From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party (LP) on Friday suspended the Ogun State chapter Chairman and Exco members over the role they played in the alleged expulsion of the Director General of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe.
The NWC also relieved the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi of his duties over sabotage and anti party activities.
The NWC further passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of its embattled National Chairman, Julius Abure, saying it has reviewed all the corruption allegations levelled against him and found him not capable.
Okupe and 10 members of the party were removed by the leadership of the Ogun State chapter of LP over alleged “non-financial membership status, political rascality and misappropriation of funds.”
The affected members were deputy State Chairman II East, Jagun Lookman; state Women Leader, Oluwabukola Soyoye, ex-state Treasurer, Gbadebo Fesomade; state Publicity Secretary, Jide Amusan; state Youth Leader, Abdulmalik Olaleye; Assistant State Youth Leader, Adeshina Shojobi; Senatorial Women Leader Ogun East, Deborah Adewale; Assistant State Secretary, Olatunde Abolade, Abel Olaleye and Abayomi Collins.
The party leadership reacted angrily to their termination with accusations and denials, and the national chairman of the party dismissed the removal of the Obi-Datti DG, tagging it as “false news.”
Abure asserted that the state’s leaders lacked the authority to dismiss him.
The National Secretary of the Labour Party, Umar Farouk, however, announced the dismissal of the LP spokesperson, the dissolution of its state chapter in Ogun, and the suspension of its chairman and other executives just after an emergency meeting of the NWC in Abuja.
He noted that the party can no longer support such anti-party behavior among its members.
He said, “The acting National Publicity Secretary has been relieved of his appointment by the National Working Committee. A disciplinary committee has also been constituted to investigate his anti-party activities as a member of the Labour Party.
“The Ogun State chapter of the party has also been dissolved and the chairman and its exco suspended. A caretaker will be appointed to take care for the party’s activities in the state. They will also be investigated by the disciplinary committee for anti-party activities.
“The NWC has also unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the National Chairman, Julius Abure. Consequently, we call on the party members to adhere strictly to the provision of the Constitution and Code of Conduct of the party. We also call on the general public to have more confidence in the party as the leadership of the party is working very hard to ensure that we are not distracted. The bad elements and the Judas among us will be fished out gradually and punished in accordance with the Constitution of the party.
“We also called on Nigerians to disregard any negative information spread by some miscreants as the party’s loyalists, whereas we have found out they are acting out the script of our opposition.”
Meanwhile, National Publicity Secretary has vowed to challenge his removal in court.
He asserted that the NWC’s decision was an attempt to get him to drop his lawsuit against the party’s leadership.
“I don’t know whether they have the power to do such now but this will be tested in court. It is just a ploy to coarse me to withdraw my petition of criminal activities against them.
“A document of the court of appeal was forged by some candidates in Lagos to the court of appeal and which they also forged to INEC. I am not going to back down on that. I was not part of the meeting where the decision of the suspension was announced. We did the NWC meeting today, where I was threatened to go and withdraw the petition. I was threatened to discontinue with it. Which I am not going to do because what they did was criminal in nature.” He said.