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Appeal Court sacks Abure, affirms Apapa as LP National Chairman

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The Court of Appeal in Owerri, Imo State, on Thursday, sacked Julius Abure, and recognised Lamido Apapa as the National Chairman of the Labour Party.

The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately recognise and publish the names of all the governorship candidates produced by the Apapa-led National Working Committee in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states.

The court also dismissed the gubernatorial candidature of Senator Athan Achonu of Imo state, and others belonging to the Abure-led LP faction.

Politics

Apapa faction makes u-turn, backs Abure as LP chair

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A year after the leadership of the opposition Labour Party was separated with the incumbent National Chairman, Julius Abure and the Deputy National Chairman of the party (South), Lamidi Apapa laying claim to the mantle of leadership, both camps have agreed to sheath their swords and work together.

Loyalists from both camps were torn apart in April 2023 following a court judgment restraining Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

But Abure fought back fiercely to retain his seat with the help of the parent body, Nigeria Labour Congress, under the leadership of its National President, Joe Ajaero.

The embattled LP chairman, however, fell out of favour with the NLC following a contentious national convention held in Anambra that returned him and all his loyal members of the National Working Committee to office three months ago.

Despite a series of picketing at LP secretariats nationwide and other threats by the unionists amid calls for an expansive and inclusive convention that should start from the grassroots, Abure did not budge.

The action subsequently compelled the NLC Political Commission to void the new leadership and set up a transition committee, saddled with the task of engaging stakeholders of the party and conducting a fresh convention in 90 days.

A source at the LP national secretariat, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, explained that Abure felt the urgent need to close rank with the Lamidi Apapa’s faction following the open revolt and media war from its Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi as well as the pressure from the NLC.

“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 source explained.

When The PUNCH contacted the Apapa’s camp, the factional spokesman, Abayomi Arabambi, confirmed the development.

Arabambi told our reporter 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.

“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 members of the party.

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.

“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.”

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Politics

You’re in panic mode  —  APC mocks PDP over Shaibu’s expulsion

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a sinking ship, saying the party’s expulsion of the state’s ex-deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, was a sign of panic.

The APC urged Shaibu, who was impeached in April to join the party whenever he’s ready to do so.

In a statement on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the PDP said Shaibu was expelled for declaring support for the APC. The party alleged that the ex-deputy governor demarketed its governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo, ahead of the September 21 governorship election in the state.

The party accused Shaibu, who was expelled alongside Dan Orbih, the PDP South-South Vice Chairman, and Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a former member of the House of Representatives of anti-party activities.

Explaining the reasons for their expulsion, the Edo PDP chairman said, “Dan Orbih was expelled because he has been asking members of the PDP to join the opposition party. He also took an appointment as the governing council member of a third-tier institution without recourse to the party before accepting the appointment.

“Shaibu donated about 15 vehicles to the All Progressives Congress and has also been abusing and disrespectful to the leaders of the party in the state. Someone who does these things cannot be termed a true party man.

“Also, Ogbeide-Ihama donated his building on Sakponba Road to the APC for campaign purposes. The building currently bears the billboard of the APC candidate and his running mate.”

However, in a statement on Thursday, June 20, 2024, the APC said that the expulsion of Shaibu and others indicated that the PDP was in panic mode.

“The hurried suspension of Philip Shaibu, the immediate past deputy governor of Edo State, and Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama by the Governor Godwin Obaseki faction of the Peoples Democratic Party is a sign that the remnants of the PDP are in panic mode as the election draws nearer,” the statement reads in part.

The party said it won’t hesitate to embrace Shaibu and Ogbeide-Ihama whenever they “decide to bid the sinking ship of PDP goodbye.”

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Politics

Edo PDP expels Philip Shaibu, south-south vice-chairman over anti-party activities

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo has expelled Philip Shaibu, a former deputy governor of the state.

The PDP state working committee (SWC) in Edo also expelled Dan Orbih, the party’s national vice-chairman (south-south), and Omorgie Ihama, a former member of the house of representatives who represented the Oredo federal constituency.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ogie Vasco, the PDP spokesperson in Edo state, said Shaibu, Orbih, and Ihama were expelled over alleged anti-party activities.

Vasco said the SWC took the decision after it “extensively deliberated on the issue”, adding that the expulsion is with immediate effect.

Shaibu was impeached as the deputy governor by the Edo state house of assembly in April.

The impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-member investigative panel.

The panel was set up by Daniel Okungbowa, chief judge of Edo, and was headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

Shaibu was accused of “misconduct, perjury and disclosure of government secrets”.

‘MY EXPULSION IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL’

Meanwhile, Orbih has rejected his suspension, saying it did not follow due process.

“When a group of persons sits down to make pronouncements that are unconstitutional it only shows that they are ignorant of the constitution of the party,” Orbih told journalists.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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