BENIN â€” THE crisis rocking the Labour Party in Edo State took a new dimension, yesterday, as two factions of the party engaged themselves in a fight to take control of the party secretariat.
The faction led by Dr. John Ogbeide, which was dissol-ved last week, was eventua-lly over-powered and chased out of the secretariat by members of the party’s Transition Committee.
It would be recalled that the Dr. Ogbeide-led interim executive was dissolved by a Special Congress of the party last week, which directed the Transition Committee to take over the affairs of the party and conduct congresses for the party from ward to state levels.
However, the Ogbeide executive remained adamant and stayed put at the secretariat until yesterday when members of the Interim Transition Committee chased them outÂ of the party secretariat while the secretariat was put under lock.
The situation at the party secretariat was brought under control by policemen who were drafted to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
A statement yesterday in Benin by the Publicity Secretary of the Transition Committee of the party, Mr. Tony Erha, insisted that the committee took over the secretariat in consonance with the partyâ€™s constitution to enable it carry out its mandate of conducting a congress within three months of its inauguration.
â€˜We are using this opportunity to call on the former protem executive of Dr. John OgbeideÂ to formally hand over the property of the party in their possession to the Transition Committee under the leadership of Barrister Eddy Osifo, sequel to a notice of handover earlier written to the former protem Chairman,â€ the statement said.
Reacting to the development in the party, Dr. Ogbeide insisted that he was still in charge, alleging that the Transition Committee stole the keys to the secretariat.
When contacted, Edo Police Command Spokesman, ASP Peter Ogboi, said it was the duty of the police to protect lives and properties in the state.