LP faction sacks national chairman, others, appoints new officials
A faction of the opposition Labour Party yesterday claimed it has suspended its National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir Salam. Other officials affected by the suspension are Mr. Callistus Okafor, Deputy National Chairman South and Barrister Julius Abure, Acting National Secretary.
Some members of the party who convened an emergency meeting of the LP in Abuja accused the suspended chairman of embezzling and diverting unspecified amount of money belonging to the party to his private company and failed to remit National Executive Committee, NEC resolutions of the party to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
But in a swift reaction, the embattled National Chairman, Abubakar Salam told The Guardian that he did not authorize anyone to convene a meeting of the Labour Party anywhere. “There is no meeting of my party convened by me. Some miscreants were sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta Central to destabilize the party to enable him cross over to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC” He denied ever converting any money belonging to the party and insisted that by the constitution of the party, only the Chairman can convene such meetings.
When The Guardian called the phone number of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for his reaction, he did not pick the receiver. Text messages sent to him was also not replied before going to press. Chief Tony Ezeagwu, Delta state chairman of the LP said he was not at the meeting in Abuja. He said “most of those who held the meeting where the purported suspension took place have been expelled from the party”. According to him, the LP is not factionalised as he said one Barrister Ukpebitere Andew, a former National Youth Leader of the party who was suspended by NEC since May 4th 2016 was also among those working against the party. He accused Senator Omo-Agege of financing the internal protest to enable him decamp to the APC.
Consequently, the NEC said it resolved “that for the survival of our great party, the following officials of the party are hereby suspended/removed forthwith from office pending the outcome of internal investigations by the party on the corrupt and dictatorial state of affairs in the party:
(i) Alhaji Abubakar Abulkadir Salam (suspended/removed as National Chairman),
(ii) Mr. Calistus Okafor (suspended/removed as Deputy National Chairman – South),
(iii) Barr. Julius Abure (suspended/removed as Acting National Secretary).
While Comrade Bobo Atare Adou (National Vice Chairman – South South) and Barrister Akingbade Oyelekan are appointed as Acting National Chairman and Acting National Secretary of the party respectively.”