OBIDATT2023 Showdown Music Concert

OBIDATT2023 Showdown Music Concert

Saturday 16 March 2024

RESIGN AS NLC PRESIDENT TO CONTEST LP CHAIRMANSHIP, LABOUR PARTY ADVISES JOE AJERO ...As Party Convention Holds 27 March, Constitution Clear on Eligible Participants




...As Party Convention Holds  27 March, Constitution Clear on Eligible Participants

The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been drawn to a Press Release titled 'A misadventure in political mischief, mismanagement and misdemeanor gone too far' written by the NLC's Political Commission as an agent of the Nigeria Labour Congress. The NLC letter did not come to us as a surprise or a shock, it was long expected before now, having known that the NLC was going to engage itself on this misadventure. 

Nigerians will recall that in 2014, NLC has been involved in a war of blackmail and attrition against the Labour Party and its leadership. It was only recently, following the civil and diplomatic approach adopted by Barrister Julius Abure when he assumed leadership that he was able to get the then President of the NLC, Ayuba Waba and the then President of the Trade Union Congress, Olaleye Quadri to a truce where the NLC, TUC and Labour Party agreed to work together in harmony.

Unfortunately, the rascality of the current president of the NLC, Joe Ajero has destroyed the successes already recorded. It must be noted that the NLC and its political commission have become a bundle of contradiction and paradox.

The Nigeria Labour Congress has written several letters to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and to the party on the need to conduct a national convention. In fact, the NLC has queried even the rationale behind the one year extension which was graciously granted by the NEC in session in Asaba, which is in line with the party constitution. 

The leadership of the party in its wisdom has decided to yield to their agitation for a convocation of a national convention.

Article 14:4b of our party constitution mandates the National Secretary in consultation with the National Chairman to 'issue notices of meetings of National Convention, NEC, NWC amongst others. It is in the exercise of this power that the national chairman and national Secretary have called for the convention following the decision of the national executive council of the party. It is therefore ironical for the same NLC which has been agitating for a convention to now be demanding the rationale for the call for a convention. 

At this point, the leadership of the party wants to ask the NLC, what exactly do they want? If Joe Ajero is interested in the leadership of the party, he is therefore advised to resign as the President of the NLC and join in the contest for the National Chairmanship of the party that is scheduled for the convention on the 27th of March, 2024.

We must note that undue interference by the Nigeria Labour Congress on the affairs of the party has become worrisome and it has become needful to emphasis here the distinction that the Labour Party has a life of its own different from that of the Nigeria Labour Congress. In fact, the 1999 Constitution states clearly that once a political party is registered, it has a life of its own whereby it can run it's own affairs without any interference. 

The Electoral Act and the Constitution provide that no organisation can own any other organisation. The NLC as an organisation can not claim the ownership of the Labour Party. The constitution of the party is clear that it is only those who subscribe to the party and those who are financial members of the party are the owners of the party and therefore can have a say on the affairs of the party. 

The interference of the present leadership of the NLC on the party is really choking and we can hardly breath. It is this NLC leadership which pressured on the Party not to give His Excellency, Alex Otti the governorship ticket for the 2023 general election on the ground that he was allegedly not workers' friendly when he was a Chief Executive of a bank. But today, that same Alex Otti is doing Labour Party proud with the work he is doing in Abia state. 

Again, the same NLC attempted to prevail on the leadership of the party to upload a different candidate other than Senator Athan Achonu after he won the Imo state party primaries under the Labour Party. 

It will shock Nigerians to know that members and officials of the NLC are not even card carrying members of the Labour Party. All over the country, NLC members have been found to be supporting either the APC or the PDP.

It is again of importance to make certain clarification as to the so called judgements that were referred to by the NLC, we must indicate clearly that the Labour Party is not in default of any court judgment whatsoever. The agreement reached by the NLC to call for a convention is what we are following, we have fully implemented that agreement and the convention is in line with the agreement. We are therefore not in any default of court judgment as erroneously implied by the NLC. 

We therefore want to advise the NLC and its commission that it should focus only on its statutory responsibilities of defending the workers and the workers' right. Today minimum wage is N30.000 while a bag of rice is N80.000. We hear about NLC talk about ethos and ethics of the Labour movement and the Labour Party, this is also an NLC that cannot call or sustain a strike for one or two days without calling it off. This is an NLC which cannot think of calling a protest and sustaining it in order to get the attention of the government for the interest of the workers. 

