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More trouble for Labour Party as INEC rejects national convention

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.No BoT in Labour Party, spokesman dismisses takeover claims

.6 LP lawmakers in Enugu Assembly defect to PDP



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the national convention of the Labour Party (LP) held on Wednesday in Nnewi, Anambra State.


Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said this in Abuja on Thursday.

Oyekanmi said that the conduct of the convention was not monitored by INEC, declining to state further reasons why it was not monitored.


The party’s board of trustees has since taken over the running of the party, leaving out Julius Abure who was re-elected at the convention.

The LP on Tuesday shifted the national convention from Umuahia in Abia to Nnewi, Anambra State.

Speaking on the venue change, the LP National Legal Adviser, Kehinde Edun, told reporters that the party informed INEC about the change of venue and date for the convention.

“No, it is holding in Anambra. Nnewi, to be precise, not Umuahia in Abia State again. In fact, Umuahia was not even the first venue we chose. Benin was the first choice before we changed to Umuahia and now Nnewi.

“So, we are at liberty to pick any venue of our choice. We only need to inform INEC about the change in venue and the time,” Edun said.


Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 states that political parties shall give INEC at least 21 days’ notice of convention, congress, conference or meeting.

This includes the convention or meeting convened for “merger” and electing members of its executive committees and other governing bodies or nominating candidates.

Meanwhile, no fewer than six members of the Labour Party (LP) of the Enugu State House of Assembly have officially defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


The lawmakers had attempted to defect last Sunday in an elaborate ceremony that abruptly ended with people being asked to leave Okpara Square, the proposed venue of the event.

But on Thursday during plenary at the state House of Assembly complex, the lawmakers made their defection known in a letter read by the Speaker, Hon. Uche Ugwu.


According to the Speaker, the defecting members include Mr. Ejike Nwa Nsukka, (Igbo-Eze North 1); Mr. Johnson Ugwu (Enugu North); Ms. Princess Ugwu (Enugu South Rural); Mr. Pius Onyeka Ezugwu (Nsukka West); Mr. Williams T. Amuka (Igbo-Etiti East) and Mr. Osita Eze (Oji River).


The Speaker said that their defection was a result of the “existence of irreconcilable division, incessant crisis within the Labour Party at the national level and across all the state chapters.

“Regrettably, the party has evolved into a state of perpetual discord with various factions embroiled in legal battles thereby undermining its ability to effectively serve the interest of the people.

“The Labour Party once a beacon of hope for progressive ideas has regrettably become synonymous with internal squabbles, thereby reducing its capacity to fulfil the aspirations of the electorate.”

They cited the cases of the Abure and Apapa factions as well as the national treasurer as some of the divisions within the party.


However, The leadership of Labour Party, on Thursday, dismissed a report of an alleged takeover of the party affairs, saying the party has no functional Board of Trustees as being alleged.


The rebuttal is coming on the heel of a statement by the party’s BoT Chairman, Sylvester Ejiofor, that the trustees have taken over the party affairs following the expiration of Abure’s tenure and the ‘charade’ that returned him to office in Nnewi as national chairman.


But, the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, said that the party wasn’t aware of the existence of any BoT as being peddled in the media.


In a statement issued on Thursday, ifoh said Ejiofor stepped down as the first national chairman of the party over two decades ago and has since not attended any LP meeting or played any significant role as a member of the party



He said, “Ever since Ejiofor stepped down as the first national chairman of the Labour Party over two decades ago, he has neither attended any meeting or played any noticeable role as a member of the party.


“He is not even known in his ward and has not paid a single dime as membership dues which qualifies him as a member. It is surprising that after he was ‘visited’ by some leaders of NLC, he suddenly woke up from his slumber.


“The point here is that the Labour Party is not aware of the existence of any Board of Trustees. Recall that NLC has continued to propose for the reconstitution of the BoT as well as the convocation of the national convention.



“Over 90 per cent of persons being suggested to form membership of the proposed BoT have since left the party to join other political parties, some even contested various political positions on the platform of other political parties while some others featured prominently in the presidential campaigns of the other political parties even when Labour Party equally featured a candidate in the 2023 general election.


“This is what desperation in the ranks of the NLC can cause. Why not let the man enjoy his retirement? Why drag him into your mess? Let Ejiofor show evidence of one meeting he convened in the last one decade of his so-called BoT. Enough of all these political muscles flexing, Julius Abure has just been elected by the convention for the first time as the national chairman of the Labour Party. We urge our detractors to please sheathe the sword and join us to salvage the nation.”

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