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ENUGU: Labour Party soars amidst confusion

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EVER since former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the Labour Party, LP, his popularity has caused a paradigm shift among politicians, particularly those who were unable to achieve their ambitions in their previous political parties such as the PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In Enugu State, most aspirants in the PDP who lost tickets of the party easily found the Labour Party as the alternative and influx of the displaced PDP aspirants into the LP is overwhelming the party’s leadership. The interested governorship and legislative aspirants swooped on the party with the same force they left their former political parties.

On the issue of governorship, the Labour Party was besieged by two aspirants from the PDP and one from the APC. Although the LP fielded a governorship candidate in 2011, the coming of the three aspirants — Dr. Dave Nnamani, Chief Evarest Nnaji and Mr. Chijioke Edeoga has further altered calculations to boost the popularity of the party in Enugu.

After so much intrigues and parley, Nnamani stepped down for peace to reign and for the party to move forward. The contest was then left between Nnaji and Edeoga.

The LP leadership in Enugu State under Mr. Casmir Agbo, who was a place holder of the governorship slot, conducted a repeat primary election for his substitution with Edeoga as the sole contestant.

Edeoga was subsequently said to have been nominated and given a certificate of return by the party, without recourse to Nnaji, who since then has cried blue murder.

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Ever since then, the Labour Party in Enugu State has been in turmoil over the actual candidates of the party both for governorship and National Assembly positions. Some members of the party have accused the leaderships in Enugu and Abuja of deceit and corruption in the management of interests of candidates of the party in Enugu State.

The climax of the Labour Party crises in the state came to a head on Saturday August 27 when Nnaji who insists that he was short-change and is supposed to be the authentic Enugu governorship candidate, organized an Obi-dient walk and conference in support of Mr. Peter Obi’s presidential quest.

The ‘Charity Begins At Home’ conference for Obi’s support was attended by National officers of the party including the party’s National Legal Adviser, Akimbade Oyelekan; National Vice Chairman representing the TUC, Dr. Ayo Olorunfemi; National Vice Chairman representing the NLC, Mrs. Ladi Illiya; Spokesman of the Third Force, Dr. Yunusa Tanko; and the convener of the 40 million ballot Revolution, Comrade Kennedy Iyere.

At the Conference, the leader of Odengene People’s Movement, OPM, Chief Everest Nnaji, who expressed confidence that the party would rectify the anomaly of Enugu governorship candidature, said that he was very concerned about Peter Obi’s presidential bid and pledged to establish structures for Obi in all the 260 wards of Enugu State. He said that it would be a shame if Peter Obi is elected President without the votes of his people in the South-East as Ndigbo must be passionate about the clamour for Peter Obi.

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“Nigerians have in the past acted as though they didn’t want an Igbo president but today we have Nigerians from all tribes and religions coming together to choose one of our own. To say to us we have found one of you, your own son, your blood who is qualified and they can be trusted to lead the nation. If the other Nigerians say we have found your own worthy we must come together and form a base here. We cannot be on the back of the pages. We must be at the forefront and that is the reason for saying that Charity Begins At Home,” Nnaji said.

Edeoga however went on Radio the following day to accuse Nnaji of being an impostor, arguing that he was the authentic governorship candidate of the state.

Spokesman of the Third Force, Yunusa Tanko said that Labour party issue in Enugu state was because of the attraction to the Peter Obi candidacy but that the party tries to amicably resolve such issues because of the primary interest of Peter Obi for President.