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IMO: Labour Party factions produce two gov flagbearers

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

Ukaegbu won an affirmative election in which one of the candidates, Ihechi Ike, stepped down in his favor.

The North East National Vice Chairman of the party, Mohammed Ibrahim Alkali, who represented the acting National Chairman of the party, Lamido Apapa, who declared him winner and handed him the party flag, noted that the election was conducted in accordance with the law.

In addition, Anselem Iragbe, the party’s National Youth Leader, told reporters that the election yesterday met all legal requirements.

According to him, the Julius Abure-led faction that held the Saturday primary election was not legally required to do so.

He said, “The election conducted today, April 16, is the authentic governorship primary of the party. An FCT High Court issued a restraining order on April,4 on Julius Abure, the National Chairman, his treasurer and the organising secretary and asking them to stop parading themselves as the officials of Labour Party.

”This means from the 5th 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.”

Meanwhile, the Aburi-led faction of the party held its own primary election on Saturday, with senator Athan Achonu winning with 134 votes, defeating his closest rival, Lincoln Ugunewe, who received 125 votes.

Other results from that election, as announced by the returning officer, Dr.Alex Otti, are: Martins Agbaso, 13 votes, Mrs Ndidi 1 vote, David Mbamara 5 votes, Charles Agomuo 1 vote, and Kelechi zero

Nwagwu received 9 votes, while Chinedu Amadi received 4 votes.

However, Ike giving 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 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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