Ex-Governor Uduaghan speaks on Court of Appeal loss

Former Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan
Former Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan

Emmanuel Uduaghan, the former governor of Delta State, said he has accepted the judgment of the Court of Appeal which declared James Manager the winner of the Delta South Senatorial District election.

The appellate court in Benin City, on Monday, voided the judgement of the lower tribunal which had nullified Mr Manager’s election and ordered for a rerun.

Mr Manager, who is doing a fourth term in the Senate, was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, while Mr Uduaghan ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The former governor, in a statement issued on Monday, said he had called the senator to congratulate him on his victory.

“My brother, Sen James E. Manager, congratulations once more on your victory. I wish you well as you represent our people at the hallowed Chamber again,” Mr Uduaghan said in the statement.

“The contest is over now, it is in the past. I urge my supporters to put this behind them and focus on the future which holds a lot in store for all of us,” he said.

Mr Uduaghan thanked people who were with him “in the trenches” and appealed to them not to “despair”.

“There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it is politics or any other endeavour.

“I cherish the input of everyone -family, friends, political party, supporters and the good people of Delta South Senatorial District.

“I am happy that throughout the elections and the tribunals, our peaceful process as a Senatorial District was not tested.

“Recall I withdrew from the race in 2014 as a result of the threat to peace. In 2019, however, an Itsekiri man could campaign freely in Ijaw area and an Ijaw man could campaign freely in Itsekiri area. Itsekiris voted for Ijaws, and Ijaws voted for Itsekiris. There was no case of violence anywhere. For me, this is a big victory for peace in our Senatorial District.

“The loss at the Appeal Court today was as a result of a pre-election matter that the court entertained. This was a matter that was not addressed at the lower tribunal, which ought to be the first place that any prayer whatsoever relating to election matters should have been introduced. Well, the judiciary has had their say and I have accepted the outcome in good faith.

“I must put it on record that; for me, this was a period of experiencing the ‘enemy within’ at another level,” Mr Uduaghan said.

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