Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has advised that all candidates should take oaths to resolve all post-election disputes only through court processes.
“They should also commit and sign an undertaken that all disputes over election results can only be challenged peacefully through the court processes and that the parties to the dispute must be bound by the outcome of that process,” he said at the opening ceremony of the Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Monday.
According to the governor, election losers and post-election violence constitute grave threats to the peaceful cohesion of Nigeria.
“I will remain a relentless advocate of free, fair, and peaceful elections. I have always maintained that every election dispute can and should be resolved peacefully through available legal channels, not by violence or heating up the polity.
“When we as politicians accept the fact that losers of today can be winners of tomorrow, then we will see no reason to rock the boat when we lose,” the governor stated.
Uzodimma, who restated his commitment to the indissolubility of Nigeria, expressed hope that the country will have very peaceful elections in 2023.
‘Imo Is Safe Again’
The governor also assured residents and business owners that Imo State is safe again for businesses and tourism.
Uzodimma said the police event holding a few weeks after the state hosted a similar event by the Nigerian Army showed that Imo has “emerged as the preferred destination” for significant and very important events.
“There is no doubt in my mind that hosting these events will help to reassure residents and visitors that Imo State is safe again for businesses and tourism, all thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR),” he said.
“Going forward, this conference is crucial since it is aimed at evolving strategies toward the duties of the police ahead of the general elections scheduled for 2023.”
Top government officials in attendance at the event include President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman; Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, represented by Alkali Modibbo.
In January 2020, the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Imo and declared Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state.