Fresh crisis has hit the Labour Party following last week’s defection of Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, from the party to the People’s Democratic Party.
A group of party members represented by its national publicity secretary, Mr. Ikpe Etokudo, on Sunday, dissociated themselves from the proposed national convention slated for October 11, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
However, National Chairman of the Party, Chief Dan Nwanyawu said that Etokudo had since been relieved of his appointment and suspended from the party.
According to him, there was no way a suspended member can act for or on behalf of the party in any capacity.
A statement by Etokudo had advised all party members, especially those wishing to vie for elective positions on the platform of the party, not to patronise or have anything to do with “the PDP sponsored National Convention holding in Akure, Ondo State.”
He described the gathering as illegal adding that anything that emanates from it would be null, void and therefore of no consequence whatsoever.
Etokudo’s statement partly read: “The Leadership of the Party and all major Stakeholders in Labour Party seize this opportunity to urge all genuine members of our Party to shun the illegality scheduled to take place in the PDP’s newly acquired ‘fiefdom’ on October 11, 2014 as the highest decision making organ of our party NEC, did not and never convened to approve the so called convention for that date.
“The constitution of our Party, article 13, section 2B, sub sections viii, ix and xviii only vested in (The National Executive Council, NEC) the Absolute power to convene National convention of the Labour Party.”
He threatened that the party would sanction any member who attends or causes anyone to attend the convention.
Etokudo alleged that the essence of the Kangaroo National Convention of LP to be hosted by PDP Governor Mimiko of Ondo state in Akure, is for Chief Dan Nwanyanwu whom he referred to as the former National Chairman, and Abdulkadir Salam, whom he described as former National Secretary to hand over the party to the People’s Democratic Party.
This, he said, was to be done against the express wishes of Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress and other teeming members of LP all over the country.
Nwayanwu however dismissed Etokudo’s claims describing the latter as “former national publicity secretary of the party.”
The national chairman said, “He was our national publicity secretary, he is on suspension. The issue of the convention of the party was decided by the National Executive Council of the party on the 10th of September 2014.
“Dan Nwanyanwu, as national chairman, has no power to change the decision of NEC on the convention not to talk of any other official let alone any other person who is on suspension and relieved of his position.”
The party chairman explained that the reason for the convention is to democratise the leadership of political parties as such; the national convention of the party will go ahead as scheduled.