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.

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.