Labour Party warns members against attacking chairman

The leadership of the Labour Party on Wednesday warned that it will no longer tolerate any ‘destructive criticism’ of its National Chairman, Julius Abure, from its members and supporters of the Obidient Movement.

The warning was a response to calls from some aggrieved LP members and stakeholders of the party for Abure to resign following an allegation of corruption levelled against him.

The petition, which went viral some days ago, was jointly signed by an LP party elder, Diokpa Ajufo; member of Obidient Movement, Zariyi Yusuf; representative of Advocate For A New Labour Party, Dr Peter Piper; leader of Obidient Diaspora, Tony Asekome and member of Obidient Movement and Advocate For A New Labour Party, Prof Chris Nwaokobia Jnr.

In the open letter written to the presidential candidate of LP, Peter Obi, and members of the National Working Committee, the aggrieved party noted that the ‘damning revelations of Labour Party erstwhile Youth Leader, Anselem Eragbe, about a heavily compromised and transactional party under Abure were rife.’

They also argued that the Obidient Movement decided to look the other way because of their desire to make Obi win the presidency before they pushed for a reorganization of the party.

Among other things, they also said the recent allegation by LP governorship candidate in Bayelsa, Udengs Eradiri, that the party excos sabotaged his chances by collecting gratification from Governor Douye Diri revealed how sickening the party has become.

But in a strongly worded statement issued on Wednesday, the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, warned the aggrieved members and the ‘various bodies they represent’ to desist from denigrating the party’s national chairman.

In the statement, Ifoh further scolded them over their social media publication titled “Time up Julius Abure, we demand a Labour Party that must stand for the masses of our people,“ saying it was full of destructive criticisms and unfounded claims.

The spokesman also disowned them, saying the signatories were not genuine card-carrying members of the party.

He said, “It is natural that after every electoral contest, a few individuals may be disgruntled or aggrieved and as such the party leadership may be exposed to all forms of criticism by both members and non-members alike. But we advise that such criticism must be tailored to aid growth and development in the party, and not necessarily to be destructive.

“Labour Party has had its fair share of intra-crisis and we think that members should desist from escalating further crisis. Being new joiners and not knowing the culture of the party (some of them just a few months old in the party), of course, that is what you get when ignorance and overzealousness overwhelm your reasoning.

“Most of those who authored the statement did not even win their units let alone win their Local Government and State. It is on record that most members of the National Working Committee of the party delivered their units and their states. Barrister Julius Abure, for instance, scored 79 per cent in Edo state, thereby denying other political parties the opportunity to score the required 25 per cent in the state.

“A cursory look at the authors of the statement will also reveal their ignorance on the workings of the party, party constitution, electoral act and the 1999 constitution as amended.”

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