Listen to article
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision affirming his candidacy, Athan Achonu, the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the November 11 gubernatorial election, called on the citizens of Imo State to ignore all distractions and support him in delivering good and exemplary governance.
Achonu took the opportunity to speak to reporters in Abuja shortly after the Supreme Court validated his position as the exclusive and lawful LP candidate for the upcoming Imo governorship election.
He labelled the sequence of legal disputes surrounding his candidacy in the LP as a psychological warfare strategy employed by his rivals to plant seeds of uncertainty in the minds of voters, an endeavour that has now come to nought.
Furthermore, he made it clear that he had no direct role in the legal action initiated by his opponents, as he believed it was a deceptive manoeuvre on their part.
‘I was not sued. I won a fair primary election, and courts never said I was not the candidate. It was a psychological warfare to make Imolites think there was a problem with my candidature, so and dissuade them from voting for me.’
‘With this judgement, I make bold to again call on Imolites to come out massively to campaign and vote for me so that we can take back our State.’
‘I also challenge the press to help save Imo and Nigeria’, said Achonu as he pledged to deliver such leadership that will make Imo State an example to others.’
He also declared that the legal barriers have not in any way driven his focus from the governorship race, saying that instead ‘Imo is on fire and the Governor is running helter skelter’.
Also speaking to the press alongside him was the National Legal Adviser of he Labour Party, Kehinde Edun, who summarised the Supreme Court judgment.
According to him, the Supreme Court has ‘put an end to the subterfuge, masquerading and charade of the Apapa group’, which has been trying to derail the chances of the party in the election.
He clarified that Achonu’s legitimacy as the Labour Party (LP) candidate was established through a lawful primary conducted by the national leadership in April, a process overseen by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and adhering to due process.
He pointed out that two candidates who were unsuccessful in the primary opted to pursue legal avenues, despite the legal requirement that the winning candidate must be involved in the case, which was not the case.
Furthermore, the Appeal Court had earlier ruled against the case, and the Supreme Court has recently upheld this ruling, reasoning that the case should not have been filed “ab initio” due to a lack of “locus standi.”
‘Only one primary is recognised and that is the one organised by Julius Abure (national chairman), and recognised by INEC and Supreme Court. Any other is a jamboree.’
‘The implication is that Achonu remains the LP candidate in Imo, and Abure remains national chairman’, he stated.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court admonished Joseph Ukaegbu, the appellant’s legal counsel, for his efforts to support the appellant’s case, an action that was deemed as misconduct by Edun.