IMO BISHOPS SPEAK ON SUPREME COURT RULING AGAINST IHEDIOHA


• Uzodinma pledges visible improvement in first year
• Parties sign pact on peaceful re-run

Bishops and other Christian leaders in Imo State under the umbrella of the Concerned Church Leaders Forum (CCLF) have raised their voices against the Supreme Court judgement that sacked Emeka Ihedioha and ushered in Hope Uzodinma as governor of the state.

At a press conference in Owerri, yesterday, the clerics, who spoke through the Anglican Bishop of Ohaji/Egbema, Chidi Oparajiaku, said the judgement ran counter to the facts on the ground and raised a lot of questions.

They questioned how the apex court arrived at its judgement, stressing that the ruling, “if not justified”, would set a bad precedence for the judiciary and democracy in the country.

The church leaders, therefore, urged the judiciary to review the judgement and serve justice in the overall interest of peace, unity, development and continued survival of democracy in the state and Nigeria in general.

“It is not that Christian leaders hate the newly sworn-in governor of Imo, who is undoubtedly an Imolite, but the judgement has raised a lot of unanswered questions. We are deeply worried at what will be the fate of future elections in Nigeria, if the courts are allowed to use technicalities to subvert the will of the electorate,” they stated. Anglican bishops present at the event included Chamberlain Ogunedo (Mbaise), Geoffrey Okoroafor (Egbu) and Dr. David Onuoha (Okigwe South).

Meanwhile, Governor Uzodinma has said that his government would be predicated on freedom, security and shared prosperity anchored on three Rs of rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery. Uzodinma, in his maiden broadcast yesterday, said there was evidence on the ground that the state required fundamental reform to forge a new trajectory.

He promised to establish State Economic Development And Rehabilitation Council (SEDARC) to “fully identify, locate and recover all missing public assets, as well as coordinate a forensic investigation into the state’s finances.

The governor also assured Imolites of his commitment to make visible improvement within his one year in office on areas of education, health, security, job creation, agriculture, human capacity building, science and technology development, fight against corruption, welfare of civil servants, economy of the state among others.

In another vein, the political parties taking part in Saturday’s supplementary election in the state have signed a pact to remain peaceful before, during and after the polls.

The pact was signed on Tuesday at the Police Officers’ Mess, Owerri, in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowora; the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu; and security agencies.

Fafowora urged the party leaders to advise their members and supporters to remain peaceful and law-abiding, reminding them that the law enforcement officers would not spare any offender.

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