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Senator Hope Uzodinma, on Tuesday, January 14, was declared as the governor of Imo State.
Nigeria’s Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha and declared Uzodinma as the true winner of the state governorship election.
Uzodinma, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), had finished in fourth place in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State according to the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In the results declared by INEC, Ihedioha came first, while Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA) was declared the second and Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) the third.
How it happened?
However, during the ruling of the case by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, led a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, it revealed that 388 polling units which amounted to 213,295 votes were unlawfully excluded from the overall collated results of the election.
Uzodinma led in most of those units and when added, he got the highest number of votes cast. Hence he was declared the winner.
Apart from becoming governor after only finishing fourth, below are some other interesting things about how the former senator rode to the exalted position he now occupies.
Uzodinma was a PDP senator until months before governorship election
In April 2018, Uzodinma, a two-time senator who represented Imo West on the platform of the PDP dumped the opposition party for the APC. His defection came months after rumours of his intention to defect to the ruling party.
Strong Uzodinma took over Imo APC, this happened
After officially joining the APC in April 2018, by May, Uzodinma had apparently taken control of the party structure in the state.
Just less than two months of his defection, he rattled the then governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, when members of the party loyal to him emerged as winners of the ward and local government congresses in the state.
The development saw Okorocha run to President Muhammadu Buhari in his home town in Katsina, Daura, praying him to come to his aid.
Uzodinma did not stop there; he continued to fight even when Okorocha seemed to have taken back control of the state party structure following the outcome of the party’s national congress that favoured his men.
However, when it was time for the real decider, Uzodinma clearly dribbled past Okorocha.
It is not clear if Okorocha has forgiven Ahmed Gulak, the chairman of the APC committee for the gubernatorial primaries in Imo who declared Uzodinma as the winner of the exercise from Abuja.
Gulak was alleged to have been bribed by Uzodinma and his camp for that declaration.
Final capture of Imo APC structure
Okorocha had ensured that there was a fresh primary in the state in which his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu was declared as the governorship candidate of the APC.
However, by the time the legal tussle on the matter was over, Okorocha was left gasping for breath as Uzodinma was declared as the candidate of the APC.
While Nwosu left the party for Uzodinma to continue his governorship ambition with Action Alliance (AA), his father-in-law, Okorocha, who remained in the party and emerged as Imo West senator, was later suspended for anti-party activities.
Prophecies do come through! At least, Prophet Mbaka’s did
Many people never imagined Ihedioha and the PDP would lose the state governorship seat. This was especially as the governor had already secured election victory both at the tribunal and the Appeal Court.
If any party was thought to have any real chance of upturning the victory of Ihedioha, it was certainly not the APC.
If no one believed this could happen, certainly not Rev Father Ehime Manama of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, who raises much dust in his December 31 prophecy.
Mbaka, with an air of certainty, declared that APC Uzodinma would take over Imo State by 2020.