The All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom state, Umana Umana, has said that the Supreme Court judgment which held that Udom Emmanuel was validly elected as the state governor in the April 11, 2015 election “calls for very serious soul-searching by our nation”.
Mr. Umana said in a press statement on Thursday that an indicting statement reportedly made by the Court of Appeal on the same Akwa Ibom governorship election petition shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Mr. Umana quoted the Court of Appeal as having said of the election of Udom Emmanuel: “May this country never again experience the violence and thuggery found to have taken place in Akwa Ibom State during the Governorship elections held on 11th April 2015.”
He said, “As law-abiding citizens we went to court to seek justice after the disputed elections, as advised by many people and election monitors, including the United States Embassy and the European Union, which had reached independent conclusions that the elections were marred by widespread irregularities.
“Our hope was that the judiciary would heal the wounds and provide succour for our people who were traumatised and brutalised during the elections, especially the families who lost their loved ones.
“But that was not to be.”
Mr. Umana said he was aware that Akwa Ibom people were surprised by the Supreme Court judgment, “given the findings of the tribunal that evaluated the evidence and heard directly from the witnesses” including the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had earlier nullified the election of Governor Emmanuel.
The APC governorship candidate said although the struggle for change has suffered a setback, he said change will surely come “because no one can stop the march of an idea that has been embraced by the mass of the people”.
Mr. Umana, who said his party fought a good fight, thanked his supporters and the people of Akwa Ibom state for their support.
He asked the people to continue to pray for the peace, progress and prosperity of Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria.
“We trust God, who is the God of justice, to provide solace and comfort for those who could not get justice within the framework of our legal system,” Mr. Umana said.
“Ultimately we would all be accountable to God for our actions.”