Crisis is rocking the Lagos chapter of the Labour Party(LP) over its purported alliance with the Ahmed-Makarfi faction of the PDP in the state ahead of the July 22 council polls.
Newsmen report that the PDP faction in the state, led by Mr Moshood Salvador, had announced its alliance with LP for the poll.
Salvador had said that the alliance was a temporary arrangement to enable the faction’s candidates to participate in the election, as it was not recognised by the Lagos State Electoral Commission (LASEIC) for the poll.
LASIEC recognised Mr Segun Adewale, who is loyal to the Ali-Modu Sheriff leadership of the party, as state chairman based on the Appeal Court judgment affirming Sheriff as National Chairman of PDP.
However, the uneasy calm the purported alliance had generated in the Labour Party has reared its ugly head as the party secretary in the state, Mr Bolaji Oshinowo, says its Acting Chairman, Mr Abiodun Popoola, has been removed over the issue.
Oshinowo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday that Popoola was removed at the party’s congress on Friday after a resolution by all members.
He said party members did not sanction the “anti-party” alliance Popoola entered with the PDP faction hence, his removal at the congress and replacement with Mr Femi Enofe.
Oshinowo said Popoola had portrayed the party in bad light and put its participation in the polls in jeopardy with the purported alliance.
“Yes, the party has removed Mr Popoola as the acting Chairman of the party in the state.
“Popoola was removed at a special congress attended by all the party Chairmen in the state on Friday for a number of infractions in line with Article, 18,and 20(2a) ,(3)of the party’s constitution.
“Chief among the infractions was the anti-party activities of Popoola with his open collision with members of the Makarfi-faction to shut our members out of the council polls by lining up card carrying members of the faction as candidates of our party against the constitution.
“He was also removed for being high handed, open ridiculing and humiliation of our members and fragrant violations of the party’s constitution,’’ he said.
The Party secretary said letters of Popoola’s removal has been sent to the National Leadership of the party in Abuja.
Reacting, Popoola described his alleged removal as a ruse.
He said the congress as constituted by Oshinowo and others did not have the power to remove him as Acting Chairman, but he would not make further comments until the national leadership of the party made pronouncements on the issue.
Popoola said his concentration now was on how to ensure the party performed well at the election and not “distraction”
“What removal are they talking about? The constitution is clear about issues like this. They did not have that power.
“However, I will not make further comments on the issue until the national leadership makes pronouncements. I refer you to seek clarification on the issue from the national leadership “he said.
Meanwhile, Adewale has condemned the purported alliance between the Salvador-led group and Labour Party.
Adewale, who condemned the pact at a news conference on Thursday, described the action by Salvador as anti-party.
He made a clarification that the PDP was not divided in the state and that the party had no alliance with Labour for the polls.
Adewale urged the electorate to vote only the PDP for the council election and ignore whatever anybody was saying about an alliance with the party.
Newsmen report that LASIEC has fixed July 22 for the council polls and July 29 for run-off