Stanley Uzoaru, George Onyejiuwa, Owerri, juliana taiwo-obalonye & Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed surprised at the judgment.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, the party said the declaration of Uzodimma as the duly elected governor of the state was “yet another very sad commentary on our nation’s democratic order.”
The opposition party said it fould it difficult to understand how Uzodimma, who came fourth with 96,458 votes will suddenly, by the judgment of the Supreme Court, defeat Ihedioha, who scored 276,404 votes.
“In fact, the PDP and indeed, most Nigerians are still at a loss as to understand the basis upon which the Supreme Court arrived at its decision. It is lamentable that the destiny of the people of Imo is being taken from the governor they chose and voted for and handed over to individuals and a political party that do not have their blessing and mandate and which they rejected at the election…
“Indeed, the mournful and despondent ambience that now pervades in Imo is a loud testimony that the judgment did not reflect the expectation of the people of Imo state as expressed at the polls.
“While recognising that the judgment of the Supreme Court is final, the PDP however urges all party stakeholders in the state to remain united and calm, and await further instruction from the national leadership on this very sad development,” PDP stated
But the APC, in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said despite losing some election cases at the same court, it never lost hope in the judiciary.
“The APC is ecstatic over the Supreme Court’s declaration of Hope Uzodinma as the rightful winner of the 2019 Imo state governorship election.
“We salute Uzodinma, our supporters and members for their temperance displayed in the aftermath of the blatant rigging of the Imo governorship election.
“We chose to focus on the judicial route to reclaim the party’s mandate. We are confident that our other stolen electoral mandates will be restored by the courts.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Supreme Court for their courage and perseverance in the decision to return a well-deserved victory to the APC and its candidate.
“The road to justice may be long and tortuous, but it is the best path for anyone aggrieved,” he said.
“Under the new administration, a new journey to build a new Imo with new energy is about to begin. In this outcome, it is the people of Imo State who have emerged victorious.”
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said, Buhari in congratulating the new governor, urged Uzodinma to promote the ideals of the APC and unite the state by running an inclusive administration.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the unanimous decision of the seven-member panel of the highest court in the land has cleared any doubt on the victory of the APC in the election.
“This is a victory for democracy, the rule of law, the All Progressives Congress and the good people of Imo State.
“The new governor-elect should be magnanimous in victory and see his mandate as a call to serve his people conscientiously and to the best of his ability,” Lawan said.
But former Anambra governor and vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter Obi, in his response, said: “The Supreme Court judgment on Imo election is incredible. It questions the rationality for future elections in the country.”
Ex-governor Rochas Okorocha congratulated Senator Uzodinma and APC members in Imo for the victory.
He called on all hands to be on deck and to support the new governor.
Regardless of the judgment, people of the state went about their normal business. A resident, Mr. Emmanuel Okeychukwu, told Daily Sun that he received the news with utmost disbelief.