The sacked governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has said that the nation’s judiciary and the electoral system have been put on trial.
Reacting to his removal by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the ex governor said he and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are still in shock over the verdict of the apex court.
In a unanimous judgment by a seven-man panel of justices, the apex court nullified Ihedioha’s election and affirmed Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the poll.
But at an interactive session with journalists at his private residence in Abuja on Saturday, Ihedioha said the judgement still remained a mystery to the people of Imo state and Nigerians in general.
He said, “This is a replica of the kind of attention the event of that black Tuesday, 14th January resonated across the country. We are as shocked as yourselves, it was never anticipated.
“All legal pundits and democracy watchers never imagined and anticipated. So for us, it remains a mystery.
“I believe that that event will define obviously our democracy. I am certain that the judiciary and electoral system are well aware that they are on trial.
“And what is fundamental about this, is that the fact of the matter, as relates to the Imo state governorship election is that the foundation of our democratic processes, the elections in Imo were closely monitored, well advertised and everybody in Nigeria followed it through.
“The results were very clear, the electoral umpire still has the results, and INEC has stated clearly that the results in question and the figures are not summing up”.
Ihedioha maintained that what happened in the Imo case was not about himself or the state. Rather, it’s about the future the country and democracy.
“It’s about what do we do tomorrow. Do you go into an electoral processe without having an idea; It has to be resolved one way or the other.
“I am calm and we are calm, and that is why you see in Imo, there is calmness. The calmness is coming out of shock, it is comic relief.
“It is coming out of the fact that people are saying let us still see, can this be possible! We are waiting for answers and I believe there will be answers”, he added.
Stating that the case has made history in many ways, he said he was awaiting historical answers at the end of the day.
He assured that he would remain resolute and committed to the ideals of the PDP, adding that the event will not put into question his faith in the Nigerian nation.
“It will not question our commitment to democracy, it will rather strengthen our resolve to march forward and make Nigeria a greater nation.
“And I am certain that from the events of that day, c will emerge a stronger and greater country. I want to urge you to continue to work with all lovers of democracy across board so that we can all put our heads together and match forward”, he said.
Ihedioha urged his political opponents not to celebrate, saying, “I pity anyone who is celebrating that sad event”.
Continuing, he said, “If anyone is celebrating, that person is not a student of democracy. Our fore fathers worked so hard to get us to where we are, and that is indisputable.
“So at a time like this, what are we bequeathing to the future generation? Our children are asking questions that have not yet been answered and the facts speak for themselves.
“I hope they will be addressed. It is a redefining moment, it is a time for sober reflection because to my own understanding of lawmaking, it is about precedence, it is about reference, and so we need to be guided on how to move forward.
“I remain strong in faith in our country, strong in faith in our democracy, and strong in faith that the institutions of our democracy will always remain strong and guided that our actions of today will define the events of tomorrow”.
Also speaking, the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who was also present at the session, said the party was still grieving over the loss.
Secondus said what happened at the Supreme Court goes beyond politics or elections.
He said that the PDP would not be joining issues with those that have deliberately and knowingly undermined the nation’s democracy.
According to him, the world has moved away from politics of bitterness, rancour and bad blood.
Secondus said, “All over the world, people are moving from one stage to the other. We are convinced in our hearts that the truth and only the truth can save this nation.
“Some people believe that every issue should be trivialised, so when we speak, you hear them coming against it without calming down to look at the depth of out statements; to see whether there are merits or no merits. We are a nation governed by laws.
“When we find ourselves in this situation, we must ask questions and we are a nation among all the other nations of the world and under one God. And a time comes that a people must speak the truth and everything is not about politics.
“In the case of Imo state, we have more questions than answers because we can’t see the figures adding up. These are the questions agitating our minds and the minds of Nigerians.
“I want to appeal to our brothers who are on the other side, they should stop trivialising these issues. They are of fundamental importance in nature”.
The party chairman cautioned those who are comparing the Imo case with the apex court’s judgements on Rivers and Zamfara states.
“You cannot compare what happened in those states with Imo. Those ones are intra party matters. Let them come out and tell us what really happened, from the Tribunal, to the Appeal court up to the Supreme Court in the 388 polling units.
“What we seek in the case of Imo is for the Supreme Court to review and I believe that God will touch them to review it and they will reverse it in the interest of our nation so that we don’t celebrate the situation we found ourselves in.
“Very eminent people are not speaking out; today it is at the door of Imo, tomorrow it will be at the door of another person, so people must speak out.
“The truth is what we are seeking. What we are saying is that the figures are not adding up. Can they look into it again?”