Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State has extended an olive branch to his opponents in the March governorship election following his victory at the election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.
On Wednesday, Governor Nwifuru urged his challengers to bring the ideas outlined in their election manifestos to the table, with the aim of developing and prospering the state. This call for unity and cooperation came in response to the tribunal’s dismissal of petitions against Nwifuru’s victory in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Candidate, Ifeanyichukwu Odii, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof Bernard Odoh, had both lodged petitions challenging the election results. However, the tribunal ruled that these petitions lacked merit, affirming Nwifuru’s electoral triumph.
In a statement, Governor Nwifuru expressed his willingness to work with his opponents for the betterment of Ebonyi State. He stated, “I approached my opponents after my electoral victory to join me in developing the state, but they approached the tribunal for justice. I still urge them to bring the ideas in their manifestos for us to develop and make the state prosperous.”
Governor Nwifuru dedicated his tribunal victory to God, emphasizing that those who had petitioned his victory were aware of the election’s outcome. He also conveyed his gratitude to the people of Ebonyi for their massive support, which resulted in his petitioners filing only one ground of petition.
Addressing one of the key points of contention, Governor Nwifuru explained, “They contested that I was not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the time I contested the election. The tribunal judiciously dismissed the claim because what qualifies someone to contest for a position is already stated in the electoral act. Once someone contests in a party’s primaries, wins, and their name is submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), such a person is a member of that party.”
Governor Nwifuru’s call for collaboration signifies his commitment to governance that prioritizes the development and prosperity of Ebonyi State, transcending political divides in the pursuit of progress.