Implication of S’Court Verdict on Growth, Development of Democracy Bothers Ihedioha

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By Chuks Okocha

The sacked Governor of Imo State Emeka Ihedioha has said that he is not bothered by his removal by the Supreme Court, but the implications the verdict will have on the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria.

He also said that he is worried about the implications the judgment will have on the rights of the electorate and making sure that their votes count.

Ihedioha, in a statement he personally signed Sunday, said: “Whatever may be the personal injury I suffer as a result of the miscarriage of justice, my main concern in this whole tragic episode is not about me.

“It has always been about the implications this judgment could have for the future of our democracy and the right of the electorate to have their votes count.”

He said that if institutions that are critical to the entrenchment of the rule of law could thwart the wishes of the people in a cynical manner, he wonders where the future of Nigeria’s democracy lies.

According to him, “That was why I sought a review of the Supreme Court judgment. Even though justice was not served at the end, the well articulated dissenting judgment delivered by His Lordship, Justice Centus Nweze, has vindicated our stand. I am sure that history and posterity will be kind to him.

“To those who are rejoicing about their successful political fraud at the expense of Imo people, as well as their collaborators, let me leave them with the immortal words of the late journalist, Dele Giwa: ‘No evil deed will go unpunished; any evil done by man to man will be redressed; if not now then certainly later; if not by man, then by God for the victory of evil over good is temporary’.

“We believe that God will render the ultimate judgment. He has been with us through this peaceful struggle. And our future is in His hands.”

He expressed his appreciation to members of his legal team who pushed the frontiers of electoral jurisprudence to advance constitutional democracy.

He also thanked his team of committed colleagues who served in various capacities during his ousted administration.

Ihedioha said: “It has been a great privilege to serve the people of Imo State as Governor. I am proud to have been the recipient of their genuine mandate. I will forever cherish the support, solidarity and cooperation given to me during my tenure.”

He stated that his belief in the ultimate triumph and supremacy of the will of the people remains intact and prayed God to bless and reward all those who stood firm on the path of justice and fair play.

On a personal note, he said: “I accept trials and difficulties as part of life as they enable one to become wiser and more sympathetic to the plights of others in similar circumstances. But I am firmly resolved never to give up on the struggle for a better Imo State. And for a better governed Nigeria.”

He said that while it is disheartening to note that the desire to introduce good governance has been halted, at least for now, it is also gratifying that the modest efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“I therefore feel a sense of pride and gratitude for the wonderful energy and commitment that his team deployed together to secure the mandate that has now been brazenly stolen from the people of Imo State,” he said.