Peter Obi risks disqualification over Labour Party crisis in Lagos

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Peter Obi risks disqualification over Labour Party crisis in Lagos

Obi’s candidacy is being threatened by the crisis rocking the Lagos State chapter of Labour Party.

The Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi’s candidacy may be nullified if the current internal strife in the Lagos chapter of the party is not properly resolved.

This was disclosed by the factional chairman and governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos State, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, who said attempts by some persons to usurp his position may endanger Obi’s ambition.

While speaking to Saturday PUNCH, Awamaridi, whose name has been removed as both the state chairman and candidate by the national body, argued that his removal didn’t go through any constitutional procedure.

He also revealed that he has taken legal steps to correct the injustice as the case is currently pending in court.

Recall that the Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party is embroiled in a leadership tussle with regards to the chairman and governorship candidate positions.

The two positions were being held by Awamaridi until recently when the party declared his membership invalid and proceeded to organise a fresh governorship primary which produced Gbadebo-Rhodes Vivour as the new candidate for Lagos.

Speaking on the development, Awamaridi insisted that his name remained listed as the governorship candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“There is a governorship candidate of the party, which has been published by INEC, and that candidate has not withdrawn, and that candidate has not died.

“For someone to say that he is organising a second primary election, that person is a political comedian. They (some members of the national leadership) have been compromised by money because whatever they are doing does not have any cerebral basis.”

Commenting on the state chairmanship position of the party, he said, “I am still the state chairman of the LP. You can go and refer to the constitution of the Labour Party. There is a procedure for removing an officer from the party.

“You can be removed by the National Executive Council if you are a national officer, but if you are a state officer, you can be removed by the congress.

“You cannot be appointed to a position except by the NEC at the national level or the State Executive Council or the congress of that state.

“More so, you don’t just remove an officer; there must be a reason. If it is on disciplinary issues, that person must have gone through a disciplinary process.

“The document with which they said they appointed Kayode Salako was disclosed through a press statement on July 23, 2022, and it was fraudulently backdated to the 18th of May 2022.

“That document can never hold water. In the first place, he (Salako) is not a member of the LP; he is a member of the All Progressives Congress.

“Furthermore, it means that Peter Obi is not the presidential candidate of the LP. It means that as of the 18th of May, Kayode Salako was the Chairman of LP.

“I, as the Chairman of the LP, Lagos State, led the delegates from Lagos that elected Peter Obi to be the presidential candidate on May 30, 2022 (at the special convention).

“So, you are now saying that the delegates that went to the convention from Lagos State are illegal and that delegates that went to that primary election were defective, and that the convention is tantamount to be invalidated.

“Parties are now going for the Certified True Copies of that document in Abuja because they want to use it against Peter Obi. The moment you can prove that the primary was defective, you invalidate the congress and then you nullify the candidate of the party.

“That is what the originators of the Labour Party want to achieve, having been compromised with financial gratification or other things.”

In response to Awamaridi’s claim, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi, denied that they had been served any notice on the matter, Saturday Punch reported.

Arabambi also debunked the alleged threat on the candidacy of Obi, adding that Awamaridi had ceased to be a member of the Labour Party because he had not attended the stipulated number of meetings and did not pay his dues, according to the party’s constitution.

He said his (Awamaridi) name would be replaced as governorship candidate with Vivour on October 4 by INEC.

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