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LP BoT takes charge, NWC keeps mum

The crisis rocking the Labour Party has taken another dimension following an alleged takeover of the party’s administration by its Board of Trustees.

The move comes hours after the National Chairman, Julius Abure, was re-elected at the party’s national convention in Nnewi, Anambra State, on Wednesday.

The convention also saw all members of the National Working Committee returned.

The slots for representatives of both the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress were, however, left vacant.

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A statement issued in Abuja by the party’s BoT Chairman, Sylvester Ejiofor, however announced that it has taken over the party following the expiration of Abure’s tenure and the ‘charade’ that returned him to office in Nnewi as national chairman.

The statement partly read, “Following the expiration of the tenure in office of the immediate past National Working Committee of the LP headed by Mr. Julius Abure, the BoT, in line with the party’s constitution, has stepped in to steer the affairs of the LP. This step is to avoid any leadership vacuum in the LP.

“Furthermore, the BoT of the LP, in consultation with major stakeholders in the party, will soon communicate the processes for the conduct of an all-inclusive and expansive national convention of the LP.

“This is in line with the March 20, 2018 Federal High Court consent judgment delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole which recognised the Nigeria Labour Congress as the owners of the LP and mandated that an all-inclusive and expansive national convention of the LP be held.

“The decision of the BoT is also in furtherance of the agreement signed between the former national chairman of the LP, Mr. Julius Abure, and the NLC and the Trade Union Congress on June 27, 2022, which was mediated by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Unlike the charade that took place today in Nnewi and in tandem with the principles of popular democracy, the all-inclusive national convention will start with grassroots congresses at ward, local government, state and ultimately at the national level.

“This process will not leave any genuine member of LP out and will be held in the full view of the Independent National Electoral Commission, media, civil society, security agents, and the general public.”

Efforts to get the reactions of the party were unsuccessful.

As of the time of filing this story, the lines of Abure, LP National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh; Legal Adviser, Kehinde Edun, National Secretary, Umar Farouk and National Youth Leader, Kennedy Ahanotu, were unreachable.

A chieftain of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, dismissed the report, saying it was a hatchet job.

“Since many of you journalists have been covering this party, have you heard anything about LP Board of Trustees before? It is non-existent. How can one Sylvester Ejiofor wake up one day, tag himself as BoT chairman, and issue a statement that he has taken over the affairs of the party? Let him come over to the secretariat and take over then.

“Too many people and mercenaries are just bent on causing conflict in the party,” he said.

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