespective of their political affiliations.
“Permit me to thank the other contestants who ran with me, and who have since visited to congratulate me and promised to work with me in furtherance of our developmental agenda as enshrined in our A.R.I.S.E. Agenda.
“Let me again reemphasize the need for us to eschew hatred based on our political differences. There is too much polarization along political lines in this State. We must not allow politics to poison the well of our unity.
“We must continue to celebrate and deepen our bonds and cords of brotherhood, our deeply rooted homogenous beliefs, shared values, and ethos, and shy away from hatred, anger, animosity, and animus towards one another based purely on political differences.
“Political campaigns are over; it’s time to heal the land and further move the needle of development of our State collectively, in one accord and with the unbroken spirit of the kindred ship. That is the spirit I will bring to the administration of this State, so help me God.”
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