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NLC sacks Abure, annuls Labour Party national convention



Julius Abure

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),  in a meeting on Monday, annulled the national convention that restored the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, and his National Working Committee.

To fill the vacancy, the stakeholders stated that the Congress will form a transition committee to supervise the party’s business until new officers are chosen in three months.

Those in attendance at the meeting included the Chairman of the NLC Political Commission, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku; former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwahed Omar; Chairman of the LP Board of Trustees, Sylvester Ejiofor; Coordinator of the Obidient Movement, Dr. Moses Paul; and LP Plateau governorship candidate, Chief Yohana Margif.

Others were the Coordinator of the Labour Party Patriotic Members Congress, Dr. Kingsley Okundaye; Kaduna LP Governorship Candidate, Jonathan Asake; and representative of persons with disabilities in the Labour Party, Ihekwoaba Paul.

The NLC’s resolution on Monday also voiced concerns about the necessity for a forensic assessment of LP bank accounts, as requested by its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in response to claims of corruption, forgery, and fraud levied against the party’s leadership.

These were included in the communiqué issued following the NLC stakeholder meeting and made available to the press.

The NLC’s communique partly reads, “Owing to the current vacuum in the leadership of the Labour Party, the NLC Political Commission, consequent on its status in the Constitution of the Labour Party as a registered trustee of the Labour Party, a status that was further buttressed by a Federal High Court consent judgement delivered on March 20, 2018 by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, moved for the immediate constitution of a transition committee with a mandate to set up structures at the national, state, local, and ward levels for the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive national convention of the Labour Party.

“The stakeholders meeting passed a vote of no confidence in the purported Labour Party national convention held in Nnewi, Anambra State, and regards as inconsequential the leadership that claims to have emerged from the illegal Nnewi Convention.

“INEC and all relevant security organisations are hereby notified and should be officially written immediately to recognise the transition committee as the interim leadership of LP pending the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive national convention.

“The committee, once constituted, should fully take over the secretariats of the Labour Party all over Nigeria and shall immediately set up an asset recovery process for all the properties of the Labour Party.

“The committee shall also ensure that all the cases of fraud, impersonation, and forgery of government documents pending against a few discredited former officers of the Labour Party are forensically audited and the culprits are diligently prosecuted as demanded by the leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi. It is unfortunate that the actions of these few dishonourable characters have splashed mud on the white satin of the Labour Party.

“Pursuant to the foregoing, the committee shall, within three months of its constitution, ensure the conduct of an inclusive national convention of the party, starting from ward congresses to local government congresses to state congresses, culminating in an all-inclusive and expansive national convention in Abuja.

“Finally, we reiterate that the Labour Party is a party for all Nigerians regardless of ethnic, religious, regional, social, and economic orientation or status.”

When asked for a comment, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, stated that the NWC would not be intimidated by NLC stakeholders and their ‘co-travellers.’

He said, “We are not interested in whatever they do, and LP won’t give credence to any statement they issue. You can imagine the level of impunity with which these people are acting. They have no power to do anything.”

The vote of no confidence in Abure and his NWC came only hours after scores of LP supporters marched through Abuja to protest harassment and ongoing intervention in the party’s operations.

Protesters carried posters with varied phrases that read, “If you are not for Abure, go and seek another political party” and “Abure is our chairman,” and vowed to resist any attempt to take over control of the party.

Solidarity songs like ‘We Want Abure’ filled the air as the protest march began from the party secretariat’s new Federal Capital Territory chapter and ended at the NLC stakeholders meeting venue in Gudu.

They were, however, stopped by security personnel from entering the premises.