*** Condemns attacks on its Imo secretariat by agents of Imo Govt

Labour Party has passed a vote of confidence on its National Chairman, Barr. Julius Abure, who was last week allegedlt suspended by a factional group of the party.

Some Executive members of the party from Edo State who stormed the national headquarters of the party on Monday also described the suspension as handiwork of impostors being sponsored by other political parties to destabilise the success recorded by the party.

This was coming just as the national headquarters of the party expressed dismay over the invasion and occupation of its secretariat in Owerri by agents of Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma, who they said deployed thugs and unauthorized police men from the government house to carry out the operation.

It would be recalled that some groups who claimed to be ward 3 executives of the party in Edo State, led by the Ward’s Chairman, Martins Osigbemhe, had in a press conference, last week in Abuja, announced the suspension of the LP national chairman over allegations of forgery, perjury, mismanagement of funds, anti-party activities, among others. 

Specifically, in a statement signed by seven out of the 11 members of the ward executive, Osigbemhe pointed out that the decision to suspend the national chairman was reached after the leadership of the ward thoroughly reviewed Abure’s conduct at the end of the just-concluded general elections.

However, in a reaction, the Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the party, Sir Kelly Ogbaloi, told newsmen at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja Tuesady, that the constitution of the party doesn’t empower any group or party members to suspend a national officer who was elected by a national convention, talk less of those he described as imposters who are not registered party members. 

He described their actions as an act of ignorance.

 “Those who did it don’t even understand the message they were asked to deliver. It’s none sense when few boys assembled themselves in Abuja and made the pronouncement they made. For once, they are not members of the party, they are not at the ward, they are not at the local government and they are not recognize at the state level. 

“In the constitution of Labour Party, no state, no local government, no ward has the right or whatsoever to assemble anywhere to suspend a national chairman who is a product of a national convention. It may be possible in other political parties but not in Labour Party. 

He said whatever action carried out by the group, had no effect on the leadership of the party.

“Barr Julius Abure remains the national chairman of our party and we have since passed a vote of confidence on him and he shall take this party forward. No reasonable person will come and be talking about the suspension of a chairman who had delivered on the election that we just have concluded”, he said.

On his part, Patrick Obed, 

the Local Government Chairman, Esan East, Edo State, added his voice to the position of the state party chairman, describing the recent “suspension as a rumour and as a rift”. 

He said: He (Barr Abure) is the national chairman and at the Local Government level we have not suspended him, at the ward level and at the senatorial level we have not suspended. He has been good to us, he has been working assiduously to move the party forward and I believe those claiming to be members of the party who suspended him, I don’t know them facially, they are carrying a black rumour which is meant to creatw a dent on our party but they have failed

He expressed the believed that the imposters are working for members of opposition parties 

Thompson Valentine Ehiguese, Chairman Ward 3,. Esan East LGA, said they came to Abuja to clear the air on the purported suspension by “some persons impersonating as the ward chairman and ward executives of ward 3 Esan North Senatorial zone”. 

“I am the chairman of ward 3 in my local government and with me here is my secretary. We are here to dismiss the information about the suspension that is not correct. Ward 3, Uromi where the national chairman hails from. I am his ward chairman. 

“The truth of the matter is that those who claimed to have suspended the national chairman are not members of the party. Their names are not in our party register. They are not even from Esan and they are not from ward six. We are taking a major action against them. They are impersonators and they will be arrested”, he said.

In another developmwnt the national leadership of the Labour Party has expressed dismay over alleged invasion and occupation of its ecretariat in Owerri, yesterday by persons alleged to be agents of Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodimma, including thugs and unauthorized police men drafted from the government house.

In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Mallam Umar Farouk, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the party said illegal occupation was akin to similar invasion on the same secretariat on Wednesday March 15, 2023.

Farouk said, unlike the March invasion, where no reason was given by the state government on why it took such unlawful action against the party, this time, they said that their action was based on a Court Order. 

He said, “as at the moment, no such Order to our knowledge was given. No Order has been presented to us by the court or their agents. The Police men presently occupying our Secretariat have not even shown us the Order. At the moment, all our officials and staff have been barred from accessing the Secretariat.

“We have contacted the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on the on going development in the state, and it has been confirmed that the Force is not aware of any security breach whatsoever in the state to warrant the occupation of our Secretariat. 

“The Police have also informed us that it has not detailed any of their officers and men to the Labour Party Secretariat in Imo state; and that the officers may have been drafted from the State House in the state.

Farouk noted that the Labour Party however was “not unmindful of the efforts of the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma to hijack the leadership of the Party in Imo state. 

“These actions”, he said, “have confirmed the information available to us of plots by the governor to plant some surrogates wearing the garments of aspirants in the party. This game plan, as archaic as it seems, has been detected and punctured, the consequences being the aggression unleashed on the party by the state government”

He therefore called on all the members of the Labour Party and OBidient family in Imo State to be peaceful even in the face of the present provocation.

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