Category: Chairman

LP clarifies issues on Expelled ex-chairman

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party of Nigeria has shown displeasure by some reports credited to INEC Chairman’s media aide, Rotimi Lawrence which according to body misrepresented the list of Labour Party NWC 2014 Convention, as recognition to the suspended party chairman Alhaji Abdulsalam by INEC.

They stated that Alhaji Abdulsalam was removed from office for embezzlement and diversion of party funds.

Following a petition to the party’s NWC by Dr. Chris Enemuo, the NWC agreed to convene meetings of the Party organs. A disciplinary committee was set up to look into the petition and to give both Alhaji Salam and the treasurer, Oluchi Opara an opportunity to respond to the petition but it is on record that both refused and ignored to appear before the committee.

Meanwhile, the National Working Committee and National Executive Council of the party endorsed the special Convention where Dr Mike Omotosho emerged as the new chairman and INEC was given proper notice.

Although, INEC witnessed the convention and is yet to issue a report on the Convention, it is important to state that all actions taken by the party to expel Alhaji Abdulsalam were taken in line with the provisions of the Labour Party 2009 Constitution that says, “The National Chairman of the party may be suspended or removed from office on a vote of no confidence passed by at least two thirds majority at a National Convention convened solely for the consideration only of such motion.”

More so, Article 19 of the Party discipline also stated that “All members of the Labour Party must maintain a commendable and exemplary level of discipline in both their public and private lives and conduct.”

According to the Party National Publicity Secretary, Ebere Ifendu, he stated; “Having regard to the fact that a substantial attraction of the party is derived from the element of moral authority, the party will impose disciplinary measures for any misdemeanour aimed at tarnishing its well-nurtured image and credibility.

The list released by INEC showing the working committee as per the 2014 Convention remains intact devoid of factions excluding only Alhaji Abdul Salam and Oluchi Opara who were removed for the high crimes of embezzlement and diversion of party funds.” Ifendu said.

War against Corruption Will Succeed

Dr Mike Omotosho was the governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) during the 2015 general elections in Kwara State. He was recently elected as the National Chairman of the party. He spoke with journalists in Ilorin on a wide range of issues. Hammed Shittu was there

War against Corruption Will Succeed When Government is Able to Provide Basic Needs

What is your view on the anti-corruption fight of the present administration?

The current administration’s fight against corruption is a step in the right direction except that more needs to be done. Corruption cannot be fought without an effective judicial system; consequences must be enforced irrespective of social class and party affiliations. Additionally, another way of fighting corruption is to provide safety nets for the people, by this I mean the issues pertaining to insecurity, as it relates to poverty, unemployment and provision of other social welfare. These safety nets will assure the citizens of a better life and can guard against corruption that stems from frustration and fear. Then, the fight against corruption will make a meaningful impact.

What do you think can make the fight against corruption?

The fight against corruption will achieve significant outcomes when the government is able to provide the basic needs of the people. People will refrain from corrupt practices if their future is secure. Imagine knowing that your children will attend school, have access to adequate healthcare, can afford to be fed tolerably and you can commute as required, the tendency for you to engage in corrupt practices will be drastically reduced if not eliminated. The government must, therefore strengthen our institutions and provide safety nets for the welfare of the citizens.

Do you think the economic hardship faced by Nigerians is avoidable?

At the presentation of the 2017 budget to the National Assembly in May last year, the President named it a budget of economic recovery and growth, which was meant to help the nation recover from the economic crisis and engender growth in critical sectors of the nation. He listed some of the priority areas as agriculture and food security, Industrialisation and SME development, macro and micro economic stability, energy sufficiency in the power and petroleum sector, as well as transportation. A critical look at these areas shows that a lot of progress is yet to be made and execution of government’s agenda has largely fallen below expectation. The road to recovery may be long, but there is always a way out, individual States in Nigeria must begin to seek ways to generate revenue innovatively, civil service reforms, building the middle class, ease of doing business, etc.

Recently, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics claimed that the country is out of recession what is your view?

Our economy is still in a dire state, despite exiting recession by 0.05 percent is a few months ago, and the relative stability of our naira to the dollar. The microeconomic and real sector is yet to feel the impact of the acclaimed improved Macroeconomic situation. Many businesses are still closed and more are closing, with many workers rendered jobless. The unemployment rate is high, and money has reduced in circulation. Many believe that the proffered economic solutions are mere rhetoric that may not be capable of revamping the economy. I must, however, congratulate the government on moving Nigeria 24 steps to 145th position for the ease of doing business, these reforms will definitely add to the ripple effect of development.

