Edo 2024: Labour Party/Akpata swimming in political prophecies of doom

Edo 2024: Labour Party/Akpata swimming in political prophecies of doom

…..Labour Party now forward never and crisis driven ever

By Cyril Erahon

The Labour Party is tied to the Labour movement in Nigeria and accordingly, the motto of Labour Party is “Forward Ever, Backward Never”. But this motto does not give any semblance of the reality of the state of affairs in the Labour Party especially in Edo State and its troubled Governorship Candidate, Olumide Akpata.

For them, the situation looks more like “FORWARD NEVER, CRISIS EVER”

The Labour Party in Edo State and its Governorship Candidate seem to be locked in a perpetual crisis of sorts such that whenever they take a step forward, they take another thousand steps backwards into further crisis.

Considering that only last year, during the 2023 general elections, Edo State was practically the unofficial headquarters of the Obidient Movement and by implication, the Labour Party, the situation today is almost an antithesis of what it used to be. The Obidient Movement is fragmented and barely recognisable while the Labour Party itself is in tatters.

In the past few days, Newspapers have been awash with the Suspension of Abure as National Chairman by the Executives of the party in his Ward 3, Arue-Uromi, in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, for high-handedness, financial impropriety and anti-party activities.

The decision was subsequently ratified by the State Executive Committee of the party after the ward wrote to the SEC.

Earlier on, the State Youth Leader of the party, Ken Omusi, led a faction of the State Exco to suspend the Chairman, Kelly Ogbaloi-led State Working Committee and assumed position of Acting Chairman.

In addition to the ruckus within the Party, the Obidient Movement has not been spared as many notable Obidients have come out to dissociate themselves from the Labour Party and Akpata amidst mass defections to other parties.

There risk also a long list of aggrieved Labour Party governorship aspirants including Dr. Isaiah Osifo and Dr. Azemhe Azena who are now candidates of APGA and NNPP respectively after having openly expressed anger about the way Akpata manipulated delegates list and bribed them with dollars to win the Primaries against the zoning arrangement.

As it stands, there is also controversy over the Deputy Governorship candidate. The Party had earlier submitted the name of Alufohai Oluyinka Faith as the running mate and deputy Governorship Candidate. They later substituted her with Alhaji Asamah Yusuf Kadiri, (SAN). However, INEC published the name of Alufohai Oluyinka Faith as the running mate so there is controversy as to whether the substitution was validly done within the window allowed by INEC.

With the Labour Party in Edo State, it probably doesn’t just rain crisis, it pours. Frontline aspirant, Kenneth Imansuangbon is presently challenging the authenticity of Akpata’s ticket at the Federal High Court.

It is ironical that the Labour Party that was so formidable in Edo State that it won the Presidential Election, one Senatorial seat and two House of Representatives seats is now so deeply enmeshed in crisis on all fronts and it is perhaps no coincidence that Olumide Akpata is the proverbial cat among the pigeons within the Labour Party in Edo State.

With no knowledge of the recent history of the Party, he came in and bought the soul of the Party in the State and the Party has known no peace since then.

Edo State Labour Party is now a house divided against itself that clearly cannot stand.

The present situation neither speaks well of the Party nor represents the ideals Peter Obi and the Obidient Movement that massively endeared the Party to Edo people.

Edo Labour Party needs to put their house in order before begging Edo people for votes.

This is a crucial election and it will be unwise to waste our votes on a Party that is crisis ridden and torn apart internally to achieve anything meaningful in the election.

Cyril Erhahon
Public Commentator