The people of Ebonyi trooped out in large number in Abakaliki on Wednesday to celebrate Gov. Martin Elechi’s three victories over opponents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the celebration, which disrupted commercial activities, culminated in a thanksgiving service at the Abakaliki Township Stadium.
NAN also learnt that the celebration was a demonstration of the people’s gratitude to God for ensuring the governor’s victories at the Election Petition Tribunal, Appeal Court and the Supreme Court.
Commercial banks did not open to their customers as the state government declared a public holiday.
Major roads in the town were barricaded between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., as stern looking mobile policemen and other security agencies prevented motorists from using the roads.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Elechi said that God enabled him to triumph over his adversaries at each stage of legal battle.
“We passed through a lot to achieve this victory including the large-scale violence witnessed during the elections and the trying periods of electoral litigation.
“I commend the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other religious bodies for their fervent prayers during the elections and litigation processes,” he said.
The governor identified low level of education and poverty as factors responsible for the high level of violence during the elections.
“The opposition devised several antics to wrest power from us, including the use of embarrassing utterances and gimmicks on the clergy and members of the judiciary.
“They also wrote series of petitions to the Presidency, alleging that the state was ungovernable to attract the declaration of state of emergency,” he said.
In his sermon, a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr Abraham Nwali, called on the state government to consolidate on its developmental projects in the state.
“I also urge the government to devise means of reconciling with the opposition in order to ensure peace and overall development of the state,” he said.