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Tuesday, 21 January 2020


UPDATE- Ihedioha/Uzodinma: Pro, anti protesters shut Abuja, Owerri

ABUJA—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, reiterated its confidence in the possibility of the Supreme Court to reverse its decision on the Imo State governorship election...
This is just as Governor Hope Uzodinma  insists it’s God that made him governor as hundreds shut down Owerri in support of supreme court judgment.
The apex  court, it would be recalled, last week nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue a certificate of return to Senator Hope Uzodinma of All Progressives Congress, APC.
Leading a peaceful protest across major flashpoints of Abuja, yesterday, national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said all the justices needs to do was to review the judgment and correct “the error.”
Joined by prominent party members, including the party’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Mr. Peter Obi, Secondus said the protest was intended to draw the attention of the world on the need to safeguard democracy in the country.
Secondus, Obi lead protest  against judgment  in Abuja
The protest, which took off at the party’s presidential campaign headquarters, also known as Legacy House, also took the protesters to the Three Arm Zone, amidst chants of solidarity songs.
Secondus said: “We are a nation governed by law, therefore, all we are seeking today is for our very highly respected jurists at the highest court of the land to revisit this issue.
“We are not against you, we are against the error. And by the special grace of God, I know you will revisit the error. And all we are saying is for you to review this error because the figures are not adding up.
“We are all human beings. God is the highest. We know that they worship God, all of us worship God. They should revisit and reverse the Imo State judgment because we believe that the figures are not adding up. That’s why we are here so that the world will hear us.
“We are a democratic nation, and therefore, all democratic nations of the world are hearing us—United States, United Kingdom, even the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS.”
On his part, Obi tasked APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to recall how he became governor a few years ago.
He said: “I am speaking here, not just as leader of PDP but one of the beneficiaries being in government for 16 years for doing what is right.
“I was in a minority party. I won election and PDP did not intervene. I went to court, PDP did not intervene. I benefited from it. Adams Oshiomhole wouldn’t have been governor, he wouldn’t have benefited from the judiciary if PDP did what APC is doing today.
“So as a beneficiary, I am appealing to the judiciary to save this country. What happened in Imo State is enough to kill our democracy. Let us ensure that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. My  appeal to APC: please, do not kill this democracy.”
Also speaking, Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinaya Abaribe, said: “We have only one message to the judiciary: if the figures don’t match, review.”
Meanwhile, what could have turned out as a major disaster was averted when a truck carrying some protesters and musical instruments collided with another truck at the Transcorp Hilton junction and fell on the side. The occupants came out unhurt.
God made me gov —Uzodinma
Following the PDP protest  against the Supreme Court judgment that sacked Ihedioha as governor,  hundreds of APC members in Imo State, yesterday, shutdown Owerri  in a solidarity march for the victory of Governor Hope Uzodinma at the Supreme Court.
The protest, which started at about 11:40pm saw hundreds of Imolites, including women and youths, gathered at the Heroes Square, where the march for solidarity started.
They moved from Heroes Square and stopped at the front of Imo Government House, causing a gridlock.
Governor Uzodinma who spoke briefly to Vanguard said: “The protest by the PDP  was planned to bring down President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Government is one and there is unity in Nigeria. We must support the government at the centre.
“I went to court and asked the court that  the results that was announced did not add my own results at the collation centres. We went to the tribunal and the tribunal did not understand our case and we went to the Supreme Court and got it.
“I am already the governor and I am in charge here. Nobody made me governor, it is God that made me governor and nothing will happen. The God who gave me power will sustain me.”
Former state Secretary of tPeoples Democratic Party, PDP, now a chieftain of APC, Mr George Egu, said: “Ihedioha should not have been declared the winner of the election by INEC because he did not get the requirement by the constitution. The Supreme Court did the right thing. For you to have a sound democracy, there must be high enlightened personalities. The level of manipulation by Ihedioha was unimaginable.
“The PDP protest was stupid, it was infantile. They did not know that the law frowns at unlawful omissions.”
PDP’s style of politicking threat to democracy—APC
Meantime, APC has described as “worrisome, indecorous and contemptuous” actions and remarks by the leadership of PDP, saying they  are a threat to Nigeria’s nascent democracy.
“The disgraceful and senseless protest embarked upon by the opposition party is being done with the sole purpose of dragging the apex court of our land, and indeed our great country into odium and scorn before the international community,” APC said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.
APC said it views “the irascible actions and irresponsible remarks by PDP as a calculated attempt to overheat the polity. PDP has become a present threat to our peaceful coexistence.
“This decision by the apex court was not made lightly but was, in fact, based on the facts presented by the parties and the law canvassed before it by their respective counsel. How else should a court of law determine a case before it? Based on innuendos, conjecture, suspicions and conspiracy theories? Certainly not.

