Rochas Okorocha, outgoing Governor of Imo State, says his certificate of election as a senator cannot be seized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking on Wednesday when a crowd of youth supporters marched to the Government House to protest the conduct of the just-concluded elections, Okorocha accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) posted to the state of working against him.
According to Okorocha, anyone who decides to go against him would lose.
INEC had removed Okorocha’s name from the list of senators-elect who will be presented certificates on Thursday March 14, 2019. According to the commission, Okorocha was declared winner of the election “under duress”.
However, the Governor has kicked against the move, saying: “In my own case, my Certificate of Return has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me.
“I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State. The Returning Officer could not have done that under duress under the watchful eyes of the Police, DSS and party agents. I am not unmindful of the fact that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my certificate.
“Let me tell every Nigerian that I fought no one and no one should fight me. If anyone fights me, he will be the loser at the end of it all. My INEC Certificate cannot be touched or seized, doing so is belittling democracy in Nigeria. It is only the tribunal that has the right to say otherwise once a result is declared. INEC cannot seize my certificate by mere petition written by somebody in a case I was not given the opportunity to present my own side of the story.”
He also rejected the result of the governorship election in the state, stating that Emeka Ihedioha, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Imo Governor-elect, didn’t have the required number of votes to emerge winner.