–         Charges INEC, Security Operatives To Ensure Credible Election

The Labour Party Candidate for the November, 11, 2023 Imo governorship election, Senator Athan Achonu has vehemently condemned the inhuman and brutal attack on the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero in Imo State few days ago, describing it as an attack on democracy, the nation, Nigerian workers, and Nigerian families.

Addressing a press conference at his Campaign office, Achonu narrated how Comrade Ajaero was reportedly set to lead a peaceful protest over unpaid wages due to Imo State workers and was beaten to stupor and allegedly abducted by security personnel, adding that if the leader of the Nigerian workers could be given such treatment, then the ordinary people should be pitied.

“This is totally unacceptable and indeed very condemnable. Imolites are not known for this low level of intolerance and recklessness, hence every true citizen of Imo State especially workers, must condemn this act. 

“Globally, the labour movement has been in solid solidarity with workers whose many contributions to society are often undermined by governments who refuse to fulfill their obligations to workers. No doubt, decent work is not just about the right to gainful employment but also about the right to earn decent wages, freedom of choice, and equal opportunities.”

Never again should this happen In Imo State. Not while I am Governor”, he inferred.  

Sen Achonu also charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible election by providing adequate security in all polling units and Collation Centres in Imo State so that no eligible voter is disenfranchised.

He revealed that there are reports that the APC is perfecting plans to influence INEC Polling Officers and AdHoc Staff and therefore has officially put INEC on notice that the ruling party, APC is planning heavily to influence the outcome of the election through compromised adhoc staff and a few corrupt officials. 

His words “In the last two weeks, video shreds of evidence in circulation show that communities (Owerri West, Oguta, Okigwe, Ihitte Uboma, etc.) where APC leaders are harvesting details of Voter Cards. This is criminal and an attempt to subvert the will of the people. I call on INEC and security agents to be alert and checkmate these efforts at rigging the election and ensure that sensitive materials do not get into the wrong hands. 

“It is important to restate that all collation should be done at the OFFICIAL DESIGNATED CENTRES. NOT LG Council headquarters. Specifically, Isiala Mbano’s INEC office was burnt down. So INEC should PUBLICLY announce a public primary school as a collation center for Isiala Mbano. This should also be the case in every other location with similar challenges. 

“We will use all lawful means to resist any plan to collate results in any place other than officially designated locations at the ward level and at the local government level.

“We call on INEC to, as a matter of urgency, publish the polling centers where elections will not be held. This should be in the public knowledge.

“I call on security agents to maintain order on Election Day and to be impartial”.

However, the LP candidate faulted reported efforts by the government of Imo State to block accommodation in all hotels in Owerri, urging all hotels to resist such anti-democratic, anti-people move, while maintaining that the government does not have any right to forcefully occupy any private owned hotel in Imo State.

Achonu enjoined well meaning Imolites who desire the best for the state to come out on Saturday, 11th of November to vote massively for Labour Party, promising that he will protect the votes at all cost.