*Urges Nigerians to be cautious of agents of destabilisation
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has dismissed the report of a factional Labour Party, LP, insisting that there is only one LP and Dr Peter Obi as its Presidential Candidate for the 2023 Presidential election.
NLC in a statement Thursday, dismissed insinuations of a factional LP, reported conduct of what it described as a “beer parlour” presidential primary and supposedly elected a presidential candidate, was nothing but spurious, hilarious and ridiculous.
In the statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, NLC urged Nigerians to be cautious of agents of destabilisation, contending that the leadership of the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, “recognize the leadership of the LP led by Julius Abure, a former trade union leader and workers are part of the leadership.”
According to the statement “It has been brought to our attention that a so-called faction of the Labour Party recently conducted what we can describe as a “beer parlour” presidential primary and supposedly elected a presidential candidate. Nothing can be more spurious, hilarious and ridiculous!
“There is only one Labour Party in Nigeria. For the purpose of public education and clarity, we will take recourse to history. The Labour Party is the creation and offspring of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The decision to give birth to the Labour Party was taken by the statutory organs of the NLC and affirmed by the decision of the National Executive Council of Congress at its meeting in Bauchi in 2003 when it approved the formation of the Party for Social Democracy (PSD). It was at the inaugural convention of PSD in 2004 that NLC decided to change the name of PSD to the Labour Party and it has remained so since then.
“The Labour Party has since then gone through both bright and blight times. Yet, the ownership of the Party by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress has never been in doubt. As a matter of fact, the original certificate of the registration of the Labour Party is domiciled in the national headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress. Also, a Federal High Court judgment by Justice G.O. Kolawole in March 2018 clearly establishes that Labour Party belongs to workers.
“The point is that the Labour Party is what the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) say it is. The leadership of the NLC and TUC recognize the leadership of the Labour Party led by Barr. Julius Abure, a former trade union leader and workers are part of the leadership. The NLC and TUC are aware of only one presidential primary which was held in Asaba, Delta State on 30th May 2022 and produced Peter Obi as its presidential candidate and standard-bearer.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, monitored the presidential primary that produced HE Peter Obi. INEC recognizes only the Labour Party leadership led by the Chairman, Julius Abure and the National Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Umaru Ibrahim. They are the only Labour Party officials whose details are provided on the INEC website.
“The leadership of the NLC and TUC gave our full support to the processes that produced HE Peter Obi as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party. Nigerians especially workers, youths and women attended the presidential primary of the Labour Party in their thousands and were thoroughly satisfied with the outcome of the same.
“We understand that with the current repositioning of the Labour Party as the party for workers, youths, students, women, traders, farmers, professionals, physically disabled persons, the unemployed and the downtrodden, the Labour Party has become the albatross of establishment political parties who have suddenly become jittery and are devising all forms of conspiracy theories and subterfuge to distract the Labour Party from ongoing mass mobilization efforts for sweeping electoral victory in the 2023 general elections. The use of one Calistus Okafor, a mischievous petty trader, to advance their evil plot of distraction is a new low and should be disregarded by the public.
This, therefore, serves as a public disclaimer to Mr Calistus Okafor. We warn the general public to steer clear of characters who might want to cash in on the popularity of the Labour Party to hoodwink, extort and swindle unsuspecting members of the public.
We, hereby, direct Nigerian workers and all the structures of the NLC and TUC to completely disregard the impersonation by Calistus Okafor who has no locus standi to speak for Labour Party. Workers and millions of members of the Labour Party who desire a New Nigeria should disregard the antics of imposters bent on reaping from the goodwill of the Labour Party.
“Truth is that the bull has already left the barn. Nigerian workers, youths, students, women, professionals, the disabled, and the unemployed have embraced the Labour Party as the political vehicle of the downtrodden, the political alternative and a voice for the re-start of a genuine journey of national development. There is no amount of political devilry that can stop us.
We encourage workers, youths, women, traders, farmers, professionals and all who seek the survival of Nigeria to continue to register for their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and to safeguard their PVCs. We will answer all those who have held Nigeria down with our PVCs in 2023.”