What efforts are you making to reposition the Labour Party ahead of the next general election?

We are restructuring the Labour Party in a number of ways but I will share the three most important. First; We are relaying our foundation at state, local government and ward levels, Competent men and women of impeccable character are being elected into leadership positions and are taking up selfless responsibilities to build excellent structures that will win elections. Secondly, a technical working committee is about to unveil a more robust, responsible and revolutionary manifesto that will strategically drive sustainable development in Nigeria and clearly define the hopes and aspirations of every Nigerian. This will serve as our blueprint. Lastly, The Labour party has initiated a unique membership drive, a campaign to draft like-minded Nigerians that are tired of the mediocrity and degeneracy of the state of affairs in Nigeria to build a party for the people to ‘stop the mess’. Nigeria is a country that is blessed with intelligent minds and hard-working populace, we are pacesetters and innovators, Therefore, there is no reason why Nigeria should be tagged a third world country.

What are the current challenges of the party?

I am glad you use the word challenge and not problem. The challenge the Labour Party has had in the past is a lack of enforceable party ethics. Under this new administration, our aim is to build a strong membership commitment that will drive party strategy rather than individual agenda. Defectors from other parties seeking a platform for temporary gain will no longer use our party because party loyalty is critical for creating the revolution we desire. Presently, another challenge we plan to take head-on, although not unique to the Labour Party, is the increasing sense of anxiety and hopelessness of Nigerians in the multiparty system. We shall restore the hope and confidence of every Nigerian again.

What are the chances of LP in 2019 general elections?

There is a popular saying that ‘we cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ It is crystal clear to Nigerians that the two big political parties have performed abysmally below expectation. Even though we term them as ‘big’ they lack strategy and structure to govern, based on principles but rather on personal ideologies. This is where the Labour Party differs from the norm. We are competitively positioned as a party where party principles supersede individual beliefs, and where it is imperative for us to build strong sustainable institutions that are uniform across the board. So, 2019 looks good for the Labour Party because Nigerians are ready for an intelligent intervention. So, for those that are ready to walk the talk, young, middle-aged or old, male or female, the Labour Party is where you will be given a seat at the table.

What’s the plan of LP to get the country out of the present economic challenges?

I have always noted that the challenges of the country, including our economic challenges, stem from lack of good, visionary, proactive leadership with innovative ideas to harness the abundant human and material resources already available to confront our economic challenges. Labour Party will look for such men and women both home-grown and in the diaspora, bring them on board and harness the vast potentials of the country. It is time to begin to put round pegs in round holes and explore the creativity of youths. The over-dependence on oil must stop.

LP Denies Claims by Expelled former Chairman

The crisis that recently enveloped the Labour Party following the purported expulsion of its former chairman Abdulkadir Abdulsalam at the October 3, 2017 convention has shown no sign of abating as Abdulsalam allegedly continues to insist that he remains in office as the National Chairman of the party. According to him, he is the only person recognised with that designation by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

‎At its recent convention, Abdulsalam was relieved of his office while an investigation for alleged gross abuse of office was instituted against him. This action was taken on the basis of complaints by top members of the party’s NWC led by Chief Calistus Okafor, Deputy National Chairman (South).

Affirming the decision of the party at a recent meeting with journalists, Barrister Ebere Ifendu, National Publicity Secretary of the party said, the NWC unanimously endorsed Dr. Mike Omotosho as the new National Chairman of the Labour Party. “It is, therefore laughable that anyone will go around parading himself as occupying that office. That is wishful thinking, particularly when his action is supposedly based on recognition by INEC. The truth is that INEC does not choose officers of a party. The commission is obliged to witness the convention of a party and this it did when we elected our new chairman. We will not join issues with anyone who chooses to delude himself. I am not aware of any such recognition by INEC. We had a successful convention on October 3 and INEC witnessed it.”

Since the exit of its long-serving national chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, the Labour Party has been crises ridden, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC which jointly formed the party in 2002 to make moves to retrieve its registration documents and refocus the party to follow the social democracy principles for which it was founded.

At the time of this report, the INEC website carried the name of Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam (Baraden Paiko) as National Chairman of the Labour Party.

Mike Omotosho: A new sheriff emerge in LP

Dr. Mike Omotosho, the newly elected Labour Party chairman has highlighted his willingness to restructure the party, uphold the party’s constitution and expose the immeasurable strength which the party is known for worldwide. The crisis-challenged labour party as many say might have eventually settled for peace, as a veteran politician, consolidated idealist and principled leader gets the nod of party members to lead her through the next phase of its revolutionary encounter.

