LP BoT rejects Abure, takes over activities of party

The Labour Party’s (LP) Board of Trustees (BoT) declared that it has stepped in to supervise the party’s activities following the departure of the immediate past National Working Committee (NWC) chaired by Julius Abure.

The BoT, through its Chairman, Comrade S.O.Z. Ejiofor, issued a statement on Wednesday night condemning the secret national convention conducted in Nnewi, Anambra State, as a farce.

The BoT, through its Chairman, Comrade S.O.Z. Ejiofor, issued a statement on Wednesday night condemning the secret national convention conducted in Nnewi, Anambra State, as a farce.

The statement reads: “Following the expiration of the tenure in office of the immediate past National Working Committee of the Labour Party headed by Mr. Julius Abure, the Board of Trustees of the Labour Party, in line with the Labour Party Constitution, has stepped in to steer the affairs of the Labour Party.

“Furthermore, the Board of Trustees of the Labour Party, in consultation with major stakeholders in the Party, will soon communicate the processes for the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive National Convention of the Labour Party.

“This is in line with the March 20, 2018, Federal High Court consent judgement delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, which recognised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as the owner of the Labour Party and mandated that an all-inclusive and expansive National Convention of the Labour Party be held.

“The decision of the Board of Trustees is also in furtherance of the agreement signed between the former National Chairman of the Labour Party, Mr. Julius Abure, and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on 27th June 2022, which was mediated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“While we commend members of the Labour Party, especially workers, students, youths, market women and men, Obidients, and candidates on the platform of the Labour Party for their contributions and fidelity to the ideals of the party, the Board of Trustees promises to quickly set in motion processes for the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive National Convention.

“Unlike the charade that took place today in Nnewi and in tandem with the principles of popular democracy, the all-inclusive National Convention will start with grassroots congresses at ward, local government, state and ultimately at the national level.

“This process will not leave any genuine member of the Labour Party out and will be held in the full view of the Independent National Electoral Commission, media, civil society, security agents and the general public.

“We commend the leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and key stakeholders in the Labour Party for declining to deodorise the malfeasance that took place in Nnewi with their presence.

“The BOT assures all stakeholders that we are committed to reclaiming and repositioning the Labour Party as the vehicle for the socio-political emancipation of our dear country, her working people and populace.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Abure was re-elected as the National Chairman of the Labour Party at a controversial national convention held in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Abure, along with eight others, was declared re-elected into the 22-member National Working Committee (NWC) of the LP by the Chairman of the National Convention and Deputy Governor of Abia State, Ikechukwu Emetu, at the event held at Grand Seasons Hotel in Nnewi.

A communique issued by the LP delegates, who attended the convention, said the party declared its presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, as its preferred presidential candidate for the 2027 general election.

The controversial convention also adopted the Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, as the Labour Party governorship candidate for the 2027 gubernatorial election in Abia State.

However, both Obi and Otti were conspicuously absent at the national convention.

Abia Deputy Governor, Emetu, led all members of the State Executive Council (SEC) and members of the National and State Assemblies from the state elected on the LP platform to the national convention.

However, no member of the National and State Assemblies from Anambra State elected under the LP platform except the member representing Peter Obi’s Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency and Deputy Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, George Ozodinobi, attended the LP national convention.

The controversial re-election of Abure as National Chairman came a week after members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) picketed the LP secretariat in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had earlier asked Abure to shelve his planned secret national convention.

The NLC had in a statement on Friday, March 15, accused Abure of running the Labour Party as a Sole Administrator by secretly scheduling a supposed national convention of the party without consulting stakeholders.

Members of the NLC, which accused Abure of “financial rascality”, had on Wednesday, March 20, occupied the National headquarters of the Labour Party in Abuja, calling for Abure’s sack as National Chairman of the party.

Reacting to Abure’s re-election earlier on Wednesday, Benson Upah, Spokesperson of the NLC, said, “It is an illegality, a nullity. The whole exercise was a charade! Nothing can legitimise such brazen impunity.”

Also, the factional chairman of the Party in Anambra State, Peter Okoye, boasted that the Nnewi national convention will not stand.

Describing the convention as a sham, Okoye queried: “This is not a convention. We are on top of the matter. It’s purely illegal. There was no ward congress, no local government congress, no state congress, and now who and who are the elected delegates that are electing the National Working Committee (NWC) members?

“The NLC was not there, TUC was not there, the owners of the party and members of the NEC and BOT members were not there either. So, who is holding the convention?”

 

(THEWILL)

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