- Uzodinma sworn in as gov, freezes state accounts
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has advised his party and its leadership to accept Monday’s decision of the Supreme Court which nullified the election of Hon Emeka Ihedioha as Governor and pronounced Senator Hope Uzodinma as validly elected Governor of the state.
This is just as Senator Hope Uzodinma has been sworn in as the governor of Imo State.
The governor-elect and his deputy, Professor Placid Njoku, were sworn in by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Pascal Nnadi.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Imo State Government House, hours after Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja and one day after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and declared him the elected governor of the state.
Atiku specifically counselled the PDP to accept the judgment, however unexpected and unpalatable it may be.
The former Vice President, in a statement signed by him, pointed out that the Rule of law must guide the nation’s paths even if logic sheds light on a different path.
While pledging that he stands fully with the Peoples Democratic Party, the presidential candidate stressed that in good and bad times, the PDP must continue to be the object of hope that the Nigerian people have for their escape from the prevailing despotism and despair that has gripped almost every aspect of our national life.
The statement reads in full: “With regards to the judgment of the Supreme Court, which nullified the election of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emeka Ihedioha, as Governor of the state of Imo, 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 solidarize with Emeka Ihedioha, a man I know 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.
“I also stand fully with the Peoples Democratic Party. In good and bad times, we must continue to be the object of hope that the Nigerian people have for their escape from the prevailing despotism and despair that has gripped almost every aspect of our national life. “We provided genuine democracy for this nation once before, and I believe it is our destiny to democratically restore what has been lost due to the encroachment of anti-democratic agents.
“Philosophers have said that tough times never last, but that tough people do. I urge the people of Imo and the entirety of the Nigerian people not to give in to despair.
“This nation has gone through despotic times before, and we have survived them and thrived. I am very confident that this history will repeat itself.
“My greatest desire, and one I hope to see again in my lifetime, is that Nigeria will fulfil its potential as the land of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
“These four ideals have been missing from our borders for a while, and all freedom-loving Nigerians ought to henceforth work together to bring them back. So help us God”, it said.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of the State, Senator Rochas Okorocha and governorship candidate of APGA in the 2019 governorship election, Ifeanyi Araurume were among those in attendance at the Uzodinma’s swearing-in ceremony.
Others in attendance were the APC National Vice Chairman, Emma Eneukwu, APC National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, the Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly Chiji, as well as Ahmed Gulak and Andy Uba, were also in attendance.
The governor-elect, Senator Uzodinma had told newsmen in Abuja that he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.
Uzodinma who spoke after he received the Certificate of Return from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governor-elect of Imo State, described the Supreme Court’s judgment as justice for the Imo People.
“We owe this victory to the almighty God, we owe it to the functional judiciary, the Supreme Court used the eagle eyes of the law and gave us justice, and there is so much excitement down there in Imo state,” Uzodinma said.
Senator Uzodinma told newsmen that the verdict was the wish of the Imo people who came out and voted for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and himself.
He also noted that there is happiness in Imo State, adding that this is a sign that the peoples’expectations and the mandate which they have given him, was protected.
Uzodinma gave assurance to deliver for the Imo people