The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has given reasons for his absence at the issuance of certificate of return to senators-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday.
The commission presented certificates of return to all the senators elected on September 23, on Thursday excluding Okorocha.
Earlier, INEC had removed Okorocha’s name from the list of senators-elect who will be presented with certificates.
According to the electoral body, the governor was declared winner “under duress”.
However, Okorocha, while debunking the allegation, said the commission might be planning to organise a special event to issue his own certificate of return.
He said: “I am sure you are aware that I was conspicuously absent at the certificates issuance ceremony. I was not there because INEC has removed my name from the list of elected senators, having been declared the winner by the zonal returning officer.I am actually waiting to hear why INEC struck my name out,” he said.
“I think probably, INEC must be trying to do something special, because I understand that once results have been declared and returns made, then you are bound to be issued a certificate of return.
“Maybe, INEC will want to organise a special programme for me to hand over the certificate of return to me, because clearly, I won and it was a peaceful election, the best you can ever think of.
“How can you put somebody on duress to declare you the winner of an election that you have already won? 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 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.
“The idea is that, do not give Okorocha a certificate; you must slow him down until after they have elected the presiding officer, then you can let him come in.
“Those behind the plot, are however, not smart in executing the project to rig me and my son in-law who is the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) Uche Nwosu out.
“I will advise INEC to do the right thing, to release my certificate so that I can celebrate as others, I want to be in the Senate, and it will be interesting if am there.”
The governor also rejected the victory of Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP at the polls, insisting that going by the actual calculation, the person that won the election was his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA).