By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
More trouble is brewing in the Imo Labour party as one of the major contestants for the gubernatorial ticket of the party ahead of the 11 November governorship election Retired Major – General Lincoln Ogunewe has claimed that he is the authentic winner of the Imo Labour Party gubernatorial primaries.
The retired Army General alleged that some local government chairmen of the party who had been compromised by one of the contestant Senator Athan Achonu allowed non elected delegates into the election hall.
He further alleged that these fake delegates had confessed to receiving $300 dollars each to vote for Mr Achonu during the primaries in spite of his protest .
In a statement personally signed by Major – General Lincoln Ogunewe reads : ” 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 who had been compromised by one of the contestants Mr Athan Achonu allowed non-elected fake delegates to enter into the election hall.
These said fake delegates confessed to receiving $300 dollars each to vote for Mr Achonu.
That 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.”
Continuing, the statement further read, “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 $300 dollars and voted for Mr Achonu are cancelled or voided l would automatically score the majority of the votes and emerge 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.
However Ndigbo should know that the time has come for us to move away from Party-based politics to candidate-based politics where the educational credentials, career records, integrity, credibility and capacity of an individual should be the focus of our quest for transformational leadership. Peter Obi has already set this example.
Finally, l thank all my teeming supporters in LP both within the state, through out the country and globally. I also thank the leadership of our great party.
Let it be clear to all and sundry that the LP family in Imo state gave me their mandate without vote buying to fly the Flag of the Party at the November 11, 2023 governorship elections. I shall do everything legally possible to execute that mandate! Our victory is certain with me leading from the front! “.
Meanwhile, three aspirants in the labour party have claimed to be the authentic candidate for the Imo Governorship race which would be conducted by 11 of November 2023.
More details will follow in our subsequent Bulletin…..