Again, Labour Party disowns Apapa-led faction

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…finger 2 APC Governors, NWC member as sponsors of party crisis

…says attempt to hold illegal NEC in Bauchi doomed to fail

John Alechenu, Abuja

The National Working Committee of the Labour Party has again disavowed the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party which has announced plans to go ahead with a parallel National Executive Council meeting in Bauchi.

The party leadership which recognises Comrade Julious Abure, as National Chairman held an NEC meeting in Asaba a forthright ago.

Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Ladi Illiya, who presided over a meeting of party stakeholders to including most of the 36 State Chairmen and Secretaries in Abuja, on Wednesday, told journalists that the party remains intact in spite of attempts by 5th columnists to destabilise it.

She said, “Those who are gathering in Bauchi to hold a fake, unconstitutional NEC meeting do not represent our party.

“We held our authentic constitutionally approved NEC meeting in Asaba about two weeks ago. State Chairmen and Secretaries from the 36 states who are here today were in attendance. So, who then are the NEC members in Bauchi?

After her opening remarks, the party’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Obiora Ifoh, read a prepared address to the media where he itemized issues affecting the party as well as its plans for the foreseeable future.

He said, “In furtherance of the directives from their paymasters, about six of our former but suspended members of the National Working Committee of our party, The Labour Party are meeting in Bauchi for a fake and unlawful National Executive Council (NEC).

“Surprisingly, this is coming barely two weeks after the party held its very successful NEC meeting in Asaba, Delta state which was attended by virtually all NEC members including 36 state chairmen and Secretaries, all members of the National Working Committee, most of the elected members of the national assembly, leader and presidential candidate of the party, Mr. Peter Obi, party trustees including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) amongst others.

“One of the invitees of the purpoted NEC is our leader and presidential candidate, Peter Obi who incidentally on Monday was on national television where he referred these characters as paid agents and hirelings.

“He also made it clear that he had never met with Apapa and that there were no issues in the party and that the reported crisis is just the “rascality” by paid agents bent on derailing the party to pursue justice.”

Ifoh quoted Obi as saying, “In the Labour Party, we have no issue. Bar Julius Abure is our chairman and those things you’re seeing are just the handiwork of paid agents who are trying to create confusion.”

According to Ifoh, the factional party leaders in their quest for support have resorted to blackmail and financial inducement all in an attempt to get loyal party members to switch sides.

To buttress his point that the party is intact, Ifoh said, Gentlemen of the Press, seated here in this hall are all the state chairmen of our party across all the 36 states and FCT.

“Only last night, all our 36 member-elect of the House of Representatives and our 8 Senator-elect were represented in a caucus meeting held with the National Working Committee.

“Then again, I ask, who are these NEC members they are hoping to attend their jamboree in Bauchi?

“Article 13:2A of our party constitution is clear on the composition of the Labour Party NEC. They include our state Chairmen and Secretaries, and all other officers as have been mentioned above.

“The constitution did not state that expelled and suspended officers of the party shall convene a NEC of the party.

APC’s Connection to crisis

In their desperation to satisfy their paymasters who we have already established to be two governors; one from South West and another from South East, while also using a top member of the APC National Working Committee who go in between them, this transactional arrangement will see them recruiting their usual customers; touts, market women, street hawkers. and people who are not members of the party.

“We also heard from a reliable source that they will attempt to have a blanket suspension of all our elected members of our NWC, a power that is alien and unheard of. They have also been dangling carrots to some of our leaders to either join them or be suspended.

“This is unfortunate because, were it not for the ex-parte order of the FCT High Court mischievously granted and sustained by Justice Hamza Muazu which dangerously exposed the res, that is the party, to danger instead of protecting it, these matters would have died a natural death.

“We have it on good authority that their sponsors are leaving nothing to chance and have vowed to continue to instigate crisis in Labour Party with the intention of benefiting from the instability which they hope will affect the party’s case at the tribunal.

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