Omotosho disclosed these to newsmen recently after the convention, emphasizing need to carry everyone along to take the ailing party to a height. Having made remarkable achievements in his political career, Omotosho has established himself as a revolutionary strategist, a grassroots mobilizer, and a person who is known for sensational truth who abides strictly to the rule of law as well as to the mandate of the people.

Basically, the recently concluded convention of the Labour party which upholds Dr. Mike Omotosho as the party chairman is indeed a remarkable intervention that will restore peace, dignity and innovations in the party which was initially plagued by disunity, mismanagement and mediocrity. However, the choice of Dr. Mike Omotosho will doubtlessly engage a new dawn and a visionary diversion from the bureaucratic developments which the party suffered hitherto.

Omotosho has pledged that on the basis of his been elected, he will define the party as a populist party, promote the plight of the common man, relate efficiently with the smallest unit of our economy and engage the vibrant ideas of youths who are meant to be the leaders of today.

“Considering the present situation of corruption and non-performance by several political parties, I have promised that Labour party under my leadership will explore the present situation by embarking on producing candidates that will promote equal opportunity for all, social justice and true democracy in the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.

“However, with my feasible vision as party chairman, I will seek to revolutionize social welfare, redirect the displace vision of our nation’s economy, elevate, build and entrench the structure of nationalism in the minds and hearts of every Nigerian.” Omotosho said.

“My explicit mission will imperatively review and reposition the mandate of Labour Party by maintaining the principles of integrity, positive change and transparency so as to ensure an enviable height for the party.” He concludes.

What Nigerians should expect in 2019 elections

The new national chairman of Labour Party, Dr Mike Omotosho, has said Nigerians should expect pleasant surprises in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, an underdog political party and an individual will shock everybody because the electorates were now socially aware and more politically conscious.

In an interview with Leadership newspapers, Omotosho said: “In 2019, Nigerians are in for a pleasant surprise, because they will get what they want. It has happened in the US, France and Austria.”

“We are going to have an underdog coming to shock everybody because the people are now socially aware and more politically conscious and they know that it is time for them to demand for what they truly deserve which is the dividends of democracy,” the cerebral politician said.

On his assessment of the government of the APC, he said: “It’s obvious that a lot of people are not happy with non-performance in critical sectors. People want things to happen faster than its happening.

“We cannot continue to hear good intentions because good intentions do not amount to much without efforts and real impact.

“People now want to see the dividends of all of those good intentions. People want more. They may be putting in their best, but people are saying that their best is not good enough.

“Additionally, people need truth, Justice and accountability. We are listening and we are working to deliver these needs.”

Labour Party Will Shock Nigerians In 2019

In this interview with LEADERSHIP, the new chairman of Labour Party, Dr Mike Omotosho, a cerebral politician world guinness record, outlines his vision for the party, calls for the unity of its membership and promises surprises for Nigerians in 2019.

Your emergence has been described as not helpful to the quest for peace in Labour Party. What is your reaction to this observation by political watchers?

I vehemently disagree. I do not share that opinion and neither do majority of my party members. Yes, there is an aggrieved minority, but like in any organization that chooses to restructure and cut out mediocrity, there is a tendency to contend with the opposition. My emergence is an intervention to restore peace and dignity to a party that was hitherto consumed by disunity, mismanagement and mediocrity; that is the reason why we followed due process and conducted a proper election that was monitored by INEC, where I emerged as chairman.

Can we confirm whether INEC has recognized your leadership now?

Yes, totally. They monitored the process at the convention and it was all captured on camera in the presence of the media. It was a transparent process, although Some mischievous members have rumoured that we forcefully took over; it is completely untrue. I am a man of principle and that was why I followed the constitution to the letter. I do not get myself tangled in sensationalism. I have a party to restructure and bring back to its feet. I was invited to the National Working Committee Meeting where they wanted me to express my willingness to serve and discuss my vision for the party. I did and also gave a condition that though I was ready to be part of the leadership but everybody must agree to work hand-in-hand with us and must be ready to uphold the constitution of the party always and they said yes. On that basis, I said I was ready to move ahead and that is it.

Then we moved to the National Executive Council Meeting, the same thing applied and then we had a National Convention, due process was followed, INEC was duly notified for 21-days, and INEC was present to monitor, security agencies were present and it was a very peaceful special convention.

Don’t you think this would affect the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections?

