INEC planning special event for me – Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha Imo, who was not presented a certificate of return by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC at a ceremony in Abuja today, taunted INEC with some sarcasm. He suggested that the electoral umpire may be planning a special event to issue him a certificate of return, since it omitted his name from those it issued the certificate. Okorocha spoke in Abuja on Thursday, while reacting to the omission of his name by INEC. Though he was said to have won the Imo West Senatorial district election held on Feb. 23, INEC omitted his name from those it issued certificate of return. INEC flagged the Imo West senatorial seat as having been procured under duress. Okorocha, while debunking the allegation, said some persons that were opposed to his electoral victory were working to rig him out. However, he said those behind the plot were not smart in executing their agenda to rig him out of the senate race and his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, out of the governorship race. Okorocha criticised the election of Emeka Ihedioha, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship candidate, saying he fell short of the criteria for election. He alleged that the PDP candidate did not have the needed spread of 25 percent in two thirds of the the Local Government Areas in the state as required by law. He stressed that the PDP candidate ought not to have been declared winner of the polls. The Imo Governor also said that he was aware that his travails was because some persons were beginning the fight for the future today. “I was conspicuously absent from the certificates issuance ceremony. ‘I was not there because INEC has removed my name from the list of elected Senators, having been declared the winner by the zonal returning officer. I am actually waiting to hear why INEC struck my name out. “I think probably, INEC must be trying to do something special, because I understand that once results have been declared and returns made, then you are bound to be issued a certificate of return,”he said. He added that he was in dark as to why the commission exempted him from the ceremony and why he was not invited to collect his certificate of return. “Maybe, INEC would want to organise a special programme for me to hand over this certificate of return to me, because clearly, I won and it was a peaceful election, the best you can ever think of,”he said. He said the allegations in some quarters that he was declared winner of the election under duress as claimed by INEC could not be true. “I do not understand what that means, because there was nothing of such. How can you put somebody on duress to declare you the winner of an election that you have already won “It is not true, but I must let the world understand that this is a game that is being played. “The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo is playing a script, and the script is so funny, it is so cruel and crude actually and they are executing it in a funny way. “I understand that people are beginning to fight a war of the future now when we are not even yet there. “The idea is that, do not give Rochas a certificate; you must slow him down until after they have elected the presiding officers, then you can let him come in,”he said. He added that the idea was to also ensure that he does not become anything in the Senate and to make sure that his governorship candidate son in-law does not emerge winner. Okorocha further added that his political opponents wanted to cripple him politically before 2023. “I will advise INEC to do the right thing, to release my certificate so that I can celebrate as others. I want to be in the Senate and it will be interesting if I am there ” Okorocha said. He advised that INEC should not allow his political opponents to use it as an instrument to achieve their desires.

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