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LP Sinks Deeper Into Crisis

Abure Vs Ajero

Yesterday’s protest at the Abuja headquarters of the Labour Party (LP) by members of the Joe Ajaero-led Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has sank the party deeper into crisis.
The picketing of the LP’s secretariat was to ram in the demand by the NLC that the LP should put off its March 27 convention slated for Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

Abia State is the only one controlled by LP out of the 36 states.

The Labour centre also called for the resignation of LP national chairman Juliu Abure.

The LP Caucus in the House of Representatives has also called for the suspension of the planned convention.

But the Abure-led National Working Committee (NWC) rebuffed all the entreaties from party stakeholders, insisting that the convention must hold as planned.

Around 11am yesterday, the NLC members stormed the party’s headquarters and forcibly gained entry into the premises.

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The invasion triggered a heated argument between the Head of Information of the NLC, Benson Upah with security agents stationed at the secretariat which led one of the security operatives drawing his gun.

After a few minutes of heated argument, the workers forced their way into the complex, a development that made the secretariat workers to abandon their desks.

The Labour leaders, led by the acting NLC Chairman (Political Commission), Theophilus Ndubuaku, demanded the sack of Abure as national chairman.

They (protesters) accused Abure of being a “sole administrator who unilaterally fixed the upcoming convention without input from stakeholders of the party.”

Ndubuaku said there had not been ward, local government and state congresses in the build up to the convention.

He accused Abure of trying to secretly stage a coup that will make him (Abure) remain in office perpetually as national chairman.

The Labour leader said the leadership of the NLC political commission would not accept such illegality.

Ndubuaku alleged that Abure as a ‘political coup plotter’ was plotting to remain as chairman of the party.

According to him, during a meeting with the NLC leadership, Abure was asked to step aside to allow for thorough investigation following the allegation of misappropriation of funds raised for the prosecution of the 2023 general election.

Ndubuaku said the LP chairman “refused and proceeded with his plans for the convention without holding ward, local government and state congresses.”

He said: “Abure was given a timeline of what to do. As we speak Abure has refused to inaugurate the Board of Trustee of the Labour Party which was part of an agreement initiated by INEC following a court judgment.

“The NLC political commission has invited Abure within the past three weeks twice and he found excuses not to come. A day before he put out a notice that there would be a convention in Umuahia, he was in the NLC office to meet with the president of the NLC and I was present and we discussed.

“There is no convention that made Abure the chairman of the LP. There had been court judgments establishing the fact that the LP belongs to the NLC and somebody now hijacked the party.

“Abure is planning to hold a convention without the owners of the party. All he wanted was to assemble some people within seven days to make him life chairman of a party he had no hand in establishing. When we wrote him he was abusing the president of the NLC. Can you imagine?”

Secretary of the NLC political commission, Chris Uyot said: “As far as we are concerned, Abure has ceased to be the national chairman of the party. That is why Nigerian workers are insisting on a proper national convention. Nigerian workers have decided that it is time to take back our party.

“Nigerian workers formed this party with the vision that the party would work to develop our society, work to improve our economy and our country.”

But the party condemned the forcible takeover of its secretariat by the NLC men.

In a statement, LP’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said the entry into its office was a criminal act and a misplacement of priority.

The statement said Ajaero was skimming to control the LP because of his ambition.

The party wondered how Ajaero could lead a band of lawless persons who are known to have partisan interests in other major political parties such as the PDP and APC against a recognised independent political party.

The statement reads: “Ajaero’s continuous claim that NLC owns the LP is not in any way supported by either the Electoral Act or the Constitution. For his information, a political party is owned by those who are card-carrying or financial members of the party. We are aware that more than 90 per cent of the members of the NLC have not met this condition and therefore cannot claim to be the owners of the party.

“The constitution also provides that no organisation can own any other organisation. The NLC as an organisation can therefore not claim the ownership of the LP

“It would interest you to know that Ajaero’s NLC is yet to successfully picket any Federal Government establishment. His attempt to extend his rascality to Imo state was met with a higher and brutal force.

“Unfortunately for us in the LP, we do not command any force unlike the NLC that is now encouraging militancy within its ranks.

“By its own constitution, the NLC cannot even call for a picketing of any establishment without a directive of its NEC. But, what we saw was a political committee acting out an illegal script by Ajaero.

“The committee has no legal right to call an action in the nature of picketing or breaking and entering into a political party where most of them are not even members.

“The present NLC leadership is politicized. It has left its primary responsibilities of defending Nigerian workers and has delved deeply into partisan politics and this is a bad omen for the working community.

“We have earlier advised Ajaero to emulate leadership of Ayuba Waba, Olaleye Quadri and Festus Osifo, who had or are currently passing through a similar route and still maintain a working relationship with the party.

“We are, however, reviewing today’s criminal actions and disruption of activities in our national headquarters with our legal department for further actions.

“What we saw today appears to be a personal vendetta against the national chairman, Julius Abure, who they called several unprintable names including labelling him a thief. We are certainly going to take legal action on matters of libel.”

Ajaero Nursing 2027 presidential ambition
LP’s national legal adviser, Mr. Kehinde Edun, and publicity secretary of the Lamidi Apapa-led group, Abayomi Arabambi, said the NLC action was criminal and a personal vendetta against Abure.

They both said Ajaero is behind the crisis because of his 2027 presidential ambition, when they appeared on the national television programmme last night .

Edun said the NLC president was being motivated by inordinate ambition.

He said: “These individuals are going beyond their mandate.  It is unfortunate that they have allowed greed and inordinate ambition to becloud their reasoning.”

“Joe Ajaero’s NLC is actually degrading and demeaning the Labour centre? He misfired by trying to overtake and impose himself on the LP.”

Edun, who added that Ajaero was not even a member of the LP, added that allegations of financial impropriety against Abure were mere fabrications.

He said: “All their allegations are empty and have no substance.  Talk is cheap, as they say.  Has anybody found Julius Abure guilty of financial impropriety?”

Edun said the party has been given a clean bill of health by its National Executive Council (NEC) and that it has submitted its audited report to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The party’s NEC has given the bill of health, which we have submitted the audited report to INEC.

Arabambi, who said his group was also averse to the action of the NLC, said it was wrong for the workers to have attempted a forcible takeover of the party.

He said: “We are against a forcible takeover of our party. It is wrong for Ajaero to have done what it did.

“Even if Apapa and Abure factions were having issues, that was not enough for the NLC to take over our party.

 “Ajaero is pursuing a personal agenda of eyeing the presidential ticket of the LP party in 2027”, Arabambi alleged. NATION 

Source: Hardcore News 

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