The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday presented certificate of return to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and withheld certificates of returns of four Assembly constituencies due to pending court cases.
According to reports, out of the 29 constituencies in the Assembly, four constituencies were not issued certificate of return due to pending cases in court.
The four constituencies denied certificate of return are: Ethiope East (APC); Ughelli North I (APC); Ughelli North II (APC); and Ukwuani Constituency (PDP).
At the presentation ceremony in Asaba, the National Commissioner of INEC in charge of South-South, Dr Mohammed Lecky, urged politicians to place the nation above self even in time of victory.
“This is the only way the dividends of democracy for which many have paid the supreme price can truly be within the reach of voters, majority of who went through enormous troubles to exercise their franchise,’’ he said.
Lecky while congratulating the governor-elect and the state Assembly members, said, “Section 75(10) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended provides for the issuance of certificate of return to elected candidates by the chairman of INEC’’.
In his address, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, commended security agencies who worked tirelessly to tackle threat to peace and security in the course of the election.
Omorogbe, however, regretted the loss of lives and destruction of property that accompanied the exercise in some voting centres in the state.
According to him, we share in the grief of families and friends of the deceased and those who lost property.
Responding, Okowa thanked God for making his victory possible.
He commended INEC for conducting an election in the state that was adjudged very peaceful.
Okowa also commended INEC for being firm in the discharge of its duties and noted that there was also room for growth and improvement of the nation’s democracy.
According to him, our democracy can only grow when we as notable politicians are ready to partner with INEC and learn to put the interest of the country first.
“The interest of this country is that we must conduct election in such a way and manner that the global world will be able to also see Nigeria as a growing democracy.
“To that extent we will attract more investors into this country to invest and that will help to create jobs for our people,’’ he said.
The governor while commending the people of the state, gave an assurance that “in the next four years, we are going to do much more than we did in the last four years’’.
Okowa, therefore, called for full participation of the people of the state in good governance and in ensuring that the dividends of democracy were delivered to the people.
According to him, we realised that we cannot do the job alone and we need the collaboration of all Deltans to enable us to achieve that which we want to achieve.