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NLC Denies Peace Talks With LP Leadership

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has debunked insinuations that it has resolved its differences with the Julius Abure-led leadership of the Labour Party, vowing not to back down on its plan to kick out the embattled national chairman.

The Deputy President of NLC Political Commission, Prof Theophilus Ndubuaku, disclosed this in an interview with Punchng.

His position conflicted with an earlier argument by the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, that they have commenced consultation with aggrieved stakeholders of the party in line with the request of their Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi.

But Ndubuaku vowed that there was no going back on the union’s decision to evict the embattled LP chairman, stressing that the agitation will continue even if a new leader takes over from the NLC President, Joe Ajaero.

Abure incurred the wrath of the NLC by going ahead with the contentious national convention that got him re-elected as national chairman in Nnewi, Anambra State on 27th of March.

Abure had heeded the advice of their presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for the right thing to be done.

The closed-door convention also saw all members of the National Working Committee returned to office but the slots for NLC and the Trade Union Congress were left vacant.

A livid Ndubuaku however told our reporter that Abure did not only outwit the Nigerian workers who registered the party, but that he also deliberately failed to heed Obi’s advice to do the right thing by consulting widely for an expanded and inclusive national convention.

He said, “Obi doesn’t need to say much on this. The man asked them to consult widely. He already told them what to do. But Abure refused to heed the advice. You cannot just go somewhere, appoint yourself, and call it an election. No, it is not done. Are you not giving people the impression that you are a sit-tight chairman? That kind of fraudulent arrangement is unacceptable to the owners of the party.

“Even the consent judgment we had demanded an all-inclusive convention starting from the ward level. Has he done it? Imagine a situation where somebody wants to run for an election. He doesn’t advertise, buy nomination forms, or allow any other person to contest. Abure just announced that he has been re-elected. There was no contest. He just did it, believing that he would get away with it after we got tired.

“Even if Ajaero leaves, whoever takes over will continue the struggle to reclaim the party. Nobody expects that Abure will outwit the congress and the Nigerian workers. Anybody thinking like this is deceiving himself. If that is the way he wants to do it, we too will continue.”

Continuing, the NLC stated that the much-hyped talks about ongoing consultation between the union and LP only exist on the pages of newspapers.

According to Ndubuaku, no sane Nigerian or lover of good governance who wants the dream of a new Nigeria will continue supporting Abure.

“But the NLC will do all that is legally possible to address this issue. On the so-called move to resolve anything, we are only reading about them in newspapers.

“But we don’t depend on the media to do the needful. As far as we are concerned, you either do things lawfully or leave. If we are looking for a new Nigeria, we must make sure it starts with the party.

“Let us be sincere about this issue. What are we resolving? Somebody broke all the rules of the game, perhaps deliberately, he is now saying let us come and make peace since I am already there. You are guilty of court contempt, observed an agreement in breach, and held a convention to elect yourself,” he stated.

Reacting, Ifoh insisted that the Labour Party leadership had commenced consultation with relevant stakeholders including the Obidient movement to resolve the crisis rocking the party in the past two months.

While saying that he can engage the NLC in any war of words, the party spokesman promised that they will address the matter in a press conference next week.

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