Enugu, NIGERIA — The Enugu State Governor-Elect, Dr. Peter Mbah, has dedicated the March 18 governorship victory and his certificate of return to the electorate in the state who made it possible through their massive votes and support at the polls.
Dr. Mbah, who, alongside his deputy, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai, and 23 other House of Assembly members-elect were issued with their certificates of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu on Thursday, said the mandate given to him by the people of the state would be reciprocated with good governance, massive development, industrialisation and deliberate strategic policies that inspire development.
While extending his hands of fellowship to candidates from other political parties to join in moving the state forward, Dr. Mbah noted that the era of politics, acrimony and the bitterness associated with it was over, stressing that the collective interests of the people and the state and how to achieve them should be the next step as he could not afford to let the people down.
He vowed to deliver within time on his promises, saying the certificate presented to him contained an unwritten pact between his administration and the people of the state to restore peace and security, attract investments, create jobs, provide running water within 180 days, ensure new infrastructure and take the state to its desirable and enviable place in the comity of Nigerian states.
The entrepreneur who further reiterated his resolve to run an all-inclusive administration that would carry everyone along irrespective of party affiliations, zones and leanings, added that he would be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability and traceability that would enable the people to assess the performance of his government.
His statement reads in parts: “A while ago, I received the Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This certificate is not just an ordinary paper. It is a legal document which contains an unwritten pact between our administration and the good people of Enugu State.
“Today is indeed another memorable day in our journey to greatness, development and prosperity.
“In the build-up to the campaigns and electioneering process, we played politics. It was understandable and fit for the purpose of that time. For some aspirants and candidates, it was a game of survival of the fittest and elimination of the weakest. To some others, it was, fair is foul and foul is fair. Today’s handing over of the certificate of return to us should end all such atrocious politicking. It is time to move on.
“History will never forgive us if, at a time like this, when we should be pursuing the interest and development of our dear Enugu State, we are still enmeshed in the pursuit of political gains and cleavages.
“It is why I extend my hands of fellowship to all my brothers with whom I ran the race for the hearts of the Enugu electorate. While we have different political platforms to achieving the Enugu dream, we are united by our passion for the growth of our state.
“As I said earlier, politics has ended. Ndi Enugu have shown their preference. Let us end the politics of acrimony and focus on how to move our state forward
“Let us recognize that Enugu State is bigger than all of us. We thus must all work in her overall interest, which is development and growth.
“Since my announcement as winner of the March 18 election, I have set forth at dawn. I sleep and wake like the woman weaving the tapestry. Ideas of how to weave an Enugu State that will be the joy of all of us spin daily in my head. But, I cannot do it alone. I ask all of us to come on board and let us jointly take our dear state to its desirable and enviable place in the comity of Nigerian states.
“As I have said time and again, we are passionate about creating an environment that is conducive for peace and security to reign. We will do all within our powers to create an Enugu State that is highly prosperous and which is strategically developed.
“In doing this, we will be guided by a governance philosophy that is underpinned by transparency, accountability and traceability. We will codify a citizens’ charter that will define all our promises to Ndi Enugu. All that our people will need to do is to score us on account of this irrevocable charter. This, we will do, God willing.
“Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected House of Assembly members and the people of Enugu State. This is our collective government. It is not the government of any section of this state. The massiveness of the votes from all the zones of our state points at the collectivity and joint ownership of this mandate. We will reflect this in our administration and spread the dividends of democracy to every citizen of Enugu State.
“Let me also thank all the stakeholders for your tireless efforts in ensuring the peoples’ voices were heard, the media, which creditably fulfilled their role as the 4th estate of the realm, holding all participants and stakeholders accountable from the beginning of the elections to the end.
“Permit me to thank you all for your rapt attention and the joint labour of love for our state. It is time to do even more. Enugu State needs us more than ever before. It is time to serve her with all our strength.”
Earlier on, in their separate addresses, the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States, Chief Ken Ukeagu, and the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu, noted that the issuance of the certificates of return to candidates that emerged victorious in elections was part of the electoral process recognized by the law which must be done within 14 days of the conclusion of election.
They explained that a certificate of return issued by the INEC is evidence and authority that shows that one has been duly elected in an election conducted by the commission, adding that INEC had shown its impartiality throughout the conduct of the elections.
The commissioners charged the newly elected candidates to put the collective interests of the state above personal interests while ensuring that every constituency is carried along in the state.