As a result of the concurrent primary elections that were held over the weekend, two factions of the Labour Party in Imo State produced distinct candidates for governor, Senator Athan Achonu and Ikechukwu Ukaegbu.
In an affirmative vote when Ukaegbu was the winner, Ihechi Ike, one of the candidates, resigned.
He was declared the winner and given the party flag by Mohammed Ibrahim Alkali, national vice chairman of the party for the North East, who was acting national chairman Lamido Apapa. Alkali emphasized that the election had been conducted in accordance with the law.
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”.