Julius Abure has rejected what he described as “illegitimate” executive members of the Labour Party (LP) and maintained he remains the National Chairman of the party.
Some members of the LP National Working Committee led by the Deputy National Chairman of the party (South) Lamidi Apapa on Thursday took over the affairs of the party following a court judgment restraining Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party. Lamidi had declared himself as the Acting National Chairman of the party, saying Saleh Lawan is the Acting National Secretary.
But in a swift reaction, Abure faulted the move and accused the police of collaborating with the masterminds to gain entrance into the party’s secretariat in Abuja where Lamidi took the decision.
“A court of competent jurisdiction only yesterday ordered that I, Julius Abure remain the National Chairman, and should not be restrained from performing my duties, it, therefore, baffles me why the Nigerian Police should allow itself to be used to perpetrate illegalities,” he said in Thursday statement.
He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the plot and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “call his party, the APC to order and also rein them in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria”.
“We advise the Police, APC, and their sponsors to play by the rules. We will no longer tolerate the often intimidation and deployment of brute forces against the party and its personnel,” the statement added.
“We demand they put a stop to the abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has backed Abure.
The NLC chairman Joe Ajaero in a statement Thursday said, “We are alarmed by the decision of Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja via exparte to suspend from office the National Chairman, the National Secretary, National Treasurer and the Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Messrs Julius Abure, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu and Opara respectively on unfounded/unproven and highly speculative and malicious allegations of corruption, perjury and forgery by elements whose interest in the party could best be described as doubtful or dubious.
“The court order according to Justice Hamza Muazu is to subsist ‘pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction
“The ruling was sequel to a motion exparte filed along the substantive suit by eight so-called aggrieved members of the party including the Chairman of the party in Abure’s ward.”
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
THUGS, POLICEMEN ATTACK, BREAK INTO LABOUR PARTY NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, CHASE AWAY WORKERS
A few minutes ago, the national headquarters of the Labour Party in Abuja witnessed a massive attack and was broken into by a detachment of the Nigerian Police and thugs believed to be working for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Invaders who are armed reportedly pulled down the fences, burglaries, doors and windows to have access to our Secretariat and in the process sacked workers and party members who were at the Secretariat.
Though, I was out of town information has it that the agenda of the Invaders was to inaugurate an illegitimate executive which has been chosen for them by their sponsors.
This incident is coming days after a similar invasion in our Imo state Secretariat which up till now is still being occupied by the agents of the Imo state government.
Only yesterday, our Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi through the Presidential Campaign Council alerted Nigerians of a plot to hound him out of the country over APC’s covert plot in collaboration with some security agents to frame him up allegedly on matters bothering treason.
Labour Party is only a political party which is contesting for power. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has conducted an election that ranked us third, a position we have rejected and have approached the Tribunal to contest. That is our only offence.
We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his party, the APC to order and also rein them in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria.
A court of competent jurisdiction only yesterday ordered that I, Julius Abure remain the National Chairman, and should not be restrained from performing my duties, it, therefore, baffles me why the Nigerian Police should allow itself to be used to perpetrate illegalities.
We advise the Police, APC and their sponsors to play by the rules. We will no longer tolerate the often intimidation and deployment of brute forces against the party and their personnel. We demand they put a stop to the abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power.
Barrister Julius Abure