The Labour Party’s (LP) national vice-chairman (South), Lamidi Bashir Apapa, cum acting chairman of the Party who replaced the suspended chairman, Julius Abure, has debunked being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Information Nigeria reports that the LP’s National Working Committee (NWC) appointed Apapa, as acting national chairman on Thursday, after an emergency meeting held at the Party’s secretariat in Abuja,
However, Apapa debunked the speculations that he was being sponsored to frustrate the presidential candidate of LP, Peter Obi and his petition at the Election Petition Tribunal in a chat with ThisDay.
According to him, he took over the affairs of the Party to avoid a vacuum, adding that, he and other members of the Party’s National Working Committee, were not out “to witch-hunt anyone but to work in line with the provisions of the law. He explained that they didn’t want to engage in illegality.
“If a leader of a party has been accused of forgery, it’s incumbent on us to do what is needed so that all of us would not be regarded as such. We are in charge because we want things to be done the right way,” he added.
Apapa said they “became annoyed when an Abuja High Court ruled that Abure, the national secretary, and one other officer who were signatories to the party’s account should not parade themselves as officials of the party because of the offence of forgery and perjury.”
“There was no limitation to that order and we cannot allow a vacuum. We can’t allow a vacuum when he is unable to play his role.
“We are all there in an acting capacity. If he is able to resolve his problem to vacate that order, then we have no problem. That is his first assignment,” Apapa added.
Debunking his alleged link with the ruling APC, he said, “It’s not true at all. I have no business with the APC presidential candidate. I want to tell Nigerians, if anybody has facts about that case, let them come out with them. Peter Obi is our candidate. I have been in the party for over 20 years. I am a pioneer member of the Labour Party.”
He disclosed he had held several positions in the Party in all of these years before he became the deputy national chairman and now the acting chairman of the party.
“I have never been in any other party apart from the Labour Party. I was among the first set of officers in the party. Why will I build a house and turn around to destroy it? I cannot. Obi is our candidate and we are prepared to do whatever is possible in his favour and the favour of the party.”
Apapa further expressed confidence that things would bounce back better and stronger for the Party.
“I want Nigerians to be patient. This is just a crisis that will soon be over. Labour Party being a party to beat right now, everybody is willing to join us.
“They should not be carried away because the crisis is normal in a political party. Some people are out to build while others are there to destroy. We are there to build the party, not to destroy it,” Apapa said.
Meanwhile, the 36 state chairmen of the Labour Party, including its youth wing, who gathered in Abuja at the Party’s national headquarters during the weekend have maintained that Abure remains LP’s national chairman.
In a communique issued by the 36 chairmen of LP across the federation, including FCT yesterday, the Chairman of the Chairmen Forum, Rotimi Kehinde, said they had resolved that Abure remains the national chairman of LP.
The chairmen condemned the action of Apapa and his group, which they said cannot stand.
They said those “who grossly violated the provision of our Party’s constitution and take internal matters of the party to the court without exhausting all the appropriate instituted channels to resolving disputes and went ahead to court are by the dint of this communique directed to immediately effect withdrawal of the matter from the court and return to the path of rectitude for due process.”
They recommended that a meeting of the Party’s National Executive Committee should be called without further delay.