Wild jubilation erupted on Wednesday in Umuahia as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Dr. Alex Otti, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), winner of the March 18 Abia Governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tricycle (Keke) drivers, traders and other residents trooped to the streets in a carnival-like manner to celebrate the victory.
Many of the residents waved the Labour Party (LP) flag, while Keke drivers and other motorists hung same in their vehicles.
The jubilation caused human and vehicular congestion amid the blasting of music in different parts of the metropolis.
A cross-section of the jubilant residents told NAN that the state had been liberated by LP’s victory.
Mr Uche Okorie said: “Abia is now liberated because this state has been living in bondage since 1999.
“We have been waiting anxiously for this time since Saturday that the election was held.
“Everybody is happy and I know that Dr Alex Otti will not disappoint us,” he said.
Another resident, Mr Daniel Abariukwu, who clutched a bottle of beer while dancing joyfully, said that he was the happiest person.
“I’m overjoyed because what we have been expecting has finally come.
“With Otti’s victory, our state is set free at last.
“Abia has been grossly underdeveloped because of bad leadership, but I thank God that we now have a technocrat, Otti, who knows what to do to change the narrative,” Abariukwu said.
Also, a trader at Isi-Gate, Mrs Joy Kalu, said that with the victory, she could begin to boast of being an indigene of Abia.
She said: “I used to be ashamed of telling people that I’m from Abia, because of the level of decay in my state.
“We have suffered so much under the PDP and I know that God has heard our cries with this sweet victory,” she said.
A keke driver, who simply identified himself as Princewill, said he decided to offer passengers free ride for the rest of the day in celebration of the victory.
“I have been carrying people to their destinations without collecting money from them since INEC announced the result today.
“I believe that Otti’s victory will bring an end to intimidation, illegal levy and exploitation we suffer in the hands of touts under the PDP-led government,” he said.
NAN reports that the state has been ruled for the past 24 years of the country’s return to democracy by PDP.
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