By Luminous Jannamike
THE Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the Labour Party, LP, yesterday, said it stands in solidarity with Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the party, to reclaim their ‘stolen mandate’ at the presidential election petition tribunal.
The faction made the announcement in a communique at the end of its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting held in Bauchi on Wednesday.
Recall that the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party had disassociated the party from the Apapa-led faction’s NEC meeting in Bauchi State.
Deputy National Chairman of the party, Ladi Illiya, who spoke at the party stakeholders meeting, including most of the 36 State Chairmen and Secretaries in Abuja, on Wednesday, said the party remains committed despite antics of paid agents to distabilise the party, as they restated their support for Julius Abure, as National Chairman, as confirmed by the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Asaba a forthright ago.
Meanwhile, Apapa, and the acting National Secretary, Saleh Lawan, also said they had forgiven some prominent members of the party, including Peter Obi, Datti Baba-Ahmed, and Alex Otti, who attended what it described as an “illegal” National Executive Council, NEC, meeting organised by the Julius Abure exectutive in Asaba, Delta State.
It said the decision to forgive the members was made in the interest of the party and the country.
It will be recalled that the LP has been embroiled in a leadership crisis, with two factions laying claim to the leadership of the party.
Despite that, the Apapa-led LP faction in a communique, said: “We have forgiven those who attended the illegal NEC meeting in Asaba because they acted ignorantly and were in contempt of the FCT High Court’s restraining order.
“However, the LP believes in the rule of law and will stand with its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to reclaim our stolen mandate at the presidential election petition tribunal,” the communique added.
The faction also announced the suspension of 12 members for their alleged involvement in ‘anti-party activities’ and ‘unruly behaviour’ against the LP leadership, which include issuing statement without authority of the party.
“The NEC suspended 12 of its members namely, Obiora Ifo, Kenneth Okonkwo, Pst. Adebayo Ekong, P. Igene, Adeola Adebanjo, Pst. Funke Awolowo, Sam Okpala, Folusho Leigh, Folakemi Collins, Olubunmi Adesanya, Lanre Adenuga and Dr. Olatubosun Oswald,” the communique added.
The LP faction sympathized with Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country and vowed that its future government would take urgent steps to address the situation.