Ikechukwu Ugwuegede and Patrick Asadu, both members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), staged a mild drama at the head office of INEC in Enugu on Friday. Both men presented themselves to collect the certificate of return for the Nsukka/Igboeze south federal constituency during the issuing of certificates of return to the governor-elect and national assembly members-elect. Gladys Nwafor, the INEC national commissioner for Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi, refused to releas the certificate to either of them despite their pleas. Ugwuegede and Asadu have been engulfed in a legal tussle over the party’s candidature for the election.
Asadu, a member of the house of representatives, secured a ruling at the federal high court sitting in Abuja recognising him as the right candidate for the election but Ugwuegede appealed the ruling. Appealing to other elected officials to fulfill their campaign promises to the people, Nwafor described the day as unique for INEC and the government of the state.
“We are here to give certificates of return to whom the electorate has given the mandate to serve,” she said. It has not been an easy task for both the commission and the contestants. I call it a divine mandate to serve the people. Enugu state is one of the most peaceful states and I am happy to be associated with the state.”
In his acceptance speech, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor-elect, promised to deliver selfless service to the people and take the state to the next level. Ugwuanyi assured the people of a transparent and an all-inclusive government.
“On behalf of everyone elected, I will like to say a big thank you to the God of David and Abraham for making this day possible,” he said. We will not fail you. I want to thank INEC for delivering credible and transparent elections. The people have spoken and God has sealed it.”