— Mundus (@mundus01) January 19, 2020
This is one of several dozens of videos that have been published on social media chronicling the nationwide protests by indigenes of Imo state and supporters of the People’s Democratic Party, challenging the Supreme court ruling on the legitimacy of now former PDP governor Sir Emeka Ihedioha.
Ihedioha has had a long history serving the people of Imo state. He started his political career in the state serving the people of Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency, and wielded considerable influence during his time as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. His decision to contest in the 2019 elections was also well received considering the previous governor, Rochas Owelle Okorocha had repeated accusations of misuse of public funds, nepotism and friction with his consistuents that eroded most of the goodwill that would have proven useful in the run-on to the 2019 elections. Many of Okorocha’s immediate family members serve on his cabinet and one of his immediate family members (Uche Nwosu) was groomed for and ran for elections in the 2019 elections. A familiar candidate with a good track record and the support of his constituents, Ihedioha’s convincing victory at the polls in March 2019 wasn’t unexpected.
What was unexpected though, was that the APC candidate in the 2019 elections, Hope Uzodinma, who came fourth in the polls with less than half of the votes during the elections would be declared winner by the seven man panel that reviewed the election results at the Supreme Court led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. Her panel alleged that votes from 388 units voided by the states electoral body were in fact valid and helped tip Uzodinma past Ihedioha.
Imo citizens moved out to the streets of Owerri to protest on the injustice meted out to Imo people during the supreme court judgement on the Governorship election which saw Hope Uzodinma declared winner after coming a distant 4th.#imowantsihedioha #NigeriaStandsWithImo pic.twitter.com/93L44nB8la
— mr_Fab (@bright_fabulous) January 19, 2020
Imo state citizens however, are unanimously rejecting the ruling citing inconsistencies in the ruling. Their protests in the state and the region suggests a shift in sympathies for PDP as an opposition party and a challenge of the veracity of the ruling and the integrity of the Supreme court. There is no guarantee that these protests will lead to a reinstatement of Ihedioha, but it suggests that citizens are less likely to roll over and take decisions that they allege is unfair.