Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has told sacked Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha to accept the Supreme Court judgement invalidating his election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Emeka Ihedioha winner of the March 9, 2019 election with 276,404 votes.
But Sen. Hope Uzodinma, who placed fourth in the election with 96,458 votes according to INEC, challenged the declaration in court.
A seven-member panel led by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed, in a unanimous decision on Tuesday sacked Ihedioha, the candidate of PDP, and declared Sen. Hope Uzodinma, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment, ordered that the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha be immediately withdrawn. She directed that a fresh Certificate of Return should be issued to the APC candidate.
But in a Wednesday statement, Atiku, who was presidential candidate of PDP in 2019, said that the judgement must be accepted, however unexpected and unpalatable.
The statement read, “With regards to the judgment of the Supreme Court, which nullified the election of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emeka Ihedioha, as Governor of the state of Imo, I can only say that since the Supreme Court is final, we must accept its judgment, however unexpected and unpalatable it may be. The Rule of law must guide our paths even if logic sheds light on a different path.
“Let me state unequivocally that I solidarize with Emeka Ihedioha, a man I know to be a great leader of men and resources. In the fullness of time, I am convinced that he will overcome this setback and emerge stronger.
“I also stand fully with the Peoples Democratic Party. In good and bad times, we must continue to be the object of hope that the Nigerian people have for their escape from the prevailing despotism and despair that has gripped almost every aspect of our national life.
“We provided genuine democracy for this nation once before, and I believe it is our destiny to democratically restore what has been lost due to the encroachment of anti-democratic agents.
“Philosophers have said that tough times never last, but that tough people do. I urge the people of Imo and the entirety of the Nigerian people not to give in to despair.
“This nation has gone through despotic times before, and we have survived them and thrived. I am very confident that this history will repeat itself.
“My greatest desire, and one I hope to see again in my lifetime, is that Nigeria will fulfil its potential as the land of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
“These four ideals have been missing from our borders for a while, and all freedom-loving Nigerians ought to henceforth work together to bring them back. So help us God.”