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Apapa Faction Makes U-Turn, Backs Abure As LP Chair

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The leadership crisis within the Labour Party (LP), which saw Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa, the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman (South), respectively, claiming the party’s leadership, has finally ended.

Both factions have agreed to reconcile and work collectively towards the party’s goals, ending a dispute that has lasted over a year.

The conflict began in April 2023 following a court judgment that restrained Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

This legal decision sparked a significant division within the party, leading to a fierce battle for control, supported by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) under the leadership of Joe Ajaero.

Despite the turmoil, which included picketing at LP secretariats nationwide and calls for an inclusive convention, the situation remained tense until a contentious national convention held in Anambra three months ago.

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The convention, which re-elected Abure and his loyal National Working Committee members, was later invalidated by the NLC Political Commission.

This led to the establishment of a transition committee tasked with engaging stakeholders and organizing a new convention within 90 days.

Under mounting pressure from various fronts, including an open revolt and media campaign led by the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and continued pressure from the NLC, Abure saw the urgent need to reconcile with Apapa’s faction.

A source at the LP national secretariat, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told Punch, “It is the only logical way for him to have a united front against the threat of the NLC in particular. I believe you already know Abure has a long history with Lamidi Apapa and Abayomi Arabambi before now.”

The factional spokesman, Abayomi Arabambi, confirmed the development.

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Arabambi told the platform that they had no problem with Abure from the outset because they knew he was being influenced and misled by some leading officers of the NLC.

He said, “We are together to stop all those political hawks from taking over our party. We thought they (NLC) were fighting for a just cause. But it is very obvious they only want to take over our party and we are not going to accept that. We in the Lamidi Apapa group are not lawbreakers like those who supported Abure in disobeying the court order. I have said this several times on air.

“It was because of this threat that Abure extended an olive branch for all of us to bond together. It was obvious that these people were not only with him to fight us but to take over the control of the party. So we cannot be outside and allow some people to take over our party. That was why Abure asked us to come together in the party’s interest.

“We are here to fight those people who want to use the Labour Party to foment trouble and destabilize the country. That is what we are against. Nobody is contesting or running for any election now. We know the next race is in 2027. Why should we now be seeking ways to bring the nation down? We are averse to that.”

He added, “I also want you to know that there is nothing like Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign here anymore. It has been dissolved. Everybody has reverted to former governorship and presidential candidate. We don’t want disinformation at the Labour Party.

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“Again, you recall that there was a crisis in APC and the PDP. Yet, the warring parties came together and resolved it. So what stopped us from resolving ours? When you are fighting, there is no permanent enemy. It is all about permanent interest.”

Efforts to get Abure to react to the report were unsuccessful.

But the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, also confirmed the reunion, saying there was nothing out of place for Abure to extend olive branches to aggrieved party members.

He said, “Labour Party is united. We do not have a division in the sense that as a party that came out of the election hugely successful with a lot of results to show, several people would want to have a stake in the Labour Party. The implication is that a lot of stone-throwing and interest will begin to manifest. But the Labour Party has a constitution and it has a rule completely spelt out.

“Anybody that tries to go out of it will get his hand burnt because the law will not support what you are doing just as the NLC is doing. Besides, we have never seen the Lamidi Apapa people as having their camp because there’s only one camp. That is the one led by Julius Abure.

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“Of course, they have the right to be aggrieved and take positions that are not aligned with the interest of the party. But as soon as they discovered it was not the right way, I think they took the better decision to begin to retrace their steps. That is what we have seen.”

He stated further, “Many people who were involved in anti-party activities in the past are beginning to discover that the laws are not on their side. The best thing is to retrace their steps and return to the fold.

“So many other persons have indicated interest in returning to the party. LP does not have any problem with that. Our doors are wide open. If you are out in the cold and you need shelter in the Labour Party, we will bring you back and shelter you.

“The distinguished gentleman you just mentioned (Arabambi) is still our member. He has also recognised Julius Abure as the only national chairman. The party is coming together and I can tell you that the party is a lot more united now than ever.”



Source link: Naija News/

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