Emameh Gabriel in Abuja
Factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Bashiru Lamidi Apapa, has given several reasons why the crisis in Labour Party might linger than expected and also hinted at his grouse with the Presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi.
He listed such reasons to include Obi’s refusal to obey court order suspending Julius Abure, non-payment of party’s agents and lack of support for candidates, who contested various elective positions during the general election.
This, however, came at a time the leadership of the party has taken a bold step to end the lingering rancour among key members of the party, urging the warring factions to sheathe their swords.
Apapa, while responding to allegations levelled against him by the Abure-led National Working Committee that his faction was shopping for court injunctions against the party in some northern courts, in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, accused Obi of attempting to seize ownership of the party from the original owners.
Obiora Ifoh, National Publicity Secretary of the Abure led-NWC had in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, debunked allegations of financial mismanagement by Obi, and thereafter accused the Apapa-led NWC of deceiving a judge in a federal High Court in Kano, who entered a judgement against the party, sacking some of its elected members, including its Abia State Governor-elect, Alex Otti.
But, Apapa in his response, said those who purportedly traced him to the houses of the said judges should come out and tell the world what they were also doing there.
“It’s evident that they are the ones shopping for injunctions against the legal executive of Labour Party led by Lamidi Apapa. The question begging for answer is whether they mismanaged our money or not?” he asked.
Apapa said he was not only disappointed that Obi had the audacity to tell Nigerians that he didn’t know him (Apapa) but his refusal to fund the party despite the billions of naira generated through diaspora funding for the 2023 elections, left a lot to be desired. He said Obi was supported financially during the elections and went further to lament that till today, no Labour Party agent who monitored the 2023 general election, has been paid.
Meanwhile, the party has called on all its aggrieved members to sheath the sword and come forward to present their grievances to end the ongoing rancour threatening the soul of the party.
At a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the Security, Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee (LP-SPCRC) headed by retired Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Charles Ugomuoh, promised “not to standby and allow the party to disintegrate.”
According to him, the Committee had reached out to not less than Seven persons with various grievances to see how the issues could be settled amicably for the party to forge ahead in a rancor-free situation.