ByÂ Chris Ochayi
ABUJAâ€”The governorship candidate of the Chief Chekwas Okorie-ledÂ faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA,Â Mr George Ozodinobi claimed yesterday, that the victory recorded by the party at the just concluded Anambra State governorship poll belongs to him.
Mr. Ozodinobi who made the claim while addressing newsmen in Abuja on the outcome of the election, saidÂ himself and his running mate Dr. Okey Umeano remained the legitimate APGA candidate for the election,Â having been duly nominated by the party.
He faulted decision by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,Â to issue Certificate of Return to incumbent Governor, Peter Obi, noting the electoral body acted in error.
Ozodinobi explained that the party had already â€œsued for an order of Mandamus from court to compel INEC to obey the wish of this party, APGA and substitute Mr.Â Obi with my humble self Ozodinobi and my running mate Umeano.â€
According to him, â€œmy sincere gratitude and that of my Deputy, Umeano goes to our beloved dear people of Anambra State for their resounding mandate given to our great party, APGA, to govern the State for yet another four years. We have always maintained the position that Anambra State and indeed all the states of the South-East geopolitical zone have always embraced APGA as their own. Our peopleâ€™s solidarity with APGA has once again been demonstrated incontrovertibly.
â€œIn spite of the leadership crisis in the party that had persisted till this day, the sentiments and emotions expressed by the good people of Anambra State for APGA has remained solid, unwavering and cannot again be overstated. However, it is our wish to reassure the members of public who remain confused about the suit in which APGA, our party has sued for an order of Mandamus from the court, to compel INEC to obey the wish of this party, APGA and substitute Mr.Â Obi with my humble selfÂ Ozodinobi and my running mate Umeano.
â€œThe consequence envisaged therefore is that only political party sponsors candidates for election and only political parties win election. My running mate and I Umeano remain the legitimate APGA candidate for the just concluded February 6, governorship election of Anambra State,â€ he added.
He warned â€œthe public and INEC should be guided by the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Rotimi Amechi versus Mr. Celestine Omehia to announce the party that has won the election in Anambra State, in this case APGA, instead of pre-empting the court by announcing Peter Obi as the beneficiary of the mandate of the people of Anambra State to APGA which has always been the party of their choice.
â€œThe just concluded governorship election translates that the election was fought and won by APGA. We expect the court to determine who the authentic candidate of APGA is, since the party APGA complied with the rules guiding the election having in their correspondence of the December 4,Â 2009 to INEC specifying the cogent and verifiable reasons based on which the partyâ€™s candidate should remain Ozodinobi and his running mate Umeano.
â€œI wish to assure my supporters and all lovers of democracy, justice, rule of law and due process that the same justice that Peter Obi benefited from in 2007 is the same justice thatÂ Rotimi Amechi benefited from. That same justice will avail me to assume office at Godâ€™s appointed time as Governor of Anambra State freely given to APGA on February 6, 2010â€, he said.