Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
As the people of Imo State await the review of Imo election earlier ruling by the Supreme Court, some stakeholders from the state have called on Emeka Ihedioha to discontinue his legal battle against Governor Hope Uzodinma and hearken to the voice of reason or face unmitigated disaster in his political career.
According to the elders “unless Ihedioha drops his review case at the Supreme Court, he may turn into a political leper after being defeated again by Governor Uzodinma”.
Former Chairman of Iwuanyaeu Nationale, Price Lemmy Akakem, who spoke on behalf of the elders at a press conference, averred that Ihedioha might be heading to “political perdition because of his obduracy in pursuing a matter that the Supreme Court had given a seal of finality.”
Akakem who hails from Owerri zone, with Ihedioha, deplored the conduct of the former governor which he said was reprehensible, confrontational and combative against the Supreme Court. Similarly, John Enyogasi, one of the stakeholders cautioned Ihedioha against portraying himself as a sour loser.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers at the conference, Eze Godwin Okeke said as traditional rulers, they were worried about the bitterness exhibited by Ihedioha against his fellow politician, warning that such conduct will engender bad blood among his people.
The stakeholders, however, urged Ihedioha to be a sportsman and accept the Supreme Court verdict in good faith while waiting for 2023.
Akakem expressed displeasure at the series of protests which he alleged was engineered by Ihedioha to insult both the justices and the Supreme Court. He noted that his action was unbecoming for someone who had held the high office of deputy speaker of House of Representatives.
While advising Ihedioha, Akakem said “Owerri people were famed for their civilised conduct because of their education and exposure, and wondered why Ihedioha will seek to desecrate the very institution that will help him in his political career in future.”
Speaking also, Enyogasi said Imo elders were embarrassed by the way Ihedioha had turned politics into a do-or-die affair, and cautioned him to be careful because of the future.
“He is still a young man with a lot of prospects. He should not do or say things that would be used against him tomorrow. Just like other important Nigerians have said, now is the time for Ihedioha to throw in the towel,” he said.
In his submission, Eze Okeke said as non-partisan people, the traditional rulers owe it as a duty to all Imo citizens to conduct themselves in a manner that will not bring shame to the state.
He said his colleagues were not happy with the way Ihedioha had carried on as if there is no tomorrow, instead of accepting defeat gallantly and waiting for his turn.
Meanwhile, the state publicity secretary of PDP, Ray Emeana has described the elders as a rejected people. He alleged that they were products of the fraud allegedly perpetrated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Emeana said: “Imo people have rejected them; they should keep their mouth shut; this is APC propaganda they stole from the election; now they want to steal from the Supreme Court; Imo people have spoken, any other person saying anything to the contrary is part of the fraud.”