The PUNCH reports that the crisis rocking the Labour Party in Imo State has taken another turn.
The crisis 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.
Ukaegbu emerged winner in an affirmative election where one of the aspirants, Ihechi Ike, stepped down for him.
The National Vice chairman of the party, North East, Mohammed Ibrahim Alkali, who represented the acting National Chairman of the party, Lamido Apapa, who announced him winner and handed the flag of the party to him noted that the election conducted had followed due process.
Also, the National Youth Leader of the party, Anselem Iragbe, addressing newsmen shortly affirmed that the election conducted on Sunday met all legal requirements.
According to him, the Julius Abure-led faction that conducted the Saturday primary election was not legally bound 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 had earlier on Saturday conducted its own primary election where senator Athan Achonu emerged with 134 votes defeating his closest rival, Lincoln Ugunewe who polled 125 votes.
Other result from that election as announced by the returning officer, Dr.Alex Otti,Abia State governor – elect are : Martins Agbaso, 13 votes, Mrs Ndidi 1vote, David Mbamara ,5 votes, Charles Agomuo,1 vote, Kelechi
Nwagwu ,9 votes and Chinedu Amadi ,4 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”.