The Julius Abure-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party (LP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of being responsible for the internal crisis in the opposition party.
Naija News reports that the LP National Secretary, Malam Umar Farouk, made the accusation on Friday at a press conference held at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja.
Farouk alleged that the ruling party has been sponsoring the Lamidi Apapa-led faction and other dissidents to destabilise the party, which has changed the political landscape in the country.
He said the ruling party has deployed all manner of strategies to stifle the LP in order to ensure a subjugation of its chances in the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
Farouk said the expelled members who rebelled against the party leadership have gone ahead to misinform members of the public on the progress being made by the party.
He said: “As you already know, the party surprised many Nigerians with the huge success it achieved during the last general election. The party became a household name, all to the envy of the older political parties. You also know how the ruling party, forced itself into power at the expense of the Labour Party and the entire Nigerians.
“We are still in the tribunal challenging both the process and outcome of the presidential election. In order to ensure a subjugation of the Labour Party, the ruling party has deployed all manner of strategies to stifle the party, part of which was to sponsor insurrection amongst some suspended former members of the party, Lamidi Apapa and a few others.
“Their assignment was to ensure that no progress is achieved in the party. The heavily funded dissidents have tried to mislead the courts and some sections of the media to harass the party leadership, but all have failed. Only recently, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of Labour Party (LP).”
Speaking on the Imo governorship election, Farouk said the only recognised candidate of the party and a product of properly conducted primaries by Abure-led NWC is Senator Athan Achonu.
He added, “Only yesterday, the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja, while giving judgement in the case brought before it by one Basil Maduka, one of the two aspirants that were deceived by the Apapa camp to participate in their illegal primaries also ordered that the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of Labour Party for 2023 Imo governorship election. It noted that Basil Maduka has no locus to seek redress in the court as he is not known by the Labour Party.
“For emphasis, you may recall that the Apapa group had hoodwinked and arranged governorship primaries for two members of the Labour Party, namely Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and Sir Maduka, after which Ukaegbu won the contest.
“Maduka was piqued by the outcome of the fake primaries and had gone ahead to challenge the emergence of Ukaegbu. He sued both Ukaegbu and the Labour Party.
“Neither the authentic Labour Party led by Barrister Julius Abure nor its candidate Senator Athan Achonu was put on notice and were not aware of the situation. The case was decided on behalf of Ukaegbu against Maduka. The matter has nothing to do with the leadership of the party or the candidacy of Senator Achonu, a product of properly conducted primaries by Abure-led NWC.
“With this judgement, the pro-Apapa choice, Chief Ukaegbu, had gone to town declaring himself as the Labour Party candidate for the Imo governorship election.
“For emphasis, the court never pronounced him as the candidate of the Labour Party. No court has given judgement de-recognising Barrister Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party up till today.
“Meanwhile, the Labour Party appealed the Bayelsa court ruling on the ground that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the Apapa camp without putting the leadership of the party, which is known to law, into notice.
“ Senator Achonu, who was also not a party to the suit filed by Sir Maduka but, on hearing about the matter before the Federal High Court, sought to be joined as an interested party.
“However, the Court of Appeal re-emphasized the implication of lack of jurisdiction in a Motion for leave to appeal as an interested party and held that the Motion was filed out of time hence, it lacked jurisdiction.”
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