The crisis in the Labour Party (LP) has taken another dimension as the Lamidi Apapa-led faction on Friday issued a warning letter to the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The Apapa camp also, in a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police, demanded the arrest of Julius Abure, the National Chairman of the Labour Party.
Apapa and Abure have been engaged in a protracted legal battle over the leadership of the party.
The warning letter issued to Obi, with reference number LP/NWC-NEC/WARNING LETTER/PO/ABUJA/VOL.1/2023/02, was dated August 24, 2023 and signed by Apapa as Acting National Chairman and Saleh Lawan as Acting National Secretary respectively.
According to the letter seen by THE WHISTLER on Friday, Obi was issued the warning for recognising Abure as the national chairman of the LP during the flag-off of Athan Achonu’s campaign for the November 11 governorship election in Imo State.
The letter was titled ‘Warning letter over your serial violations as contempt of court order and judgements; and disclaimer of the Imo State gubernatorial campaign flag-off by Mr. Peter Obi, Barr Julius Abure and Sen. Athan Achonu, on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023 in Owerri’.
Addressing Obi, the letter said, “The Labour Party (LP) NEC and NWC declared to you that Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa is the Acting National Chairman of the Labour Party in Nigeria till today and contrary to your declaration at the venue of your illegal, unlawful and unauthorised gubernatorial campaign flag-off for Senator Athan Achonu on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023.”
In another letter addressed to the IGP, dated August 23, 2023, with reference number LP/NWC-NEC/WARNING LETTER/PO/ABUJA/VOL.1/2023/01, the Apapa faction said Obi should heed the warning with immediate effect to prevent himself from being “suspended from the Labour Party”.
The letter, equally signed by Apapa and Saleh, further demanded the arrest and prosecution of Abure and members of his Labour Party national executive committee.
The Apapa camp said Abure and his faction are guilty of serial contempt of various court orders which affirmed Ikechukwu Ukaegbu as the candidate of the Labour Party for the November 11 governorship election in Imo State.
THE WHISTLER reports that Ukaegbu emerged as candidate in a primary election conducted by the Apapa faction on April 16 while Achonu emerged as the party’s flag bearer in another primary election held by Abure’s camp on April 15.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) however recognised Achonu, and other candidates produced by Abure’s camp, as LP flag bearer for the November 11 gubernatorial polls in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa.
But Apapa claims that Abure and members of his executive committee colluded with INEC officials to upload illegal names on the Commission’s portal.
Both the Obi and Abure camps could not be reached for comments.