From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Senator Athan Achono, the Labour Party Governorship candidate in the last Imo governorship election has expressed optimism that he will reclaim his stolen mandate, thus banking on the judiciary to make that happen.

He insisted that he won the last year’s governorship election defeating the incumbent, Hope Uzodimma, but was allegedly denied victory by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), perhaps, working in connivance with the officials of the Imo state government and other forces.

Senator Achono told journalists at a thanksgiving church service at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, Abuja, that he passed through the shadow of death during the electioneering period and came out alive, hence he the need to appreciate God for safety and protection he enjoyed throughout the period.

He said: “I escaped several assassination attempts. Several times my car was shot at close range by men of the Tiger Base Squad, who fired at my vehicle while en route to honour a church invitation during the cause of the campaign.

“If not for the bullet proof car, I wouldn’t have been alive today. Several of my party men were kidnapped, some were killed. My two collation agents in Ihite-uboma were kidnapped and was later released. My cousin,
Mr. John Chima, who was a collation agent in Ehime Mbano was kidnapped and up till now they have not released him despite all they said we should do.

“However, we have been in court and my lawyers have done wonderfully well over this period of litigation. We have high hopes in the judiciary, and we are optimistic that they would do what’s right to bring peace back to Imo State and the entire south east.

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“It was the court judgement on Imo governorship election of few years ago that brought instability in Imo state and entire south east. We know that they would wipe away our tears this time. It’s a straight forward case, and the judiciary will do the right thing.

“What we tendered in the court was so comprehensive, and there’s no technicalities that can upturn it. That election was a sham and should be cancelled, and I am sure it will be cancelled for another opportunity or I be declared the winner of the election as requested.”

He, however, explained that the thanksgiving was to give God all the thanks for the successful campaigns throughout the periods leading to the November 11, 2023, Imo State governorship election, which despite the unwarranted dastardly acts of violence, bloodshed, injuries, kidnaps and assassinations, the resolve for a free and liberated Imo remained unshaken.

He beseech God’s mercy upon his cousin, John Chima Nwokorie who also served as the Ehime Mbano Local Government collation officer of the party during the election who was abducted and is yet to be released.

He prayed that the hearts of his abductors be touched to either unconditionally release him or, if they have taken his life, release his remains so that his family, friends, and loved ones can find closure in the tragic ordeal

“We also pray for the repose of the soul of party leader in Ahiazu Mbaise, Chief Goodnews Onyemzoroegbulem (Ogbolowood) who was gruesomely murdered during the elections. We pray for God’s intervention to ensure that justice prevail during the judicial processes, and for peace to be restored to Imo State,” he said.


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