By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner REC, Prof. Gabriel Yomeri, on Monday issued fresh Certificate of Return, CoR to candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the March 25 governorship and House of Assembly election, Engr. Thomas Aruku, to occupy the House of Assembly seat for Ogoja state constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly.
Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, issued the CoR to the APC candidate following the invalidation of the election of the member elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rita Anyim.
Recall that INEC had declared Anyim winner of the election, but not satisfies, the APC candidate, Aruku decided to challenge her victory at the tribunal and the Appeal Court, where Anyim was disqualified by the court and asked to vacate her seat for the APC candidate, even though the PDP candidate had been sworn in as member representing her constituency.
Speaking while presenting the CoR to the APC candidate, at the Conference Hall of the state office of INEC, the Cross River State REC, Prof. Yomeri, stated, “Following the judgement of court that you are now the rightful winner of Ogoja state constituency. I hereby hand over to you this Certificate of Return”.
Aruku commended INEC and the Appeal Court, who made sure that the truth prevailed in the body polity, describing the court as the hope to the common man.
Aruku, who expressed joy while presenting the CoR to the state chairman of the APC, Alphonsus Ogar, at the APC state secretariat in Calabar, alongside some party faithful, hailed the party chair for the role he played during the struggle.
He said that the love showed to him during the struggle to recover the lost mandate made him proud of the party, especially, the VIP treatment by leadership of the party made him to feel as if he were a Special Player.
He said, “I would use my new position to build bridges. I will liaise with party stakeholders to ensure that Ogoja is returned to it’s past glory.”
Responding, the state APC chairman, Barr. Ogar, averred that Aruku remained the preferred and best person to occupy the seat of Ogoja state constituency.
He said that having worked together at the party exco level, before proceeding to vie for the state Assembly, seat, Aruku is of the best material and party loyalists to serve the people.
Ogar said, “Thomas Aruku, if I had ever found a man that can keep secrets, worked for 20 hours out of 24 hours, if I had ever found any man who is loyal, it is Thomas Aruku.”