By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos
The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate for Imo Athan Achonu maintains he is the candidate to beat for the exercise, saying even incumbent Hope Uzodimma cannot persuade him to drop his ambition.
While there have been speculations in some quarters that the LP candidate is a placeholder and would be bought off soon, Achonu says he is going the whole haul.
“The people of Imo State already know the truth. They are following me. How can I be a placeholder for Hope Uzodimma? Give me $1 million? That’s not possible,” he said on Friday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“I have been around in this country. I am very well known. I can say that for myself. So, I have a reputation in this country. I am a man of integrity. Hope Uzodimma can’t buy me even with $100 million. It is not possible. Nobody can buy me. Money can’t buy me.”
According to the former lawmaker, contesting the Imo governorship poll was not something he wanted to do.
With his supporters asking him not to retire from politics and the desire to change things for the better in Imo State, he had to return to the ring.
“So, they said if I abandon them, they would not have any place to go. That’s why I went into that race. I didn’t want to run for governor,” Senator Achonu added.
The LP candidate, who lamented the bottlenecks of doing business in the South-East, said the quest to rewrite history pushed him into the governorship contest.
“Igbos have been chased out of Igbo land. It is like an occupied territory. So, every half a kilometre, you see a Police checkpoint, you see a Customs checkpoint. So, people cannot trade freely,” he added.
“So, I now started something called Akwu Ruo Ulo [Let the wealth reach home] asking Igbos to come home and invest despite all the obstacles placed on their path that eventually good leadership will emerge and we would dismantle those obstacles. So, that’s why I now came,” the LP chieftain said.