With his mandate now doubly affirmed by the Supreme Court after a long drawn legal battle, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has been urged to avoid behaving like a conqueror but should be magnanimous and extend hand of fellowship to his opponents.
Former Governor of the state, Senator Theodore Orji, gave the advice in a congratulatory message he sent to his successor on his victory at the apex court, saying though Ikpeazu had been subjected to a campaign of calumny by his opponents while the legal battle raged, he should not pay them back with antagonism.
Until last Friday, Ikpeazu’s governorship seat had been shaky following multiple legal challenges mounted by his opponents both from his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition all seeking to nullify his election and remove him from office.
But the senator who represents Abia Central stated in the congratulatory message signed by his media adviser, Don Norman Obinna, that the victorious governor should not feel sore because “those who seek redress in court of law in a perceived “injustice” did nothing wrong as it is their inalienable right to do so.”
He therefore said the final resolution of the state governorship tussle in favour of Ikpeazu should present a situation where there is neither victor nor vanquished as victory for Ikpeazu is victory for all Abians.
Turning to the opposition and aggrieved members of the PDP, Orji advised them to take the judgment of the Supreme Court in good faith and support Ikpeazu in his efforts to take the state to the next level of developmental strides.
Meanwhile, Uche Ogah, whose legal challenge constituted the biggest threat to Ikpeazu’s mandate, has accepted the final court verdict and “wholeheartedly” congratulated the governor on his victory.
In a congratulatory message he sent to Ikpeazu, the oil magnate acknowledged that “the Supreme Court unequivocally reaffirmed your nomination and election as the authentic governor of our beloved Abia State.
“As the legal battle comes to an end with the Supreme Court declaration, I’m exceedingly happy today that in the course of this struggle, I never resorted to self help nor encouraged my supporters to indulge in any form of violence,” he said.
Explaining his motive for challenging Ikpeezu’s nomination, Ogah stated that his interest in politics “is not for fame or personal aggrandisement but to impact positively on the lives of the common man and to make our dear state, Abia, the envy of other states,” adding that he would join hands with the governor to get the best for God’s own state.
“My dear brother, it is worthy of note that my desire to see our home state in the right footing, developmentally and economically is not in doubt and a course I can put everything within my reach to see to fruition,” Ogah said.