The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, governorship candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, has congratulated his Labour Party counterpart, Dr Alex Otti who is maintaining a comfortable lead in 10 out of the 16 Local Government Area results so far declared.
Otti polled 171,747 votes to come top while the candidate of the ruling party, Chief Okey Ahiwe, scored a total of 79,477 votes to come a distant second.
But the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has suspended collation following the alleged widespread irregularities in Obingwa LGA which is the only outstanding LGA.
INEC officials from Abuja are expected in Abia on Tuesday to review the controversial results from Obingwa and give further directives on what to do
Meanwhile, the APGA candidate has appealed for calm while the situation is being handled.
He told Abians to keep hope alive, expressing confidence that he ruling party would be displaced for the state to move forward.
Professor Ibe in a statement he personally signed said that the effort to rescue Abia would still be sustained under the watch of Otti who is already leading the polls.
“Though information sourced from our election situation room confirm wide spread irregularities across the state, with Obingwa leading some other Local Government Areas in recording the unique malfeasance of non deployment of BVAS machines, it is no longer news that the Labour Party has so far garnered sufficient votes to emerge victorious.
“Therefore ahead of formal declaration of the official result, I want to congratulate my brother Dr Alex Otti, candidate of the Labour Party for his consistency so far in the battle to liberate Abia from the shackles of under-development and well-deserved victory at the polls.
“I want to enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to leave no stone unturned in their effort to solve the current impasse by eliminating from the ongoing process of collation of results, obvious cases of electoral fraud, and by so doing ensure substantial compliance to statutory provisions of the new electoral act, especially as it pertains to conduct of elections using the BVAS machines.”