Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has said the Supreme Court verdict that removed him from office is not a reflection of popular votes cast at the poll.
He said the judgement is “a rude shock” but that “as true democrat” he has accepted the outcome.
“No doubt, yesterday’s (Tuesday) Supreme Court verdict came to us as a rude shock and surprise considering the facts on ground, legal precedence and clear verdict of Imo People on March 9 2019, that returned me as Governor with the highest valid votes of 273,404. I do not agree with the judgement of the Supreme Court.
“I think it is unfair, unjust and does not reflect the voting that took place during the elections. It also didn’t take care of the sensibilities of the people of Imo State. But as true democrats, Engr Gerald Irona and I have no option but to respect the outcome of that judgement.”
Ihedioha also directed all members of the Imo State Executive Council, and all political appointees to write their handing-over notes and to return all government in the possession to the Secretary to the State Government, adding that “I shall not be party to pilfering of government property or funds.”
In the statement dated January 15, 2020, Ihedioha thanked the people of the state for the opportunity, solidarity and goodwill, they gave him in the short period he was governor of Imo State.
The statement read in part: “My dear good people of Imo State, I address you today, following recent developments affecting our dear state, and in particular the Supreme Court judgement of 14thJanuary 2020. In my relationship with you as Governor of Imo, I had employed regular consultations and dialogue as a tool of political discourse. This informs this course of action.
“I am reporting back to you our great Imo people on the fate of the mandate you freely gave to me as Governor and Engr. Gerald Irona as Deputy Governor. This mandate has now been truncated and cut short by the Supreme Court, in contravention of the will of the people.
“We shall always cherish the tremendous goodwill and support you gave us as we grappled with setting up a new administration to rebuild a state that was devastated by bad governance.
“In the last seven months we sought to elevate merit, unity of purpose, honesty, transparency and an inclusive approach to governance, as the hallmarks of our administration. We sought to restore once again, the pride and dignity of Imo people. We worked very hard to re-engineer the Imo renaissance. But God knows why he has allowed this current state of affairs.
“All these were made possible by your prayers, support and sacrifices. I therefore appeal to all Imolites, especially our teeming supporters to remain calm and to shun any action that is capable of resulting in a breach of the peace. We can always have different parties, but we would have only one Imo State. In the same vein, I urge you to extend to my successor, the same support you gave to me. It is my wish that he will continue on the path we had set for the rebuilding of our state as well as consolidate on the progress and milestones we achieved.
“It is incontrovertible that we ran a good race, fought tough battles, (including, principalities and powers) and governed the state well, with the fear of God, accountability, transparency and entrenched due process. We, however, take solace in the book of Ecclesiastics 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.
“We step aside with implicit faith in the Sovereign Lord who reigns over the affairs of men. Thank you.”
God’s vindicated me again -Mbaka
Charismatic Catholic priest and Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, yesterday, said that God has once again vindicated him with the affirmation of his prophecy on the Imo governorship by the Supreme Court, on Tuesday.
The fiery priest, who had received knocks for prophesying that Chief Ihedioha would lose his seat at the Imo Government House to Senator Uzodinma, said the apex court’s judgement had for umpteenth times proved him as a true prophet of God.
A statement in Enugu by his spokesman, Maximus Ugwuoke, said people should learn to fear God and respect His anointed whenever he says “Thus says the Lord.”
Noting that people were not gifted alike, Ugwuoke posited that the cleric’s prophetic prowess should not only be a source of pride to the Catholic Church but to all true Christians.
“We are not all gifted alike, Fr Mbaka’s prophetic gift should be a source of pride for the Catholic Church and indeed all true Christians as a living evidence of Divine presence within the Church. As a lawyer, I tell you that there are double fold angles to this miracle.
One is the miraculous resuscitation of Hope Uzodimma from the far away position he was placed in the election result announced by INEC in Imo State. The second is the unanimous confirmation of the seven Justices of the Supreme Court (without a dissent view) that Uzodimma was the rightful winner of the election.”
Atiku expresses solidarity with Ihedioha
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed his solidarity with Ihedioha, who he described as a great leader of men and resources.
In a statement issued by him in Abuja, yesterday, Atiku urged him to accept the court judgement in good faith.
“I can only say that since the Supreme Court is final, we must accept its judgment, however unexpected and unpalatable it may be.
“The Rule of Law must guide our paths even if logic sheds light on a different path.
“Let me state unequivocally that I solidarise with Ihedioha, a man I knew to be a great leader of men and resources.
“In the fullness of time, I am convinced that he will overcome this setback and emerge stronger,” he said.
Nigeria progressing to one party state, says Tanko Yakasai
Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai said ruling reinforces the perception that the judiciary appeared to have been thoroughly intimidated under the present dispensation.
He said the victory of APC seen alongside the party’s recent victory in Bayelsa State, means that the military style strategy adopted by the ruling party has finally made them to get an in–road into the South Eastern axis of the country, which until now had remained impenetrable to them.
Alhaji Tanko said the ruling APC appeared determined to secure in court what they could not secure at the ballot box, saying that the party has established a curious pattern of winning power through the court of law rather than on election grounds.
“The present political situation in the country should be a matter of concern to all the lovers of true democracy….. the country needs a committed election commission, robust judiciary and the courageous media if it is to sustain the struggle for true democracy in Nigeria.
“My concern is that we seem to be progressively moving towards a one party state… because the choice to oppose or to remain in the opposition political parties is gradually being undermined by these sorts of experience from the institutions that are supposed to be the vanguard of the nation’s march towards democracy.”
South East back to mainstream politics
The Zikist-Buharist Movement (ZBM) is happy that South East has returned to mainstream politics.
Secretary of ZBM, Godwin Onwusi in a statement, congratulated Uzodimma on his victory, which he said, ‘is God ordained’.
He commended him for his diligence and the meticulous manner his campaign team assembled the excluded results sheets in 388 Polling Units in the State.
Good omen for Imolites – SERG
The South East Revival Group (SERG) described as a good omen, the declaration of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the validly elected governor of Imo State.
In a statement, the President and National Coordinator of the pan-South East pressure group, Chief Willy Ezugwu enjoined people of Imo State to see the Supreme Court verdict as an act of God since there cannot be any more appeals within the human jurisdiction.
Chief Ezugwu congratulated the new governor, stating, “We are convinced that of all the governors that have administered Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has the potentials to outperform them because of his wealth of experience, exposure, people-friendly disposition and philanthropic spirit.”
He urged people of the state to join the new administration which will make Imo become a dream state that every Igbo man would be proud of.
Ezugwu praised the Supreme Court for proving that it is indeed the last hope of the common man by validating the election of Uzodinma who is a man of the people and a patriotic Nigerian who distinguished himself at the Senate for eight years.
Mrs Ihedioha reacts
Ebere Ihedioha, wife of Emeka Ihedioha, governor of Imo state, has consoled her husband over his loss at the supreme court.
On Tuesday, the apex court declared Hope Uzodinma, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the March 9 governorship election, as the duly elected governor of the state, effectively removing Ihedioha as governor. Ebere posted a picture of herself and Ihedioha locked in a tight embrace on social media.
She captioned the picture with words of affection, reiterating her marital vows of “for better or for worse.”
“My Love, my Partner and my Friend. Nkem! #IGotYourBack,” Ebere wrote on Twitter.