Gov. Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi has urged his opponents in the March governorship election to bring the ideas in their manifestos to develop and make the state prosperous.
Mr Nwifuru made the call on Wednesday in Abakaliki while reacting to his victory at the election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The tribunal dismissed the petition against Mr Nwifuru’s victory in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ifeanyichukwu Odii.
The tribunal also dismissed the petition brought by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Bernard Odoh, ruling that both lacked merit.
“I approached my opponents after my electoral victory to join me in developing the state but they approached the tribunal for justice.
“I still urge them to bring the ideas in their manifestos for us to develop and make the state prosperous,” he said.
He dedicated his court victory to God, saying that those who petitioned his victory knew he won the election.
He thanked Ebonyi people for massively voting for him and, as such, made his petitioners file only one ground of petition.
“They contested that I was not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the time I contested the election.
“The tribunal judiciously dismissed the claim because what qualifies someone to contest for a position is already stated in the electoral act.
“Once someone contests in a party’s primaries, wins and name submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), such a person is a member of that party,” he said.
Mr Nwifuru also said that the Electoral Act stipulates that only an aspirant under a particular party had the right to contest the eligibility of its candidate.
He counselled that there was no gain in further litigations because “truth brings forgiveness, reconciliation and development.
“I thank the APC in Ebonyi, former Governor David Umahi, stakeholders and all Ebonyi people for their prayers and massive support,” he said.