*Tells Supporters “Please Do Not Despair”
By Ovie Okpare
Former Governor of Delta State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23, 2019 National Assembly election in Delta South, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has disclosed why the Appeal Court sitting in Benin, Edo State, upheld the election victory of Senator James Manager.
Uduaghan, who said he had accepted the outcome of the Appeal Court judgement, said the appeal panel based their judgement on pre-election matter which was introduced at the appellate court and was not addressed at the tribunal level.
He stated this in his official reaction to the Appeal Court judgement in a statement personally signed by him and made available to NIGER DELTA TODAY on Monday evening.
According to him, “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 on record that it was a period of experiencing the “enemy within ” at another level.”
He, however, urged his supporters across the senatorial district not to be despair with the judgement, but rather value the experience garnered throughout the electioneering period.
The Court of Appeal had on Monday dismissed the former governor’s petition challenging the election victory of Senator Manager and set aside the ruling of the Delta Election Petitions Tribunal which earlier nullified the election in the district.
The former governor stated that the contest has opened the frontier of peace among the different ethnic nationalities in the senatorial district, adding that his biggest gain from the election was the peaceful atmosphere that existed among the people of the area.
The statement titled, “The Journey Was Far More Important Than The Outcome” noted that “There is no winning or losing” in the contest.
While recalling why he withdrew from the race in 2014, Uduaghan posited that he was happy that the exercise was peaceful throughout the election and commended the people of the district for their support for his aspiration to represent them in the hollowed chamber.
According to the statement, “It is no longer news that the outcome of today’s Appeal Court judgement did not go in my favour as the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal in Asaba was set aside by the Appellate Court sitting in Benin City.
“I want to first appreciate everyone who were in the trenches with me throughout this journey. Please do not 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 endeavor.
“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 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 APC leader disclosed that he had formally called his opponent, Senator Manager to officially congratulate him on his victory at the Appeal Court.
“I have formally called my brother, Sen James Manager to congratulate him. My brother, Sen James E. Manager, congratulations once more on your victory. I wish you well as you represent our people at the hollowed Chamber again.
“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”, the release added.