“Since then, the PDP has issued press statements and made series of wild and unsubstantiated allegations as well as casting aspersion at the court for its decision. We know that PDP will find justice served by our courts very hard to swallow because it had become accustomed to crooked manipulation of due process to its benefit and at the expense of the entire system.

“Weaning it from this bad modus operandi has proven difficult if not impossible. Every time the PDP loses in court, it declares the decision suspect and our democracy on life support”

Clerics embark on 30-day fasting

In a related development, a group of Pentecostal clerics from Mbutu, the home town of former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has embarked on a 30-day fasting and prayer to invoke the spirit of God on the Supreme Court judgment that ousted Ihedioha.

The spiritual exercise is coordinated by the General Overseer of the Holy Ghost Intercessory Victory Ministry, Pastor Modestus Kelechi.

Speaking with Vanguard, weekend, Pastor Kelechi said the essence of the prayer and fasting was to commit the Supreme Court judgment to the hands of God.

According to him: “We are invoking the spirit of God to take control of Imo State as a result of the injustice in the judgment delivered by the apex court.

“The wrath of God will descend on anybody who conspired against the wish of the people. If the judgment was fair and just, God will reward the Justices of the court but if there was conspiracy and injustice, the wrath of God will descend on those involved.”

Pastor Kelechi told Ihedioha and the people of Imo State not to lose hope, stressing: “At the appointed time, God will show Himself why He is God.“

S-Court decision, mindless assault on democracy—Igbo group
Also yesterday, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, rejected the supreme court judgment, describing it as “a mindless assault on democracy and rule of Law, which is its foundation.”

Rising from a meeting of its Working Committee, weekend, the foundation said it arrived at its decision because it followed the 2019 governorship and other elections in Imo State and the two subsequent rulings of the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal on the result of governorship election in Imo State. The group said it painstaking studied and reported its findings to its legal bureau, and all  its findings are at variance with the decision of the court.

In a statement by the leadership, including Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, President; Prof Nath Aniekwu, Secretary; Bishop Obi Udezue Onubogu, BoT Chairman, and Abia Onyike, Publicity Secretary, ADF further described the Supreme Court judgment as “an arrogant assault on the fundamental right of Imo people to decide those to whom they give their mandate to preside over their political affairs for the next four years.

“ADF position is based on a number of factors surrounding the judgment, among which is the technical and substantive impossibility of a candidate who came fourth in the election with only 96,045 votes  to overtake every other candidates to defeat the number one candidate who scored 273, 404 votes. 

And this is a candidate whose party, All Progressive Congress, APC, did not win any seat in the state House of Assembly election held simultaneously with the gubernatorial in the 2019 general election.

“What is more, the manner in which the Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court judges did their on-the-spot calculations and came to their conclusion is so bizarre that one wonders whether this is happening in a normal human society or in Alice’s Wonderland.

“The Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court  appears to be desperately keeping faith with the grand design for which Justice Tanko was brazenly fostered on the Nigerian judiciary after Justice Onnoghen was hounded out of office.”

“Our people in Imo State and the entre Igbo nation should regard the removal of the legitimately elected Governor of Imo State as a great assault on the Regional solidarity of Alaigbo, especially now that Regional cohesion is vital to the defense and security of Alaigbo from the invaders.

“To our brother, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the beneficiary of the Supreme Court Ruling which we, in ADF reject, we say to you that you should remember that the Igbo blood is in your veins.

“Furthermore, you should also be mindful of the use-and-dump fate of some of our bothers some of whom are now shamefully languishing in jail.

“To Our people in Imo State and Alaigbo in general, we, in ADF, say to you: Political Struggle is a Perpetual Struggle. The terrain could be as rugged as the Colorado Mountain. Any descent, no matter how steep should be no reason for resignation, so don’t give up. Your right to self-Determination and freedom is inalienable. The Struggle Continues”, the statement said.

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