The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented Certificates of Return (CoR) to Mr Francis Nwifuru, Ebonyi governor-elect and Mrs Patricia Obila, the deputy governor-elect.
The event which was held on Wednesday at the INEC’s Collation Centre in the commission’s state headquarters also had 17 out of the 24 House of Assembly members-elect issued with their certificates of return.
The presentation was performed by Chief Ken Ukeagu, the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.
Earlier, Mrs Pauline Onyeka, the Ebonyi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in her welcome address said that the presentation of a certificate of return to the winners of the elective political positions was part of the electoral process guaranteed by the law.
“Presentation of a Certificate of Return is an aspect of the electoral process guaranteed by law; 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.
“Hence, it is one of the constitutional requirements in the electoral process, we shall today be presenting the Certificate of Return to the governor-elect and deputy governor-elect as well as the members-elect of the Ebony House of Assembly,” Onyeka said.
She explained that the Ebonyi House of Assembly comprised 24 state constituencies noting that 17 would be presented with their certificates while the results of five constituencies were declared inconclusive adding that two members-elect had minor issues.
The REC announced that the commission had fixed April 15 for a supplementary election in the affected state constituencies.
She urged the winners to be magnanimous in victory and discharge the mandate given to them by the electorate in providing dividends of good governance.
“Now that you have the mandate of the people, I would urge you to see your election as a call for service.
“Your constituents elected you in the belief that you have the capacity and ability to deliver the dividends of democracy to them, as whom much is given, much is expected.
“Moreover, as the electioneering campaigns and the 2023 general elections are now almost over, the expectation is that both the winners and losers will come together and work for the common good of the people no matter the party one belongs,” she added.
Meanwhile, Nwifuru in his acceptance speech pledged to run an all-inclusive and open-door administration and paid tribute to the electorate as well as elders and leaders of the state for the mandate given to him to lead the state.
He called on the candidates of the various political parties who participated in the governorship contest to eschew party differences and team up to build a better and greater Ebonyi.
“I thank my fellow candidates from the other political parties who went on this journey with me and I call on them to join this ‘Divine Mandate’ and eschew all differences so that we can work together for the peace and development of Ebonyi people.
” The campaign was a race to serve our dear people of Ebonyi, therefore, I invite all of them to join me in building Ebonyi that we all will be proud of,” Nwifuru said.