Uyo – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday presented certificates of return to Akwa Ibom Governor-elect, Mr Udom Emmanuel and members of the National Assembly-elect in the state.
Making the presentation in Uyo, Mrs Thelma Iremiren, the INEC Commissioner supervising Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers, urged the elected officers to keep campaign promises to the electorate.
Iremiren congratulated the elected officers on their success at the 2015 General Elections and advised them to be responsible and accountable to the people, who elected them.
She said “leadership comes with a lot of responsibilities which you must try to discharge to people that voted for you.’’
The commissioner called for cordial working relationship among elected officers and the incoming government in order to provide dividends of democracy to the people.
She added that “what the people need is basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, medical care and education.’’
Earlier, Mr Austin Okojie, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said democratic culture had come to stay in Nigeria, following the successful conduct of the 2015 elections.
Okojie urged the winners to be magnanimous in victory and to extend hand of fellowship to their opponents.
“The issuance of certificate of return to winners of the election is to forestall a situation where two or more persons will claim to be winners of the same election,” he said.
According to him, once declaration is made and a candidate is returned by a returning officer, it is only tribunal or a court of law that can upturn the decision.
Okojie urged losers who were not satisfied with the outcome of the election to act in accordance with the provisions of the law by seeking redress at the tribunal.
Responding on behalf of the elected officers, the Governor-elect, Mr Udom Emmanuel, expressed appreciation to God for seeing him and his supporters through the rigours of the election.
Emmanuel noted that the presentation of certificate of return had gone a long way to deepen the people’s faith in the national democratic process in the country.
He said the just-concluded election in the state was the most keenly contested election in the history of elections conducted in the country by INEC.
The governor-elect expressed appreciation to INEC officials for their unwavering commitment to the national assignment.
Emmanuel also thanked the corps members that worked to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that certificates of return were presented to three Senators-elect, one of whom was Gov. Godswill Akpabio, and 10 members of House of Representatives-elect. (NAN)