FIC Report (Abia State) – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has presented certificates of return to Abia State Governor Elect, Dr Alex Chioma Otti and his Deputy, Engineer Ikechukwu Emetu.
Presenting the Certificates at INEC’s headquarters Umuahia, INEC chairman represented by the Commission’s National Commissioner in charge of Benue, Abia and Anambra States, Barrister Festus Okoye said under the provision of section 72 sub section 1 of the electoral act, mandated them to give a sealed Certificates of Return to the Governor elect and his Deputy within a period of fourteen days after a return has been made.
Okoye who is the INEC Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity told Otti that Abians expect much from him and encouraged Stakeholders to help in the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
Responding, the Abia State Governor Elect, Dr Alex Otti promised that the mandate and trust given to him will not be for granted and commended other Governorship candidates who had congratulated him, while some have indicated interest to support him succeed in office.
While acknowledging the recognition of the outgoing Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who advised other governorship candidates not to distract him with litigations, Otti called on all to join him in rebuilding Abia state.
Otti who promised Ikpeazu that his administration will not be vindictive, urged anyone with government property or funds to return them.
According to him, Abians will not be in penury while those who had served the government in one way or the other will be flexing government funds.
The Abia State Governor Elect, issued the warning to those in possession of Government property to return same immediately as his incoming administration will not allow the state’s resources to be privatized.
He said; “While we have assured the outgoing Government that we are not vindictive people and we are not going to chase anybody, we want to use this opportunity to call on anyone who has government property in his care, or who has taken away funds belonging to the Government to return them immediately.
“Abia state belongs to all of us and our resources cannot, I repeat, we will not allow our resources to be privatized while our people are suffering in abject penury and poverty.”
The Abia Governor Elect, while thanking Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his congratulatory message as well as his advice against unnecessary litigations, implored the state government to sustain the peace in the state by ensuring a seamless transition.
“I also like to use this opportunity to call on the outgoing government to ensure that he does not do anything that will give an impression that there is going to be tension.
“This is what is called the lame duck period, so entry into a fresh contract that may be reversed, doing things that would create an impression that bubby traps are created for the incoming government would not make for the peace and progress that he had indicated”.
Dr Alex Otti, urged those who contested alongside him in the March 18th Governorship election to join hands with the incoming administration as it starts “the process of rebuilding the state”.
He thanked INEC as well as the State Returning Officer,Prof Nnenna Otti for a job well done noting that the declaration puts a huge responsibility on him and promised not to betray the trust reposed on him by Abians.
Festus Okoye maintained his commendation on Abians for standing, believing and protecting the democratic institution, adding that democracy is grown and nurtured to advance the society.
He noted that the conduct of a good, verifiable election which meets both national and international standard is multi faceted and expedient to the democratic development of a society as no single institution does it alone.
Okoye while commending the media for their role in achieving a credible polls,urged the incoming administration to justify the confidence reposed on them by the people.