The present NLC should take a time to listen to the opinion Nigerians have formed about them. Can the NLC of today in any way be compared to NLC of the then Hassan Sumounu, Adams Oshiohmole and a few others in the past?

We must at this point appreciate the Trade Union Congress, TUC and it's Political Commission under the leadership of Comrade Festus Osifo who stoutly refused to sign the Press Release with the NLC on the ground that it was baseless, frivolous, unrealistic and an evidence of power thirst, which to them was not necessary at this time considering the successes already achieved at the Labour Party. 

We equally want to advise Joe Ajero to emulate leadership of Ayuba Waba, Olaleye Quadri and Osifo in working closely with the party. 

The ill-intended Press Release by the Political Commission also made a reference to spurious allegations made by the suspended National treasurer, Oluchi Opara and it attempted to give it some credence. This clearly exposes the mischief by the NLC to hoodwink the people. We have stated clearly that the total money received by the party was N1.3billion and no other report has contradicted it. So for the NLC to be quoting that spurious allegations goes to show that they are part of the challenges Labour Party has been facing. 

We are shocked that NLC which was a victim of a recent harassment, threat to life and brutalization of its president would express shock over similar treatment meted to our chairman, Barrister Julius Abure who was brutalized for political reasons and nothing more. The NLC statement has it that Abure was arrested for fraud even when the police stated that the arrest was for attempted murder, which of course was a fabricated falsehood. We are shocked that the NLC which its President suffered the same fate, with bloodied face in Imo state will in one breath speak of Abure in this manner. This goes to portray the desperate characters in the current NLC. 

We must also state clearly that our leader, Peter Obi made reference to the audit of the campaign account and not forensic audit for the Labour Party. In any case, we have stated clearly that the Labour Party is open to forensic audit of its accounts. We are even calling on the NLC  to send its own external auditors to check our financial books. We are also calling on Peter Obi to expedite action on the auditing of our accounts. And for the NLC to be using this as a cheap blackmail is to show their high level of desperation and mischief. 

The conclusion of the NLC's Press Release is laughable, in fact, it didn't come to us as a surprise. It will interest Nigerians to know that the NLC has through some proxies gone to court severally to fight the leadership of the party, the most recent being the case filed by one Ado. Passing a Vote of no Confidence in the leadership of the party is laughable. It clearly shows that they neither have nor read the constitution of the party.

Article 17:1 of the party constitution is very clear on how the national chairman of the party can be removed from office. We must state clearly that it is only the National Convention that can pass a Vote of No Confidence in the leadership of the party and not the NLC who are not even members of the party. Ironically, members of the so called Political Commission who are being used by the NLC are not card carrying members of the Labour Party. I wonder how people who are staying outside a house are hoping to interfere in what is happening inside. They simply do not have both the power and the capacity to do so.

Members of the Labour Party appreciate the leadership of Barrister Julius Abure who has taken the party from obscurity to the enviable position it found itself now. It is under his leadership that the party has found limelight. Today in Labour Party, we have a governor, senators, house of representatives and assembly members amongst others. Today, Labour Party is the major opposition political party in Nigeria.  

We therefore urge the NLC to go and learn from other developing democracies across the world, how the Labour movements have given support to Labour Parties across the world in Australia, Brazil amongst others who have captured power in their countries. Such intellectual exploration has become necessary so we can collectively work towards the goods of Nigerians. There is need for us to come together and collectively fight the ruling class that has held the nation down for so long and has impoverished the nation. It makes no sense for us to be fighting ourselves. 

In conclusion, we note that the Labour Party will be going ahead with our party programs, our convention will hold. We have consulted with our stakeholders and the consultation is on going and we will continue to consult until the March 27, when the new leadership of the party will emerge. We have advised the NLC before now that party politics is played at the Ward level and not at the National level. If NLC is interested in taking the leadership of the party, they should go and engage in the mass mobilisation of its members to join the party at the grassroot. 


Obiora Ifoh

National Publicity Secretary 

Labour Party


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