LP Convention: Obi breaks silence, faults leadership’s failure to consult 

By John Alechenu, Abuja

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has broken his silence over his absence from the just concluded National Convention of the party, held in Nnewi, his native Anambra State. 

Obi, who interacted with his supporters on X (formally Twitter), explained why he stayed away from the Nnewi convention. 

He expressed displeasure that the Comrade Julius Abure-led National Working Committee (NWC) ignored his advice to consult more following concerns raised by key stakeholders ahead of the event. 

The former Governor of Anambra State, who expressed these views on his verified X Space hosted by Parallel Facts yesterday, explained that he was more passionate about building “a new Nigeria” than building a new LP.

Obi said, “We promised to build Nigeria; we did not promise to build a New Labour Party.

“When the chairman approached me about the convention, I appealed to him to consult all stakeholders, starting from Governor (Alex) Otti, Vice Presidential Candidate (Yusuf) Datti, to Senators, House of Reps members, gubernatorial candidates, and all other groups, for us to have NLC, TUC. It is documented for us to have a properly organised convention, starting with congresses, because we have to organise ourselves at the grassroots, where we have problems. It is after we organise ourselves that we can go into the convention.”

He also revealed that there was supposed to be a stakeholders meeting where positions would have been agreed on to accommodate the various interests that make up the party, but that this was not done. 

The 2023 LP presidential candidate said he has so far refrained from making public comments on allegations of financial impropriety against Abure because “we have written a competent, qualified auditor to audit the accounts of the Labour Party and our campaign.” 

He said all groups/bodies associated with his campaign must render an account of the money received and how it was spent for the campaign. 

Obi invoked God’s wrath on those who choose not to render an account of funds collected in his name and that of the campaign, noting that God will “punish them.”

The ex-Anambra State Governor also expressed support for calls for the restructuring of the ‘OBIdient’ movement, noting that it was standard practice around the world where movements form themselves into blocs and are part of the political process.

Recall that Vanguard reported in its Saturday edition that Obi’s supporters, who dominate the Obidient Movement, are considering other options, including other platforms, for him to actualize his 2027 presidential ambition should the LP platform become “unavailable.”

The national electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had disowned LP’s Nnewi convention, stating that its rules were observed in the breach. 

Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said this while explaining why the commission’s officials did not monitor the exercise as is required by law. 

However, in response, the National Publicity Secretary of the LP, Obiora Ifoh, insists that the party followed due process. 

He said, “In fact, we wrote an official notification letter to INEC 100 days before our convention. 

“The law says 21 days; we wrote our letter on December 4th, 2023, and it was stamped received on the same date by officials of the Commission. The letter is in public space.

“Our convention was successful, and we are reaching out to all our members to come let us build a stronger Labour Party.”

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