Fresh crisis hits Edo LP over gov primary as Imasuagbon issues ultimatum to be declared winner

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Kenneth Imasuagbon

 

Fresh trouble seems to be brewing in Edo State chapter of the Labour Party, as one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party, Kenneth Imasuangbon, who contested in last Friday primary, on Tuesday, demanded that the party leadership declare him winner of the primary election.

Recall that Olumide Akpata was declared winner of the primary election conducted by the Julius Abure faction of the LP, after he defeated Imasuagbon and four others on February 23.

However, the Lamidi Apapa faction had on February 22 written to the Independent National Electoral Commission that Anderson Asemota and Monday Mawah were the LP governorship candidate and running mate respectively in the state.

However in a fresh twist on Sunday, a United Kingdom-based legal practitioner, Hilton Idahosa, announced himself as the party’s third factional candidate, stating that the Apapa faction primary election of February 22 was postponed till February 24, which he won.

With Imasuangbon calling party leadership to recognise him as LP’s flagbearer, there appears to be more trouble for Edo LP.

Imasuangbon, popularly known as the ‘Rice Man,’ said the processes leading to the conduct of the ward congresses were corrupted by several irregularities, despite assurances from party leadership for a fair level playing field.

In a statement issued on Thursday in Benin, he gave a one-week ultimatum to LP leadership to reverse the decision on Akpata and declare him winner the primaries, or face legal action.

Condemning the processes of the LP primary, Imasuangbon said the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were very strategic by picking their candidates from Edo Central senatorial district, noting that if LP was serious about winning the governorship election, it would have learnt from the other major parties.

He also said the processes were skewed by factional LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, and state chairman, Kelly Ogbaloi, to favour Akpata.

The statement reads, “I want to first of all use this opportunity to thank my well-wishers and staff of Pacesetters Schools for standing by me during my political sojourn. I also extend my thanks to Edo people and my supporters across the state.

“My interest in politics is to change the narratives of Edo and improve on the lives of the people. I want an Edo where jobs would be available, where food would be cheap, where our teeming unemployed youth will be meaningfully engaged, but the godfathers refused democracy to thrive in Edo.

“After 21 years in politics, I do not think it is proper or politically right for political parties to skew party primary to favour a particular candidate. I hope, one day, democracy will be allowed to thrive in Edo.

“Having worked hard in the last 21 years to impact on lives of suffering Edo people with my hard earned personal resources, it is unfortunate that anti-democratic forces would not allow the free will of the people to prevail. I am issuing a one-week ultimatum to LP leadership to reverse the recognition of Akpata as our party’s candidate. I should be declared winner.”

Kenneth Imasuagbon

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