By Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The National Executive Council of the Labour Party (LP) monday suspended and removed three of its members: National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Abulkadir Salam; the Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr. Calistus Okafor, and Acting National Secretary, Mr. Julius Abure, over what it described as ‘’brazen’’ misappropriation of the party’s funds running into millions of naira.
The removal of the senior officials was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the party’s emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at AES Luxury Apartments, Jabi, Abuja and signed by some members of the NEC. They include, the Deputy National Youth Leader, Mr. Gbenga Daramola; Deputy National Women Leader (North East), Lami Ahmed; Deputy National Women Leader (South South),Hosanna Samuel; Deputy National National Women Leader (South West) Mrs Olajumoke Awodeyi; Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Ali Abatcha and National Youth Leader, Ukpebitere.
In the same communiqué, Mr. Bobo Atare Adou was appointed National Vice Chairman, South-south, was appointed Acting National Chairman, and Mr. Akingbade Oyelekan was appointed Acting National Secretary of the party respectively.
The new NEC members were mandated to ensure that all allegations against the suspended officials are investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and diligently prosecute them if found wanting.
The suspended officials were also accused of “unconstitutional and unilateral’’ dissolution of the state executive committees and suspension/expulsion of officials and members of the party without NEC’s knowledge and approval.
According to the communiqué, ‘’NEC resolved to take such necessary measures, legal and otherwise, to purge the party of impunity, arbitrariness, lawlessness, and financial corruption that characterized the tyrannical leadership style of Alhaji Abubakar Abulkadir Salam as National Chairman.
‘’The NEC of LP met on February 27, 2017 at an emergency meeting on the necessity of strengthening and repositioning our great party to play its constitutional role as a viable, credible and vibrant opposition party.
‘’NEC notes with deep concern that since the October 11, 2014 National Convention of our great party held in Akure, Ondo State, the affairs of the party have been mismanaged with persistent impunity, high-handedness, dictatorship, and crudeness leading to the unjust, unconstitutional and unilateral dissolution of States Executive Committees (SECs) of the party and suspension and/or expulsion of prominent members and leaders of the party by Alhaji Abubakar Abulkadir Salam (as National Chairman), supported by his willing lackeys in the Party as cheerleaders.’’
The resolution of the NEC added that despite its unique strengths and political brand, the party had continued to lose its vibrancy as a reasonable, thoughtful and responsible opposition party and has failed to make strategic political inroads towards positively growing the party nationally.
It said the collapsing state of the party was a clear evidence of the ‘’irresponsible, rudderless, corrupt, and dictatorial approach’’ of Salam and his willing lackeys and cheerleaders in the party to the serious and sensitive issue of political party leadership.
‘It also accused the suspended officials of violating section 225 (2) of the 1999 Constitution which states that: “Every political party shall submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission a detailed annual statement and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets together with a similar statement of its expenditure in such form as the commission may require.”