Aftermath the declaration of Senator Hope Uzodimma as the winner of the Imo gubernatorial polls, a public policy think tank, the Neo Africana Centre, has said the only condition to restore normalcy to the political atmosphere is to revisit the 2019 governorship election in the state and resolve the outstanding issues that have kept the state in a quandary.
The centre in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu, said the November 11 victory should be discountenanced as it neither reflected the will of the people nor the quest by Nigerians for credible elections.
Ahead of the December 5th verdict, it called on the supreme court to rescue Imo from political buccaneers who have held the state hostage since 2019.
They called for a revisit of the 2019 governorship election in the state to resolve the outstanding issues that have kept the state in a quandary.
The statement read “the apex court should revisit its judgment of December 20, 2019 on Imo governorship which, if it had been given effect to, would have saved Imo and its people all the political anomalies that have been going on in the state”.
The centre is of the view that the November 11 election in the state was a sham and will only exacerbate the wounds of electoral malfeasance in the state if it is allowed to stand, saying it was a mockery of democracy and should not be reckoned with.
According to the centre, the supreme court had in its January 14th 2020 judgment, threw Imo state into turmoil saying it “has a historical responsibility to ensure that the state is rescued from the political hawks who have been preying on it. It also posits that the judgment will afford the apex court the opportunity to redeem itself from negative tags that arose from its previous judgments”.
The statement reads in part, “We watched with dismay and disappointment the charade that took place in Imo state last week in the name of a governorship election. Facts and reports about the election indicate that electioneering in Nigeria has come under the threat of buccaneers whose ultimate goal is to subvert the rule of law and the democratic process.
Further, they argued that the gubernatorial polls was unnecessary saying “The November 11 governorship election in Imo state typifies and exemplifies this rape and destruction of what is left of our democratic values. We need not overemphasize the fact that the election was needless, it was a waste of time and resources. It should be noted that the said election in which Hope Uzodinma, the serving governor of the state, was declared as winner was characterized by large scale voter apathy and a general lack of interest by the people of Imo State on the electoral contest”.
The group held that irregularities characterized the results announced saying “Reports indicate that even in areas where people filed out to vote, their votes did not count in the end as the exercise was marred by massive vote-buying, ballot box snatching, thuggery and brigandage, a situation that cast a slur on the outcome of the election”.
“Resolving the issues arising from the supreme court judgment of December 20, 2019 will also afford the court the opportunity to save its name from the infamy arising from some of its judgments, particularly that of January 14, 2020 on the 2019 Imo governorship election. The court should rise to the occasion and save Imo and Nigerians the needlessness of dwelling on and discussing the joke called the November 11 governorship election in the State”, the statement read.
Further, they expressed delight that the apex court had fixed December 5th to revisit the issue, and urged the court “to use this historical opportunity to rescue Imo from the hands of power grabbers who have been holding the state hostage”.