Withdraw rejection of oppositions congratulatory messages in 48-hour, Ebonyi group tells Nwifuru

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The Association of Ebonyi Indigenes Socio-Cultural In the Diaspora (AEISCID) has congratulated the Governor of Ebonyi State, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru on his victory at the Supreme Court, asking him to accept congratulatory messages earlier rejected from the opposition candidates within 48 hours.

The five-man panel of Jurists had dismissed petitions of both the People’s Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii and his All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA counterpart, Professor Benard Odoh which challenged his election.

The judges in their wisdom sustained the positions of both the Tribunal and Court of Appeal that the issues of his nomination by the APC was a pre-election matter that can only be challenged before the election and by a member of the political Party he belongs to.

In a statement released Friday in Abuja, by the AEISCID President, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu Omaka, expressed worry that the Governor rather than accept the congratulatory messages from the opposition candidates was quoted in various social and mainstream media as maintaining that “he does not need them or their supporters in his government.”

According to the group, It is for us both laughable and ridiculous the position of the Governor that he will not appoint them into his government.

“It was ordinarily our belief just like in democracies the world over that the messages of congratulations extended to the affirmed winner of the election and Governor of Ebonyi State, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru would not only be received with open arms but also open a leeway for concerted discussions on how Ebonyi’s democratic gains and governance can be further consolidated with plurality of ideas from the challengers and their supporters.

For us in AEISCID, the Governor’s mindset reeks of brazen lack of wisdom, tact and diplomacy, only raising our fears that he may not have the right temperament to occupy the number one office in Ebonyi. Such crude and absurd mindset can only breed arrogance that if left unchecked could lead to total dictatorship and of course, a desperate plot to plunge Ebonyi into a one Party State.

“We are astonished that such unpleasant remark coming from a supposed leader of over four million Ebonyians home and abroad has neither drawn the kind of serious outrage and condemnations it should draw from leaders past and present in Ebonyi and the Nigerian nation at large nor been withdrawn by the government or it’s Spokespersons.

“This group wonders if the Governor had expected the petitioners he ran elections with to take up arms against his declaration as winner especially when they were many controversies that surrounded the exercise or encourage their supporters to do so on their behalves in a constitutional democracy. We rather commend them (and he too should have also done same) for seeking redress in a Court (s) of competent Jurisdictions from the Tribunal to the Appeal Court and finally to the terminal apex Court in the land.

“AEISCID hereby issue a 48-hour ultimatum to the Governor and indeed, the Ebonyi State Government to as a matter of urgency withdraw the assertions credited to Governor Nwifuru and tender an unreserved apology to the affected candidates of PDP and APGA who are both great sons of our beloved State. They should rather be celebrated as heroes for towing the path of the law and honour.

“We say so because the duo are well known to us and the rest of Ebonyians at home and in the diaspora as very illustrious and industrious sons of Ebonyi State who have made their marks and pretty early too, one in the academic (even well before Nwifuru probably obtained his first Degree) and the other in the Corporate world (also well before the Governor made his first millions, probably from politics.

“This is another reason we must encourage both Odii and Odoh to continue to play the role of effective opposition to the Nwifuru-led administration because no democratically-elected leader can perform optimally without effective opposition. They should not be deterred by the dispositions and tyrannical antics of the ruling Party, least, Ebonyi is plunged into a one Party State.”