Former Imo state governor, Emeka Ihedioha has announced his withdrawal from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship primary in Imo state.
Ihedioha was screened and cleared a few days ago by the PDP to contest the party’s primary ahead of the November 11 governorship election in the state. However, in a letter dated March 27, 2023, Ihedioha informed the PDP leadership of his “personal sacrifice” for a “consensus candidate” by the party.
Ihedioha made his decision public in a letter addressed to the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Iyiorchia Ayu, on Tuesday.
The statement reads: “As I turned 58 years last Friday, March 24, I had cause to reflect on so many things, including the state of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
“Having been a member since its formation in 1998, I align myself with the request made by our state chapter to the National Working Committee (NWC) for a consensus choice of the candidate regarding the 2023 Governorship primaries.
“This decision was not taken lightly. My commitment to the service of our people has never been in doubt.
“And I am sure many of those who have, on their own, already started mobilizing for me in Imo State will be disappointed.
“I sincerely seek their understanding and that of associates, admirers and particularly the electorates who have over the years aligned themselves and identified with my political aspirations.
“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have served my various constituencies both as a legislator and Governor. I am also proud of the positive impact I made, particularly in the seven months I served as the Governor of Imo State.”
Recall that in January 2020, the Supreme Court sacked Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State after barely seven months in office.
The seven-man panel led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously declared Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The appellant, Uzodimma had contended that he scored the highest number of votes in the election but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned Ihedioha as the governor of the state.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who delivered the judgment declared that the votes due to Uzodimma were unlawfully excluded from the 318 polling units and should be added to his votes.
The apex court considered the submissions of a principal witness who was on a subpoena to present results and held that the lower court was wrong in its ruling.
Justice Kekere-Ekun subsequently declared Uzodimma as the validly elected governor and the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha was withdrawn by INEC and given to Uzodimma.