Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Imo State governorship primary of the Labour Party has continued to heighten tension in the party, with more governorship aspirants declaring themselves gubernatorial candidates.
Ikengaonline in Owerri has been monitoring the development over the tussle of who is the authentic governorship candidate of the party.
First, the LP, governorship primary conducted under the chairmanship of the governor-elect, of Abia state, Alex Otti, last Saturday declared Senator Athan Achonu as the governorship candidate of the party.
According to Otti, the chairman of the election panel, Achonu scored 134 votes to defeat his closest rival, General Jack Ogunewe, who got 121 votes.
Others Martin Agbaso – 13 votes, Mrs. Ndidi – 1 vote, Capt David Mbamara – 5 votes AIG Charles Agomuo – 1 vote, Kelechi Nwagwu – 9 votes, and Chinedu Amadi – 4 votes among others.
On Sunday, another parallel primary produced Basil Maduka, as the governorship candidate of LP, in Imo State. The primary was said to have taken place at Andrea Hotel.
At the time of filing this report, the last name that surfaced was Joseph Ikechukwu Ukeagbu, as another LP governorship candidate.
Reacting, one of the governorship aspirants, Major General Lincoln Ogunewe (Rtd.) said the Abia State Governor-Elect, Alex Otti made an honest mistake in declaring Achonu the winner of the LP gubernatorial primary election.
“You may recall that on Saturday the 15th of April 2023 at Landmark Events Centre in Owerri, Imo state, Labour Party Governorship primaries election was conducted by His Excellency. Dr. Alex Otti.
“At the said primaries an honest error was made by the Election Committee when it asked Local government area chairmen of LP to identify delegates from their areas. Many party chairmen had been compromised by one of the contestants. Mr. Athan Achonu allowed non-elected fake delegates to enter the election hall.
“These said fake delegates confessed to receiving $300 each to vote for. Mr. Achonu. Despite my protestations, these fake delegates voted, and at the end of the day. Mr. Achonu who scored 134 votes was declared winner against my 121 votes which made me to come second.”
“My position is that the elections were manipulated and rigged when LP local government chairmen were asked to identify delegates and many of them left the original delegates list and admitted fake delegates to vote.
“That all my 121 votes were from original LP delegates that emerged from the Ward Congresses of LP.
“That if all the votes of the fake delegates who collected dollars and voted for Mr. Achonu were canceled or voided l would automatically score the majority of the votes and emerge the winner of the Imo State governorship primaries election.
“That l have followed due process of the law by filing a petition to our Party Governorship Primaries Election Appeals Committee on these flagrant violations that occurred at the primaries and l expect that justice would be done,” he said.