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How Owerri Zone Lost Out Of Imo LP Guber Primary

The grievances among those who lost out of the April 15, 2023 Labour Party (LP) Imo Governorship Primary is yet to settle as candidates from Owerri zone are accusing candidates from Orlu and Okigwe zones of colliding to deny them of their turn to produce the next governor of the state ahead of the November 11 election.

Recall last month few days after Labour Party had conducted what it adjudged as the freest, fairest and peaceful primary in which Athan Achonu emerged winner of the primary as the party’s flag bearer for the election, one of the candidates who lost out of the primary, Major-general Lincoln Ogunewe (redt.), had alleged that the primary was far from being free and fair as described by the party.

The two zones were accused of ganging up against Owerri Zone during the primary which led to their defeat.

It is pertinent to note that Imo State has three zones including Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri and for the sake of fairness and equity the party allowed the zones to present their aspirants.

Okigwe had three aspirants including Mr Ike Ibe, Athan Achonu and Onyirimba, from Owerri zone, 13 aspirants came out and from Orlu only one aspirant.

During the primary, it was gathered that after much consultations, Onyirimba withdrew and Orlu with one candidate persuaded their son, T.J Ehirim to step down against his wish which he did.

The contest was left among Mr Ibe and Achonu from Okigwe and 12 other aspirants from Owerri after the sudden passing of the 13th aspirant, Humphrey Anumudu.

While candidates from Owerri including Gen Ogunewe among others are claiming it was their turn to produce the next candidate, it did not occur to them that politics is a game of numbers.

Presenting 12 aspirants for governorship primary was nothing but a display of political immaturity, what was expected from the zone was for it to come up with a consensus candidate despite the advise from the party but they failed to adhere hence leading to their defeat.

After the primary and the collation of results, Okigwe zone represented by Achonu emerged winner beating his closest rival, Gen. Ogunewe with 134 votes while the latter got 125 votes.

To this, Owerri zone spearheaded by Ogunewe complained that the process of the primary was flawed.

Overtnews reported earlier that he had filed a petition to the party’s election appeal committee to look into the matter for necessary steps to be taken.

“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,” he argued in our previous report.

Many political strategists would view the retired general’s position as baseless because he and other aspirants from the zone (Owerri) lost the primary due to their inability to put their house in other before going for d primary.

There is no basis to their claim of sabotage of the primary but rather they should gentlemanly go back to the drawing board and examine where the mistake came from and accept defeat instead of unnecessarily heating up the polity.

In a piece by Ozoemena, Esq, a constitutional lawyer, he argued that Owerri zone from 1999 when the country returned to stable democracy has always been a victim of marginalisation by the two other zones.

He chronicled how Owerri willingly on a platter of gold gave power to other zones all in the name of peace and unity and since then the zone is being cheated at every election cycle.

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