No, no!!! I don’t think so. Funny enough, I think people deserve to know the truth and exactly what has been happening. On the corruption and forgery charges against the past chairman, we shall follow due process. The National Working Committee has written to the Police, and other law enforcement agencies to investigate the situation. We are already thinking towards 2019 and developing our strategy. I don’t think it’s going to affect the chances of the party at all..Labour Party has a new Chairman and for that to change, due process must be followed. We will not tolerate any form of lawlessness in the Labour Party anymore. There is a new sheriff in town.

We are already at work building a strong party that can bring about a revolution in these hopeless times and we will not be deterred

I don’t want to dwell much on the past, but I want to focus more on the future, where I’m taking the party to, and the opportunities the party is going to afford Nigerians. I want to focus more on galvanizing Nigerians and showing that LP is a strong force and should be seen as such. We want Nigerians to know that this is their party- the party of the people and not just for the organized labour but for the unorganized labour as well. That is why it takes just N50 to become a card-carrying member of the party. All over the world, Labour Party has been the force to reckon with; it’s been the Populist Party and Nigeria shouldn’t be an exception. We are ready to move the people forward, give them the opportunity and then let them enjoy the dividends of democracy.

We are very aware of the corruption toga on a party and the non-performance toga on another party, so this is a huge opportunity for LP to take its rightful position as the party of the people- the ordinary man and woman on the streets. We offer equal opportunities and social justice for everybody; the opportunity to be the best you can be starting from the smallest unit of society- that family. That is why our logo has the father, the mother and a child, evidence of the smallest economic unit. You cannot continue to talk of building roads, bridges and providing light when the family cannot even feed when the parents cannot afford to take care of their sick child or even send their children to school. We need to revive our educational sector, the health sector, the economy, the transportation system and in fact, the entire polity needs to be revived.

Going forward, can you tell us about your plans for LP?

We intend to unveil our vision and work plan in few weeks. Of course, we hope the media will give the necessary support. But first, we must give people the opportunity to know that this is their party and become part of us. Gone are the days when moneybags can hijack the party and true owners are relegated. Sincerely, governance is for the people and they deserve to take ownership. So you can say that Labour Party is back and the interest of the common man will reign supreme in all our steps.

Some have argued that LP has not really defended the rights of the organised labour in the country. What do you intend doing to make organised labour find their voice in the party?

Before now, the party has been operating like every other political party. But, it is about time we told Nigerians why we are above par. Stay tuned for the New LP, watch how we evolve now and see how each organ, including the organized labour fit into the puzzle. We have ideologies, which translate to equal opportunity for everybody. The welfare of the masses is part of our prerogative as we strive for social justice so we can continue to shout ‘Forward Ever, Backward Never.’ We seek avenues to give everyone a voice and opportunities they need to be the best they can be and that Equal Opportunity is what we are promising our people we have created the Nigerian dream. We are going to roll out strategies that will allow the so-called ordinary people contest without the huge financial bottlenecks. We are going to give priority to women and youths. We are not just going to talk; we are going to walk the talk and we intend to take the political space in Nigeria by storm come 2019.

There seems to be silence over the socio-economic condition of the country. Why is that so?

That is the point. All these are going to change, its part of what we are going to unveil. Please wait for it.

What are you going to do about aggrieved members?

Incidentally, our members are happy across the country. See, people have been yearning for this change. Messages of support have been coming in from individuals, groups, unions and affiliates. In any case, we are having consultative meetings to bring all aggrieved members back to the team but we are also working on attitudinal change. Politics is a number’s game but then, for us, it is not an all comers affair and for us as a party, you must have the ideology of equal opportunity and social justice. Yes, we want everybody to be part of us but if your ideology does not tally with what we stand for in the LP, of course, you will not be welcomed. We are reaching out to those who ran or wanted to run under the platform but were treated unfairly or unsatisfactorily. We are reaching out to people whom we know are interested in the Nigerian Project but cannot fit into any of the existing political parties and looked away from LP because they are not able to align with the previous leadership. It is time to come back home to join hands with us to forge a way forward for our country this great party.

What would you say has been the impediment for LP in consolidating its hold on power?

