In his rejection of the Labour Party’s (LP) “illegitimate” executive members, Julius Abure reaffirmed his position as the party’s National Chairman.
Following a court order prohibiting Abure and three other individuals from misrepresenting themselves as national officers of the party, some members of the LP National Working Committee under the direction of the party’s deputy national chairman (South), Lamidi Apapa, took control of the party’s business on Thursday. Lamidi had proclaimed himself the party’s interim national chairman and Saleh Lawan the interim national secretary.
However, Abure quickly criticized the action and asserted that the police had worked with the masterminds to gain access to the party secretariat in Abuja, where Lamidi had made the decision.
“I, Julius Abure, should not be prevented from carrying out my duties, as a court of competent jurisdiction only yesterday ordered,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “It, therefore, baffles me why the Nigerian Police should allow itself to be used to perpetrate illegalities.”
He charged that the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is currently in power, was responsible for the conspiracy and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “call his party, the APC, to order and also rein them in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria.”
“We urge the Police, APC, and their financial backers to follow the law. We will no longer put up with the frequent use of force and intimidation against the party and its members, the statement continued.
“We demand they stop abusing their position of authority and respect other political parties’ privileges and rights to compete for power, especially the Labour Party.”
In the meantime, Abure has received support from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leadership.
Joe Ajaero, the chairman of the National Labor Congress, said in a statement on Thursday, “We are alarmed by the decision of Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja via exparte to suspend from office Messrs Julius Abure, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu, and Opara respectively on unfounded/unproven and highly speculative and malicious allegations o
According to Justice Hamza Muazu, the court order must remain in effect “pending the hearing and decision of a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
The decision followed a motion exparte brought alongside the substantive lawsuit by eight allegedly disgruntled party members, including the party chairman in Abure’s district.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL STATEMENT:
THUG ATTACK, POLICE BREAK-IN, AND CHASE AWAY WORKERS AT LABOR PARTY NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
A detachment of the Nigerian Police and thugs allegedly working for the All Progressives Congress, APC, recently carried out a huge attack on and broke into the national offices of the Labour Party in Abuja.
According to reports, in order to gain entry to our Secretariat, the armed invaders tore down fences, committed burglaries, broke into doors and windows, and fired staff personnel and party members who were there.
Even though I was away, rumor has it that the Invaders’ goal was to install an unqualified executive that their supporters had chosen for them.
This incident happened just a few days after a similar invasion at our Imo state Secretariat, which is still being used by representatives of the Imo state government as of this writing.
Just yesterday, Mr. Peter Obi, our presidential candidate, warned Nigerians via the Presidential Campaign Council of a plot to hound him out of the country due to a clandestine APC scheme in which the party worked with select security personnel to falsely accuse him of treason.
The Labour Party is merely a contender for political power. We were ranked third in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s election, which we reject and have challenged in front of the Tribunal. We merely committed that offense.
We thus urge President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his party, the APC, and to restrain them from adopting unconventional methods to suffocate Nigeria’s democratic structures.
It confuses me that the Nigerian Police should allow itself to be used to commit crimes when just yesterday a court of competent jurisdiction ruled that I, Julius Abure, should continue to serve as National Chairman and should not be prevented from carrying out my duties.
We urge the Police, APC, and their financial backers to follow the law. We will no longer put up with the frequent use of force and intimidation against the party and its members. We urge they stop abusing their position of authority and uphold the privileges and rights of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power.
Barrister Julius Abure