OWERRI: Chief Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic, Party (PDP) on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 broke his silence on Tuesday’s Supreme Court judgment that sacked him as Imo State governor.
Ihedioha described the development, which left many surprised and shocked, as unfair and unjust.
He added that the facts on the ground, legal precedence and clear verdict of Imo People on March 9, 2019, that returned him as governor “with the highest valid votes of 273,404” were not put into consideration by the apex court in its verdict.
But, he said as democrat and believer in the rule of law, he had accepted the judgment, although, it did not reflect the voting that took place during the governorship election in the state.
In a statement personally signed by him, Ihedioha, who is a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he had accepted his fate as an act of God.
He consequently directed all members of the state executive council and political appointees to return all public properties in their custody to the government.
The statement reads in part: ”No doubt, yesterday’s (Tuesday) Supreme Court verdict came to us as a rude shock and surprise, considering the facts on the ground, legal precedence and clear verdict of Imo People on Marchk 9 2019, that returned me as governor with the highest valid votes of 273,404.
“I do not agree with the judgment 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 judgment.
“Consequently, we have put machinery in motion to hand-over the reins of office to the APC candidate as the next governor of Imo State. This will be coordinated by the Secretary to the State Government.
“I, therefore, direct all members of Imo State Expanded Executive Council, and all political appointees to write their handing-over notes and to return all government properties in their custody, forthwith. I shall not be party to pilfering of government property or funds.
“May we use this opportunity to express our gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve, within the short period he granted us. We sincerely appreciate you for all your solidarity and goodwill. We made our mark.
“Rebuilding our dear state is neither easy nor personal, but a task undertaken for our today and tomorrow.
“I thank you all for your support, which saw us achieve so much and reversed the negative trajectory of Imo State within a space of seven months.
“It is significant to note that Imo State was looking good again. We were declared the least corrupt state in the country, the fastest state growing economy in Nigeria and the most improved, in terms of the deployment of Information Technology in service delivery.
“Our infrastructure was significantly coming to life, civil servants and pensioners were now being paid as and when due and optimism returned to Imo State. It is on record that we were acclaimed as the most sports and diaspora friendly state.
“Most importantly, we returned life and activities to our local governments. Yes, we had good plans to make Imo the centre piece of commerce, industry, technology, tourism by providing good leadership and first class infrastructure. Under our watch, Imo became safe with our systematic approach to securing lives and property.
“All these were made possible by your prayers, support and sacrifices.”