From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly Mrs Elizabeth Ativie has given reasons why she defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Labour Party (LP), saying that her former party became cash and carry and had no consideration for women.
The former lawmaker, who is now LP House of Representatives candidate for Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde federal Constituency, is currently having a running battle with some members of the in her constituency, who alleged that she imposed on them from above after the party had conducted primary and elected a candidate for the position.
“I left APC, because it became cash and carry, as no woman emerged as House of Assembly, House of Representatives or Senatorial candidate in Edo State. I must commend the leadership of LP, both at the state and national levels, because they are living within the tenets of their conviction, belief and objectives,” he said.
“No leader of LP has asked me for one naira. I am very impressed. They should keep it up, but we should not allow distraction and infiltration from other political parties to cause disharmony among us. The presidential candidate of LP, Mr. Peter Obi, is the darling of the whole Nigeria. With the latest opinion poll, Obi is ahead of the other presidential candidates, and he is getting over 25 per cent in almost all the states of Nigeria and FCT.”
Ativie, who spoke at media parley with journalists in Benin, said many politicians in the in the state are being frightened by her emergence as the candidate of Labour Party for Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde constituency because of her capacity to emerge victorious.
“There are processes to be nominated and elected. I passed through all the processes in LP. I do not want to take issues with anybody or some hired persons and non-members of LP, who are protesting my candidacy. I was reliably informed that most of the protesters are members of other political parties, who are frightened by my candidacy.
“The LP is geared towards moving Nigeria forward. If you are not with us, do not come and destroy us. The leadership of LP will soon come out with a statement, for the few sponsored protesters to keep quiet, and calm all the nerves. I was never imposed on LP, and I never gave “shishi” (money) to anybody, to pick the ticket of LP”, she explained in apparent reaction to those accusing of imposition from above, adding that she had come to add value to the LP.
“I am not perplexed by some persons singing the song of illegality. I have documents to prove that I was legally elected as the candidate of LP for Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde federal constituency. My concern is to ensure that LP wins elections in Edo, and to deliver the state for Peter Obi.
“I like people who criticise me, because when you are criticised, you are whipped to line. I also criticise people, because I come from the civil society, but we should not allow some disgruntled elements to destabilise LP in Edo.
“We are building the third force in Edo State. I am an obedient servant. I have always been a comrade and coupled with the fact that I am a professional nurse. Nursing Association of Nigeria is an affiliate of Labour Union. So, it was not difficult for me to go back home. So, I am a member of LP,” Ativie stated.
She said LP in Edo remained one united family that was fighting a just cause, for the emancipation of Edo people in particular and Nigerians in general and urged all Edo residents to vote for LP’s candidates during the 2023 elections, in order to sing the song of emancipation.