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NLC rejects Abure’s return, LP tips Obi for 2027

The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, secured reelection on Wednesday at a convention held in Nnewi, Anambra State, amid heavy security.

At the convention, the party also announced its decision to reserve its presidential ticket for the 2027 general election “solely” for Peter Obi, who was its presidential candidate last year.

It accorded the same privilege to the Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti.

But the Nigeria Labour Congress, which wanted Abure out as LP leader, declared the Wednesday convention a nullity, vowing that Abure would not be recognised.

Reacting to the outcome of the convention, NLC spokesman, Benson Upah, declared, “It’s an illegality, a nullity. The whole exercise was a charade! Nothing can legitimise such brazen impunity.”

When asked for labour’s next line of action, Upah said, “You wait and see.”

The convention, which held at the Grand Seasons Hotel in Nnewi, had scanty attendance.

At the end of the exercise, the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Ikechukwu Emetu, who served as the chairman of the convention, declared Abure winner after a unanimous support from the delegates.

Emetu represented his principal, Governor Otti.

A former National Organising Secretary of the party, Chief Clement Ojukwu, emerged as the Deputy National Chairman of the party.

About seven other persons were also unanimously elected to the National Working Committee of the Labour Party.

Meanwhile, 14 former members of the  NWC were dropped,  either for non-performance or having served out the allowable number of years as stipulated by the party’s constitution.

One of the officers, Chief Innocent Okeke(Agumba), the immediate past  Assistant National Chairman (South East) stepped down, having served out the allowable two terms.

Notable absentees at the national convention were the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, Senator Victor Umeh and Senator Tony Nwoye.

We could not ascertain the reason for their absence.

But in a communique that circulated at the end of the convention, the LP said it had reviewed the performance of its presidential candidate in the 2023 election, and its governor in Abia State, Peter Obi and Alex Otti, respectively, and had decided to reserve its presidential and governorship ticket for them respectively, in the 2027 general elections.

The communique, which was signed by Abure and the National Secretary, Alhaji Umar  Ibrahim, also called on President Bola Tinubu to tackle the rising insecurity and inflation in the country.

The communique read, “Based on the antecedents of the presidential candidate before, during and after the 2023 general elections, it was recommended that the 2027 presidential ticket of the party be solely reserved for His Excellency, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, the national leader of the party.’’

“Furthermore, the convention in session reviewed the ongoing development and performance of its Governor in Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti, and passed a vote of confidence in him and recommended the 2027 Abia State governorship ticket of the party be reserved for Dr. Alex Otti.”

In the communique, the convention “called on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to quickly take drastic and proactive steps to save the economy from total collapse to revive the economy and put it on the path of growth and development.”

The party also assured its members across the country of an optimistic and bright future.

“Now that elections are over, the Convention in session encourages all groups to collapse their structure at the ward, local, and National levels into the already existing structure of the party,” it added.

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