The National Chairman of Inec issued certificate of return to all sectors elect and members elect of The House of Representative.
However, Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha was not invited to collect his own following the decision of the commission to not present him with a certificate.so for that he was not invited.
Recall that the Inec returning officier Mr Ibeabuchi said he announced the result under duress.
Okorocha immediately fired back, accusing INEC of allowing itself to be used by partisans who are afraid of his future political ambition in the country.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja shortly after the event, Okorocha accused some unnamed forces in the polity of trying to stop him from making an input into those who will become principal members of the National Assembly as well as the politics of 2023 presidency.
He said; “I am sure I was conspicuously absent from the certificates issuance ceremony. I was not there because INEC had removed my name from the list of senators having been declared the winner by the zonal returning officer.
So, I am actually waiting to hear why INEC struck my name out. I think probably, INEC must be trying to do something special because I understand once results have been declared and returns made then you are bound to be issued a certificate of return but to have exempted me, I am in darkness as to what was the reason why I was not invited to collect my certificate of return.
Maybe, INEC would want to organize a special programme for me to hand over this certificate of return to me because clearly, I won and it was a peaceful election, the best you can ever think of.
“I am told from the grapevine that it was because of duress. In other words, somebody must have coerced the returning officer to do what he was not supposed to do but here again, I do not understand what that means because there was nothing of such.
How can you put somebody under duress to declare you the winner of an election that you have already won?
And look, they are not saying that we did not win. They are not saying that the other man won.
So, I do not understand why we should be the people forcing someone to do something wrong to claim victory.
It is not true but I must let the world understand that this is a game that is being played. The Resident Electoral Commissioner REC in Imo state is playing a script and the script is so funny, it is so cruel and crude actually and they are executing it in a funny way.
“I understand that people are beginning to fight a war of the future now when we are not even yet there and I am surprised that INEC is being used as an instrument for those who find it politically difficult to achieve what they want to do.
The idea is that, do not give Rochas a certificate; you must slow him down until after they have elected the presiding officers, then you can let him come in, so that he does not become anything and make sure that his candidate for governor does not win and then make sure that he is crippled politically before 2023.
That is what is happening and it is very childish. I do not see why somebody can be thinking that way and these are people that earned my respect and they are behaving in that manner.
So, I will advise INEC to do the right thing, to release my certificate so that I can celebrate as others are celebrating”, he stated.
Earlier, while performing the ceremony Thursday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said, “as a matter of urgency, the commission will begin work on post 2019 elections review and road mark to 2023”, adding that while there is a lot of work to be done, there is very little time available.
“As a process governed by law, the success of elections in Nigeria depend to a large extent on the electoral legal framework and most importantly in ensuring adherence to the law.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to work with the National Assembly to review and strengthen our electoral law.
But, I want to appeal to the senators-elect to please start work early and conclude work on the electoral framework in good time well ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“The tendency to delay electoral reforms particularly the review of electoral framework until it is too close to the elections, leaves the commission with little time to develop processes including regulations and guidelines, make required consultations with stakeholders, embark on effective voter education including sensitization, train staff and organize deployment for the elections.”
“I am glad that among the senators-elect are senators that we have worked very closely with and some of them have taken initiatives or even sponsored private member bills to advance the cause of electoral reforms.
We look forward to working very closely with you in the next senate. However all these are matters to be considered, I hope we will do so in earnest”, he charged.
100 senators were issued their certificate of return,the remaining 9 were not presented with their certificate because of issues yet to be resolved.
The All Progressives Congress APC has 62 while The Peoples Democratic Party PDP has 37 while the Young Progressives Party YPP has one.
Members-elect of the House of Representatives were also later, presented with their certificates of return.