Rochas Okorocha faults Ihedioha’s declaration as Imo governor-elect
• Why APC lost in Ebonyi State, by Ogbuoji
Imo State governor, Rochas Anayo Okorocha has accused the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Francis Ezeonu of compromising elections in the state, saying Emeka Ihedioha’s declaration as governor-elect was done in error.He argued that from Ezeonu’s activities and actions, it was clear that he was on a mission to fight him politically and facilitate Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) return to power in the state.
Okorocha stated this while addressing youths from Okigwe zone, who protested to Government House yesterday against the outcome of the polls in the zone. He added that there was no legal justification as to why Ezeonu would, contrary to constitutional provisions, which stipulate that a candidate must have 25 per cent in 2/3 of local governments of a state, announce Ihedioha as winner of the guber poll.
He said Ihedioha did not win in 18 councils, being 2/3 of the 27 local government areas, but won in only 11 councils.Also, a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuamaedo, Okorocha also berated Ezeonu for accepting the figures from the three local governments of Mbaise where Ihedioha scored 64,219 votes.
On his certificate of return, Okorocha said, “My certificate has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me.”
Meanwhile, gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji, yesterday disclosed that moles within the party in connivance with PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were responsible for the party’s defeat in the state.He stated however, that he rejected the outcome of the election that awarded victory to PDP candidate, Dave Umahi, alleging that the poll was manipulated against APC.
Ogbuoji, who briefed journalists in Enugu, described the election as a sham and vowed to challenge the scores in court. He alleged that besides massive thumb printing, intimidation of voters and APC agents, there were killings and destruction of property belonging to the party’s supporters in a bid to cow them.
But in his response, Governor Umahi denied allegations that he was moving to the APC, stating that he would rather stay in PDP to consolidate the victories that gave it its fourth state in the South East region.Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Emma Uzor, also asked Ogbuoji to accept defeat, adding, “Flying the kit of defection to APC is diverting attention from the main issues to curry unnecessary favour.”