The leadership of the Labour Party (LP) in Edo State has disowned the report contained in a video purportedly made by one Liboros Oshoma making some allegations against the party’s national leader, Peter Obi and its national chairman, Barrister Julius Abure.
In its response to the video and the allegations made therein, the LP stated: “It is pertinent to underscore that these allegations are false, spurious and deliberate attempt to derail the party and its objectives, mostly the several attempts made in sponsoring a group of dissidents within the party who went as far as attempting to scuttle and frustrate the election petition in the tribunal.
“Edo Labour Party is aware that the sponsors of these attacks are unrelenting and are daily looking for pliable accomplices like Liborous Oshoma to continue to further the decapitation of Labour Party, but we assure them, that their efforts will be futile and of no effect.
“It is very obvious that the Liborous Oshoma’s video was a sponsored and paid advert from the opposition party and fugitive Curtis Ugbo, who is daily finding ways to be relevant crook or hook, crudely dispatched himself to the occasion even though he is not a member of the Labour Party.
“Somewhere else, Curtis Ugbo said party officials accept cash/payments into their personal accounts. This is another lie invented from the pit of hell. NO need to explain further but however, here is the party’s corporate account number: 2033793991, held in First Bank Plc. The public can investigate.”
Going further, the LP submitted: “The issue of forgeries as stated in the video has been cleared by the Police through their various reports. It is also very clear that it is only Labour Party that has internal democracy which has attracted many people to the party.
“In Lagos and Ebonyi States for instance, in the just concluded bye election primaries, popular candidates emerged as the party delegates made their choice through democratic means.
“It is pertinent therefore to urge our members including the Obedient family to ignore Oshoma and his likes who are social ridicules. The video making the rounds is paid for by the enemies of Labour Party, and it is purely meant to plant a seed of discord within the ranks of the party and the public ahead of the Edo governorship election.
“If you link the message to the messenger, knowing Liborous Oshoma’s antecedent, it would not be difficult to know who is beating the drums for him.”
On the Edo Guber, LP stressed that the primaries are in line with Electoral Act, “designed to widen participation
We have repeatedly stated that Edo state will witnessed the purest and freest primaries and that the candidate that would emerge must be democratically elected.
“It is in the interest of the party that a popular candidate emerges, and we have exhibited our commitment by coming up with guidelines that guarantees that only the people’s choice will emerge.
“We have therefore deemed it pertinent to make some clarifications as regards the guideline for the Edo State Governorship Primaries released recently as approved by its National leadership, maintaining that the Guideline is in line with the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act and especially the Labour Party constitution.
“The guideline, no doubt has widened the scope of participation within the Labour Party members. All members of the party from the Ward level will have one role or the other to play in the emergence of the party’s candidate.”
The party also deemed it necessary to make clarification on “the fees of N30 million charged for both the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the Edo State governorship election while reducing by 50percent the expression of interest and nomination forms fee for women. It must be noted that all factors were taking into account before the National Working Committee arrived at the figure.
“It is pertinent to note that the cost of elections into political offices in Nigeria is quite expensive as witnessed from the recent general elections. Aside being qualified to contest election, aspirants must also be ready to show capability and capacity to fund campaigns and other election requirements.
“Comparatively, the fees charged by the Labour Party-being the platform for social democracy and mass participation is still the lowest among the three major political parties in the contest. Therefore, any aspirant who cannot afford the fee lacks the capacity to run for the governorship election.
“Political party funding is a challenge and it must also be noted that the sale of forms is a major source through which political parties are funded. A lot of issues that may arise as a result of primaries and election itself which has to do with litigation arising from such activities as well as other logistics issues, make it imperative for the parties to charge a reasonable fee like ours, so that the party can adequately discharge its responsibilities during and after the elections.
“We therefore appeal to all our aspirants to bear with the party and make the necessary sacrifice by participating in the exercise. The party is determined to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants which will lead to the emergence of a credible candidate.”