The affirmation of the election of Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has been hailed across the polity for reflecting the wishes and aspirations of the people of Delta State.
It is, however, true that the judgement was not shocking given the clear pattern of the election results in the state.
Indeed, the only four local government areas that went against the governor in the March 18, 2023 election were the ones that had issues of violence and electoral manipulation.
The four local government areas won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate were the ones where issues of BVAS snatching, falsification among others were discovered giving fibre to the claims of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the APC in Delta only thrived in violence.
Besides, the case of the APC in the courts were further rubbished by internal dissent with a section of party members raising opposition to the pursuit of the party’s candidate quest. That example of a division in the house was best exemplified by the outbursts of Dr Cairo Ojougboh who flooded the media space after the election to claim that Omo-Agege indeed lost the election.
With that, expectation that Omo-Agege would not go far in his judicial pursuit was an easy currency in the media space.
However, with the judiciary giving some controversial results as in Plateau State and the Imo State judgment of January 2020 still resounding there was indeed some anxiety in some parts of the state and particularly in the camp of the PDP.
Omo-Agege was not the only claimant. The Social Democratic Party’s Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and Labour Party’s Ken Pela also claimed to have a case and pursued separate cases to the Supreme Court.
However, very little was expected from them given the little momentum they generated on ground before and after the election.
It was as such with relief that much of Delta State received the judgment of the Supreme Court last Friday affirming Governor Sheriff Oborevwori as governor of the state.
The judgment has not only consolidated his mandate but given him to continue with his pragmatic programmes in infrastructure and human capital development across the nook and cranny of the state.
Reassuringly with the notable exception of Olorogun Gbagi, the other contenders have offered their goodwill following the judgment.
Responding to the judgment, Senator Omo-Agege said:
Omo-Agege, in his statement after the Supreme Court verdict, said: “To my dear brother, His Excellency, Rt. Honourable Sherrif Oborevwori, the Governor of Delta State, accept my congratulations for your victory today.
“It has been a long-drawn out struggle to offer our people the best in the governance of our State.
“It is about the collective interest and good of our people, not our personal interest.
“Having now received the Supreme Court’s seal of approval, I must wish you well as a democrat.
“May the good Lord guide and abide with you and give you good health, strength and wisdom to govern our State well in Jesus’ Name”.
He, however, said that his effort to upturn Gov. Oborevwori’s victory was disallowed by the Supreme Court but affirmed the return of Oborevwori as duly elected governor of Delta.
“As the final court of the land, all citizens are bound to accept and abide by its decisions even if they do not accord with their personal or collective expectations of justice.
Pela, the Labour Party candidate on his part, said: “In the spirit of sportsmanship and democracy, I extend my congratulations to Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori. To you, I say: THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE ARE ON YOU. Now that the “distraction” of the court cases is over, we trust you will serve with honor and work tirelessly for the betterment of all Deltans to make your promised M.O.R.E Agenda a concrete reality rather than an unfulfilled promise. Rest assured, we will remain vigilant and active in our role as the opposition, ensuring accountability at every turn. Remember say Supreme Court nor dey for performance matter ooo.”
Even members of the state delegation to the House of Representatives have been effusive in their congratulation to Oborevwori. With the notable exception of Erhiatake Ibori, the other nine members went to the newspapers to congratulate Oborevwori.
Meanwhile, on the part of the governor’s camp it has been celebration all the way and thanksgiving to God.
The jubilation was only tempered with thanksgiving as the governor, was spotted at the Government House Chapel giving thanks immediately after the judgment.
The governor has with the judgment firmly promised to do more in line with his MORE agenda!
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