Governor Nwifuru extends olive branch to opponents after tribunal victory
Governor Nwifuru expressed his desire for his opponents to join him in shaping the future of Ebonyi State.
The governor, in a gracious gesture, urged them to bring forth the innovative ideas and visions articulated in their manifestos for the collective development and prosperity of the state.
Governor Nwifuru's magnanimous call came on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, in Abakaliki, shortly after the election petition tribunal in Abuja upheld his victory in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election.
The petition, lodged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Odii, was dismissed, alongside a similar challenge presented by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Bernard Odoh, with both petitions found lacking in merit.
Governor Nwifuru expressed his desire for his opponents to join him in shaping the future of Ebonyi State. "I approached my opponents after my electoral victory to join me in developing the state, but they approached the tribunal for justice," the governor stated. He continued, "I still urge them to bring the ideas in their manifestos for us to develop and make the state prosperous."
Governor Nwifuru attributed his tribunal victory to divine intervention and a genuine belief that those who contested his electoral success knew the true verdict of the people. He offered his profound gratitude to the people of Ebonyi for their overwhelming support during the election, which led his petitioners to file only one ground of petition.
Addressing the contention raised during the tribunal proceedings, Governor Nwifuru clarified, "They contested that I was not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the time I contested the election." He emphasised that the tribunal, in accordance with the electoral act, duly dismissed this claim.
"Once someone contests in a party's primaries, wins, and their name is submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), such a person is a member of that party," he elucidated.
Governor Nwifuru noted that the electoral act expressly stipulates that only an aspirant within a particular party possesses the right to contest the eligibility of its candidate. In closing, he offered sage counsel against protracted litigation, affirming that the path of truth paves the way for forgiveness, reconciliation, and development.
The governor reserved his final words of gratitude for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, former Governor David Umahi, stakeholders, and the entirety of Ebonyi's citizenry for their unwavering prayers and massive support throughout this journey.
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