That is exactly the narrative that we need to change. We must avoid people coming to borrow the LP as a platform to run. We need people who are sincerely interested in the welfare of the people. In the past, people come in and use the platform of the LP, however, we are already putting in place parameters to seek out people that are genuinely interested in towing the line of the ideals of the party. We want people who will work with us, build the party and not just use the platform then dump it. That has been the problem and all that is going to change moving forward. We are not just going to sit down and wait for people that are unable to get tickets in some other political parties to come in and borrow the platform, no; we are going to work with people who are genuinely interested and believe in the ideology of the party so that we can all work together to build and entrench the structures especially in the hearts and minds of the people, that way, when they eventually win, which I believe, they will have no choice than to stay back and defend the mandate that they have been given.

What are your plans for 2019?

We are optimistic that the LP is repositioned to produce the next president of Nigeria and in a situation where we see a presidential candidate whose ideology is in sync with the ideology of LP, then we will work with the person. It’s not about forcefully taking over, it’s not about agitation, it is a movement and one that will be a revolution. We want to revamp Nigeria and the nation called Nigeria shall rise again.

Don’t you think that your position as the chairman of the party precludes you from contesting an elective position?

No, ironically it does not. I can always resign to go and contest. However, and more importantly, we have a task at hand and for me, that is what I’m facing now.

What about the Anambra elections that are coming up this November? Is LP in the contest?

Yes, we do have a candidate but of course, you know we are entering late and at this point of transition, there is going be a lot of lacunae, but we will put in the very best.

As a politician, what is your forecast for 2019?

In 2019, Nigerians are in for a pleasant surprise, because they will get what they want. It has happened in the US, France and Austria. We are going to have an underdog coming to shock everybody because the people are now socially aware and more politically conscious and they know that it is time for them to demand for what they truly deserve which is the dividends of democracy and the LP offers that platform for equal opportunity and social justice.

How would you assess the government of the APC?

It’s obvious that a lot of people are not happy with non-performance in critical sectors. People want things to happen faster than its happening. We cannot continue to hear good intentions because good intentions do not amount to much without efforts and real impact. People now want to see the dividends of all of those good intentions. People want more. They may be putting in their best, but people are saying that their best is not good enough. Additionally, people need truth, Justice and accountability. We are listening and we are working to deliver these needs

How does the party get its funding?

The party belongs to the masses and we intend to fortify our ideals, integrity and values against the antics of the moneybags so that we do not fall into the quagmire of other parties. So, for now, we receive funding as we speak from ordinary men and women on the streets. Imagine if a million people donating just N1000, that amounts to N1 billion. However, we are not averse to bigger donors, we just won’t allow them to overrule the ideals we stand for. So please honourable moneybags are welcome to fund us. We are getting there. If you truly want to revive and revamp our country via equal opportunity and social justice, Labour party is the place to be and people are buying into it.

Mike Omotosho In As National Chairman

The crisis currently bedevilling the leadership of Labour Party (LP) entered another gear, Tuesday, as one of the factions convened a special convention that saw to the ouster of the party’s erstwhile national chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, and unanimously elected a former Abuja Rotary Club Governor, Mike Omotosho.

Chronicling the many ‘sins’ of the ousted party chairman, the party’chaise pity national chairman (south) and convention chairman, Comrade Calistus Okafor said the former chairman had contravened various sections of the constitution, embezzled party finances and arrogated undue powers to the office of the chairman as well as forgery.

However, mild drama ensued when the delegates in their hundreds led by the new factional chairman matched to the party’s house premises that the former chairman (Abdulsalam) sneaked out of the building.

Comrade Okafor, in his opening remarks at the convention also lamented that the party under its former chairman, Alh Salam, never held party meetings to agree on the way forward but rather enjoyed administering the party through executive fiat, a situation he said made other NWC members uncomfortable.

Okafor said: “Since 2015, Labour Party has never held meetings, even towns and associations hold meetings regularly. I usually feel ashamed when I watch TV and see the PDP, APC and other parties convening and holding meetings and we have nothing to show.

“Labour Party is supposed to be the mouthpiece of the people in a period when the ruling APC is having crisis of all sorts, PDP is having one corruption case or the other. The Leadership has however rendered our party useless.

“In the build-up to the 2015 general elections, the party generated a whopping sum of N1,344,047,000 (One Billion three hundred and forty-four million forty-seven thousand Naira only) all from the sales of expression of interest forms, nomination form and waivers to aspirants,”

Speaking with newsmen at the party national secretariat shortly after taking over, the new national chairman Rotarian Mike Omotosho, assured of a new beginning in the Labour Party.

Omotosho promised to bring back all the aggrieved members who had left the party due to the inefficient leadership style of the former national chairman.

When contacted by phone, the embattled Chairman described the faction as “inconsequential members of the party” adding that he had officially lodged a report with the police.