The factional acting chairman of the Labour Party, Lamidi Apapa, has rejected his suspension from the party, saying he is still in charge and has the recognition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Apapa, who spoke during an interview on Wednesday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today, maintained that his suspension as a member of the party is invalid.
He said the suspension was null and void because Abure did not have the legal backing to convene the National Executive Committee meeting of the party.
The acting chairman added that his rejection by officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was due to lack of knowledge of the party’s history and the role he played over the years.
Asked to respond to allegations that he was being sponsored by external agents, he said, “I was not suspended. I was not invited to the NEC meeting. They think that I was not supposed to be there. As of today, I’m the only legitimate acting national chairman of the party.
“I’m not struggling with Abure. I’m there in an acting capacity. The constitution of the party is so clear on this, that for whatever reason, if the national chairman is unable to perform his role, the deputy takes over.
“That is exactly what has happened. Nobody is sponsoring me. Nobody has suspended me. I remain the acting national chairman of the party. I maintain that.”
His remarks come a day after the party’s NEC suspended Apapa for “anti-party activities, contravening the constitution of the party and running of parallel leadership and putting the party in total disrepute”.
Five members of the party’s executive council were also suspended.
The party’s crisis seemed far from being over when a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court recently issued an order restraining Julius Abure from parading himself as the LP’s national chairman.
Following the order, Apapa, who was the deputy national chairman of the LP (South), declared himself as the party’s national chairman.