We’ll pursue presidential election petition to end, LP chieftain, Apapa, vows

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Acting national chairman of Labour Party (LP), Lamidi Apapa, yesterday, said the party would vigorously pursue, to the end, the case instituted by its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, against the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Apapa, who insisted their would be no withdrawal of the petition, denied rumour that he is being sponsored by the APC and its candidate, Bola Tinubu, to destabilise LP.

Recall that Obi and LP had dragged APC, Tinubu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court, challenging the declaration of APC’s presidential candidate as winner of the February 25 poll.

Also, there has been a leadership tussle in LP, following suspension of the national chairman, Julius Abure, and attempt by Apapa to assume the leadership in acting capacity.

While featuring in a live radio programme on Splash 105.5 FM, Ibadan, the acting national chairman described the crisis in LP as “an internal issue of the party,” saying, “it has nothing to do with the presidential election petition tribunal.”

He said: “Our mandate must be recovered by all. It is a lie that I want Obi to withdraw from the presidential elections tribunal. I’m not hijacking the party. We will pursue that case to the end. I have no intention to withdraw the petition, because I recognise him as the presidential candidate of the party. He is also bound to recognise me as the deputy national chairman, now acting chairman. He is duty bound to recognise me. He met us at the party.

“I did not disband the Presidential Campaign Council. The rumour is not true. What you did not make, you cannot unmake it. At the beginning, I was not the one that inaugurated it. How would I have the authority to disband it? I did not say Obi was not qualified to be the candidate of the party. I am not dealing with Tinubu. I just know him as a Nigerian and candidate of the APC.”

Restating loyalty to his party, Apapa said: “The Labour Party is in my blood. When the party was formed 21 years ago, I was the first chairman of the party in Oyo State. Since that time, till today, I am still in the Labour Party. Nobody can say he is more Labour Party than myself. I am looking for a day when the party will rule Nigeria.”

Speaking on the party’s meeting in Asaba, where his suspension was announced, Apapa said: “The Asaba meeting was illegal and my suspension is laughable. Those who attended the meeting did so out of ignorance. A court has stopped those who convened the meeting to stop parading themselves as officers of the party.

”I was at the party before Abure and anyone claiming that he doesn’t know me should not be taken seriously. If Obi is supporting Abure for illegality, that doesn’t stop Abure from going to jail if found guilty.”

Apapa, who was the party’s candidate for Oyo Central senatorial district in the last election, said he did a lot to ensure Obi’s victory in the state.

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