Labour Party crisis deepens as two governorship candidates emerge in Imo

The crisis rocking the Labour Party in Imo State took another turn when two factions of the party produced different governorship flag bearers, Senator Athan Achonu and Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, in the parallel primary elections held over the weekend.

On Saturday, the primary conducted by the Abure-led faction produced Senator Athan Achonu as the winner, having polled 134 votes to defeat his closest rival, Lincoln Ugunewe who got 125 votes.

In another primary, on Sunday, by the Apapa-led faction, Ikechukwu Ukaegbu emerged winner in an affirmative election where one of the aspirants, Ihechi Ike stepped down for him.

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National Vice chairman of the party, North East, Mohammed Ibrahim Alkali who represented  Apapa in yesterday’s primary, announced Ukaegbu winner and handed the party flag to him saying the election followed due process.

Also,National Youth leader of the party,Anselem Iragbe , who addressing journalists after the primary affirmed it met all legal requirements.

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Iragbe said the Abure-led faction that conducted the Saturday primary erred on the side of the law and that the primary of yesterday, was “the authentic governorship primary of the party.”

He said: “An FCT High Court issued a restraining order on April 4 on Julius Aburi, the National Chairman,his Treasurer and Organising Secretary, as a result of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on forensic report that indicted them on perjury and criminal conspiracy. They were asked to stop parading themselves as officials of Labour party.This means from the 5th of April they are no longer officials of the party, so whatever took place yesterday as election does not stand according to the face of the law.”

The primary of the Aburi-led faction on Saturday where Senator Achonu emerged as the winner had as returning officer, Dr.Alex Otti, Abia State Governor-elect.

Other contestants were Martins Agbaso who got 13 votes;  David Mbamara, five votes, Charles Agomuo, one vote; Kelechi Nwagwu, nine votes, and Chinedu Amadi, four votes.

However, Ike given reasons for stepping down for Ukaegbu said “I will not say much, I entered Imo and saw that the State needed labour party and labour party is the party that Imo also need, we have seen the charade that has been going on in southeast, it’s very troublesome and we have come to cleanse it, this is what we need and on this I step down for Ukaegbu”.

In his acceptance speech, Ukaegbu vowed that he would never to surrender his ticket to anybody. He said “I thank you all for making this happen today, I want to assure you that I will make you proud, I will never surrender my ticket to anybody, I have prepared for this for twelve years and one thing I would like to tell you again is that I’m not an opportunist, together we would build Imo of our dream”.

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