Edo gov: Ignore Apapa’s letter to INEC, LP tells Nigerians

Labour Party, LP, has asked Nigerians to ignore a letter to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by one Lamidi Apapa to recognise Anderson Asemote and Monday Mawa as the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of LP for the September 21, 2024, poll in Edo State.

LP National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, said:

“The leadership of LP has clarified that the letter to INEC by a dissident group and former members of our party led by one Lamidi Apapa to recognise Anderson Asemote and Monday Mawa as the gubernatorial and deputy governorship candidates does not emanate from the Labour Party.

Lamidi Apapa

“Nigerians are sufficiently aware that the authors of the letter in circulation are fraudulent and desperate people seeking for recognition and also unrelentingly working towards obtaining by tricks from unsuspecting Nigerians as they have done in recent elections.

“As it is done in every corporate or governmental institutions, letters or any correspondences are received with a stamp of acknowledgement.

“As it is a custom, if you write any letter to INEC, the commission is expected to receive it after due verification.

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“Though acknowledgement of a correspondent does not imply recognition or acceptance of its content, but we however insist that INEC must, henceforth, verify signatories of any future correspondences as it concerns Labour Party before acknowledgement.

“Nigerians will recall that on February 22, two other political parties; namely APC and PDP had their parties primaries and that on the following day, Labour Party also had its primaries where it elected Olumide Akpata as its candidate. These events were televised live on notable television stations.

Olumide Akpata

“INEC officials led by the state electoral commissioner also observed the very successful primaries.

“How on earth could a group of persons conduct a primary election that was not known or heard by the public and was not covered by the media, and went ahead to ask the INEC to act on their correspondence.

“INEC knows that there was no primary; it did not supervise any other primary but the one conducted by the Party led by Julius Abure.

“INEC knows that they just brought names; there was no primary.

“We were in Benin that day, and the world knew that Abure had an issue and was released, after which he witnessed the primary.

“How come they did a primary and the media did not know? When and where did they conduct their delegate election? Was it by direct or indirect election?

Julius Abure, Labour Party National Chairman

“These men are just a bunch of desperate people looking for easy money from desperate politicians.

“There is even a crisis amongst the Apapa camp. Are you aware that Apapa has since left them; he is no longer with them. When did you hear Lamidi Apapa speak about them?

“Are you also aware that the former Youth Leader, Anselm Eragbe has disclaimed them? In his disclaimer he said that the tenure of Apapa and their group in acting capacity has since elapsed and has not been renewed.

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“Eragbe also said that the Apapa-led aggrieved members of the party have only insulted the sensibilities of the party members by the introduction of Anderson Asemote and Monday Mawa to the INEC as the governorship and deputy governorship candidates for the September 21 governorship elections in Edo State.

“The letter of disclaimer of Lamidi Apapa, entitled disclaimer against imposition of names of gubernatorial candidate and deputy as purportedly written to INEC for Edo State 2024 Primary Election,” said the Apapa-led group lacked locus to do so.

“The letter reads in part: “That the only thing they have done is to further increase our pains, insult our persons and sensibilities by their actions for not deeming it fit and necessary to consult those of us from Edo State and by imposing names for the Edo State Labour Party gubernatorial and deputy governorship candidates without conducting any valid gubernatorial primary in Edo State.”

Eragbe further insisted that those names be withdrawn from the INEC forthwith with valid withdrawal letters.

“We have maintained that the acting leadership tenure of Apapa and three (3) others expired on November 30, 2023, and that no concerted effort has been made to correct or cure that constitutional defect to re-establish legality based on the May 3, 2023, NEC Resolution in Bauchi State.’

“Labour Party is thereby urging Nigerians to distance from any other list other than that of Olumide Akpata as the only candidate being sponsored by the Labour Party.

“We also using this medium to specially appeal to the media to stop progressing with this factional narrative.

“There is no faction in Labour Party. If you are still in doubt of the authentic leadership of Labour Party, please check the website of the INEC. Stop sympathizing with some undemocratic elements that have vowed to destroy the very institution we are working hard to protect,” it added.

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