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Labour Party lashes at its Reps members, warns lawmakers to respect party supremacy or face disciplinary action

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Chigozie Ikpo, Abuja

The Leadership of the Labour Party has lashed out on the party’s House of Representatives members over comments made the party Caucus leader, Hon. Afam Ogene on the planned National Convention scheduled on March 27, 2024, warning that the party will not hesitate to punish erring members.

Hon. Ogene had called for the postponement of the convention saying the party was not dully informed about the proposed convention, adding that it is unconstitutional to hold a national convention before the local government and wards.

The lawmaker added that the party needed more time to put its house in order, make proper and wider consultations and make effort to bring every stakeholder on board, before it would go ahead with such an important party event.

In a Statement on Monday, by the National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the party accused Ogene of lacking knowledge of the constitution of the party, and cautioned against speaking to the media on issues he is unfamiliar with.

Ifoh while clarifying that the lawmakers were dully informed about the convention warned them about speaking against the party policies, accusing them of not living up to expectation, by being the voice of the people in the green chamber.

He said, “By the statement from Hon. Ogene, it is pertinent to point out that he is very unknowledgeable as it relates to the provision of the constitution of the party under which he was elected.

“We had expected, even though he is coming from the background of PDP and APC, he should not mistake the APC and PDP constitutions to that of the Labour Party. We would like to educate him to note that as the other parties’ constitutions are different so is the Labour Party.

“In line with Article 15:1-4 of our party constitution, there is no equality of tenure. While the Ward, local government and state executives have three years tenure, the national executive has four years tenure.

“As at the moment, party executives in over sixteen states are subsisting because they have conducted their congresses. We had expected Hon. Ogene to read the constitution of the party before making public comments against the party.

“The leader of the caucus is the alter ego of the party who should defend the party policy and programs in the national assembly. And for him to say that the House of Representatives caucus was not informed about the convention is clearly a mischief taken too far.

“For the records, the House of Representatives through the caucus leader was duly informed about the coming convention. We are aghast at the kind of politics Hon. Ogene has chosen to play. It is therefore very unhealthy for him to rush to the press to misinform our members. We had expected him to be a liaison between the party leadership and the national assembly and as a leader he claims to be to help in ensuring that peace reigns in the party at all time.

“We are also shocked that members of the House of Representatives elected under the Labour Party are always quick to rush to the media whenever we make major decisions. This is against the background that they have never risen to the occasion as members of the Labour Party in the House who are supposed to be the voice of the people and speak truth to power, in spite of the numerous challenges the country is going through.

“Again, considering the sacrifices made by Nigerians in electing these Labour Party legislators, we had expected them to be the Ambassadors of the People. It appears that they seat at the national assembly for theirselves alone. It is obvious that it is only when it concerns the party that they flex muscles. They need not be told of the persecution the party leadership has been undergoing in the hands of the government in power as a result of their election into offices and yet, they have no qualms in bringing the party to opprobrium at any given opportunity.

“We therefore advice our lawmakers to desist from rushing to the press on party matters. Party internal matters must remain and kept internal matters. The party will not hesitate to discipline any party member who will not respect the supremacy of the party. The party is prepared to defend its ideology and constitution at all times irrespective of whose ox is gored.

“Finally, we want to assure our party members that the leadership is continuing with our consultations with stakeholders at all levels to ensure that free, fair and rancour free convention is held.” Ifoh concluded.

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