Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Thursday expressed gratitude to God for giving him victory at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The governor, who marked the victory at the Government House Chapel, Asaba, few hours after the court ruling, called on Chief Great Ogboru and Chief Emerhor O’tega, his opponents, to sheath their swords and join his government.
Ugboru, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, and O’tega of the All Progressive Congress contested the April 11 election with Okowa.
Both petitioned against the governor’s victory at the elections tribunal sitting in Asaba.
Dissatisfied with tribunal’s affirmation of the victory, the candidates proceeded to the Court of Appeal, which further affirmed the governor’s victory on Thursday.
“Where in election petition, there are allegations of irregularities and corrupt practices, the allegation must be proved beyond every reasonable doubt”, a five-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji ruled.
According to Okowa, the battle has been fierce in all angles and the rumours have been strong.
He said: “But this is time for peace and not for war.
“The war is over and it is time for us to think about Delta and not about ourself.
“And it’s time for repentance and I call on Ogboru and O’tega to come back and embrace this government so that together we can work for the good of Deltans.”
Okowa described the season as a perfect Christmas because the people came out to vote and the lower and the appeal courts have upheld their votes.
He assured the people that his administration would not let them down.
In his reaction, Senator James Manager attributed Okowa’s victory to God and appealed to the opponents to join him to salvage the state.
Manager said: “For those who lost in the elections even in the tribunal and Court of Appeal should give peace a chance in the overall interest of Delta.
“I know that there is still another leg, but must we push it that far?
“Is it necessary in the interest of our people?
“Let us come together to build Delta from the current level to where we want it to be.”