From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Anambra State campaign council and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot decide whether or not the declaration of Charles Soludo of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as winner of the election would be challenged in court.
He said the decision lies squarely on the shoulders of the national leadership of the party and its candidate, Andy Ubah.
Uzodimma stated this while responding to questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the fact that the president had already congratulated Soludo would have no bearing on the decision to be taken by the leadership of the party and its candidate.
Uzodimma said the president congratulated Soludo as the father of the nation because he was the one declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The same Electoral Act that allows INEC to declare results of an election, also allows aggrieved candidates to seek redress in court, if they so desire. But every other thing will be the decision taken by the candidate and the party. I’m not the party, I’m not the chairman of the party, I’m not the leader of the party, I just did an assignment as the chairman of the campaign committee.
Uzodimma also rejected assertions that the ruling party may not be voted back to power because of the prevailing economic and security situations in the country.
According to him, many people joining the party were happy that President Buhari is performing well.
“What is the prevailing situation that will make APC not to win? Is it that you are not aware that the president is of the APC extraction? Is it that you don’t know that 22 states in the country belong to APC? Is it that you don’t know APC has the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives? Is that you don’t know that out of the 774 local governments in the country that the APC is controlling the majority? Have you not seen the number of people decamping into the APC?
“The mood of the country is that the president is doing very well and the mood of the country is that APC, given the peculiarity of this time, where insecurity has taken over the globe, where COVID-19 has ravaged every place in the world, from one variant to another variant, yet we are able to come out from recession. The way the Central Bank of Nigeria has managed to see we are still afloat, the way all the intervention policies of the government, including the stimulus package rolled out by this government, to ensure the negative impacts of COVID-19 is not grievous on our people. So, I’m very confident, I’m a proud member of the APC and I think we’ll do our best to ensure tthe confidence reposed in the party by Nigerians is not betrayed.”
He said the interaction with President Buhari was on the increasing insecurity in the South East.
“I know that despite the activities of the bandits and unknown gunmen, recall that the correctional facility in Owerri was broken and over 1,836 inmates were released… Since that time, they’ve been on rampage, committing all sorts of crimes; kidnapping, robbery and other sorts of crimes in the state and there is need for us to really clean up the state because you know that this period of Christmas is so important to our people and we want to ensure that those coming home to spend their Christmas will have a conducive atmosphere to enjoy their Christmas and then celebrate the season.”
Asked the specific request he made, he said: “Yes, we asked for support with additional manpower and also I asked for some kind of funding to support the security situation in Imo State and Mr. President graciously approved.”