Labour Party now hot cake as politicians hustle for its tickets

The Evangelist
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The emergence of former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi as the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party has surprisingly turned the party to a beautiful bride, with many politicians jostling for its ticket. This jostle is not unconnected with the yearnings of Nigerians for a change from ‘old and recycled leaders’, especially, those who see the Labour candidate as a ‘beacon of hope’, who will bring about the desired change they crave for in the country.

LP, which was created in 2002, had remained relatively unknown in the country’s electoral process until Dr. Olusegun Mimiko was elected on its platform as governor in Ondo State, even though he eventually returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he was before he joined LP.

Before the emergence of Obi as LP’s presidential candidate, the party had conducted its governorship, National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) and Houses of Assembly primaries across the states between May 26 and June 8, 2022 and uploaded the names of successful candidates on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) portal before the June 17 deadline.

However, the party’s tickets, which have now become politicians’ delight, have attracted a major crisis, as it was alleged that the party’s national leadership has swapped the lists to accommodate new candidates.

It’s gathered that about six state chapters are currently embroiled in crisis over the unilateral replacement of names of candidates already submitted to the INEC with another set of names by the national leadership of the party.

The affected states are Lagos, Plateau, Imo, Ebonyi, Kaduna and Enugu. The candidates, whose names were earlier submitted to INEC, were shocked by the decision of the national leadership to replace their names with the intent of announcing them as placeholders who had voluntarily withdrawn their nominations.

According to the letter written to INEC, titled: “Notice of Withdrawal and Date of Primaries,” the national leadership of the party informed INEC of its intention to hold substitution primary elections to produce its candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly in the 2023 general elections.

The National Chairman of the LP, Julius Abure and National Secretary, Umar Farouk Ibrahim, jointly signed the letter.

Some state chapters of the party have since elected new sets of candidates for the general elections, while others are in the process of conducting the substitution primaries, where new candidates will emerge. However, the move has been met with stiff opposition from the aggrieved candidates who accused the party of forging their letters of withdrawal.

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