By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – There are indications that fresh a leadership crisis is brewing in the Labour Party, LP, following alleged plot by the leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, to hijack the party.
The subterranean moves to takeover the party by the organized union according to Vanguard findings, could not be unconnected with recent skirmishes in the party where a few aggrieved members were said to have allegedly organised a questionable national convention to topple the national chairman.
The attempted plot however failed with INEC rebuttal of any leadership crisis in the party, insisting that it recognised Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam as the authentic National chairman of the party.
It would be recalled that the President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in his May Day Speech declared that the NLC is the owner of the Party and shall dissolve Wards, Local Government, and State Executive structures of the Party.
The current intrigue in the party according to political pundit might lead to a point where the organised labour will need to reorganise it to such a formidable front that would be used as platform for the nation’s workforce to have a common voice to either to go it alone or through affiliation with other parties to make a bold statement during the 2019 presidential elections.
This grand plot also coincided with recent alert raised by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu over alleged clandestine move by civil servants and other public officials not comfortable with the anti-graft posture of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove him from office.
According to the source, “We are aware of clandestine moves by the NLC to forcefully, unconstitutionally and illegally take over the leadership of the Party.
“We are informed authoritatively that the NLC acting through its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba have perfected plans to convene meetings of the Organs of the Party and thereafter, mobilise thugs and hoodlums to forcefully take over the National Secretariat.
The source, while pointing accusing fingers at the NLC President, further recalled that “Recently the NLC pretended as if they were mediating in the party crisis but employed various tactics including divide and rule system to take over the Party.”
The source, who said this is not the first time the NLC will be embarking on such a journey, recalled how during the National Convention of the Party held in Akure in 2014, the NLC set up a Caretaker Committee but failed in an attempt to legitimize it.
Meanwhile, Vanguard learnt that worried by the unfolding development, the leadership of the Labour Party, LP, has petitioned the Chairman of Independent National electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, urging him to call the NLC president to order.
The petition according to dependable source close to the management of the electoral umpire was received on May 21, 2018.
“Yes, we have just received a protest letter from the Labour Party, LP, complaining of plot by certain persons operating under a body to hijack the party.
“We are looking into the issues raised in the letter with a view to addressing them accordingly, thanks,” said the source.
But another source to the gimmick, who did not want his name in print while accusing the NLC of plotting to hijack the party for ulterior motive said, Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) prohibits any association from contributing to the funds of any political party.
He said, “It is a criminal offence under section 15 of the Trade Union Act to use Trade Unions Funds whether directly or indirectly to fund a political party.”
Noting that the NLC has nothing to do with administration of the party, he said, once a Political Party is registered by INEC it becomes a body corporate with a perpetual succession and a common seal.
His words: “Section 80 of the Electoral Act (as amended) states that “a political party once registered has a life of its own and it’s only regulated by its constitution.”
But efforts to reach out to the National chairman of Labour Party, LP, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam to react to the development proved abortive as several calls put across to his phone by our correspondent could not get through even as text messages were not replied.