Trade Union Veterans Demand Abure’s Resignation as LP Chair

Trade Union Veterans Demand Abure’s Resignation as LP Chair

Wale Igbintade

Trade Union Veterans who formed the Labour Party have called on the embattled Chairman of the party, Mr. Julius Abure to resign following allegations of monumental cases of fraud levelled against him.

In a statement signed for and on behalf of the veterans by Comrade Lawson E. Osagie, they regretted that the noble ideals that made them form the Labour Party to free Nigerian people from decades of bad governance are being desecrated by Abure.

The statement read: “We cannot sit down and continue to watch as the ideals, principles, and ethical values of Labour Party we toiled so much to build over the decades are being rubbished by one man.    

“Consequently, we urge Barrister Abure to step aside now as the National Chairman of the Labour Party and in his place, the Board of Trustees should appoint a Caretaker National Chairman that will organise Congresses in the states before the National Convention can be convened,” the Labour Leaders emphasised.

The Trade Unions veterans who issued the press statement include the pioneer President of the Nigerian Labour Congress {NLC}, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, the 2nd President of the NLC, Comrade Ali Chiroma, the pioneer General Secretary of the Congress, Comrade Aliyu Dangiwa, the 2nd National Treasurer of the NLC, Comrade S. O. Oshidipe. Others are Comrade S. O. Z Ejiofoh, the Board of Trustees Chairman and pioneer Chairman of the Labour Party, Comrade Lawson Osagie Esq, and Comrade Salisu Mohammed, all of whom were the main actors in the formation and registration of the Labour Party.

The Labour Leaders stressed the need for the Board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of Comrade Ejiofoh to be enlarged to accommodate representatives of the new stakeholders namely Mr. Peter Obi, Governor Alex Otti, and the Labour Party Legislative Caucus.

“This body will be charged with the implementation in spirit and letter of the MOU referred to earlier,” they added.

They posited that the Supreme Court under Justice Uwais ruled long ago that workers have the right to form a political party to defend and promote their interests.

“How then can any well-read and informed lawyer say that NLC has no business in politics or is a meddlesome interloper in the affairs of Labour Party formed by the Trade Unions themselves.

“For the benefit of those who want to know, the 2009 Constitution of the Labour Party in which NLC and TUC Presidents and Secretaries are made statutory members of NEC of Labour Party were the input and contribution by the Edo State Council of Labour Party and  Bar Julius Abure was Secretary of the subcommittee on the Review of the Constitution while Comrade Lawson Osagie was the Chairman and a Benin-based legal practitioner, Barrister Adams Aliyu was also a member.

They posited that Abure’s current rhetoric about the role and place of NLC in the Labour Party is not only disappointing but embarrassing to the culture of comradeship and solidarity of the trajectory and historical perspective of the labour movement in general and Labour Party in particular.

The Trade Union Veterans emphasized that those attacking the Presidents of NLC including the current one, Comrade Joe Ajaero for defending the ethical values of the founding fathers of Labour Party now being desecrated by Barrister Abure are not informed or knowledgeable in the hierarchical structure or organs of the NLC and how decisions are made.

“No individual takes decisions at the NLC. It must go through organs such as the National Administrative Council (NAC), the Central Working Committee (CWC), and the National Executive Council (NEC).

“This is the old tradition which is still followed and respected religiously because NLC is a democratic organization in which power resides in organs and not in an office,” they emphasized.

They regretted that Barrister Abure refused to implement the MOU brokered by INEC and signed by all stakeholders but preferred to sideline the Board of Trustees headed by Comrade Ejiofoh and all those who laboured tirelessly to get Labour Party registered because of his hidden agenda which had now come to the open.

The labour leaders added that the Labour Party was recommended by the then Political Bureau set up by General Ibrahim Babaginda (rtd) during his transition as the 6th political party to be registered but the process was scuttled when General Babaginda opted to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC).

“The struggle to form the Labour Party continued until it was eventually registered as Party for Social Democracy (PSD) and after the NEC meeting in Bauchi in 2001, the name of the Party was changed to Labour Party,” the Trade Union Veterans emphasised.

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