The factional chairman and governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos State, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, has said attempts by some persons in the party to usurp his positions as the “bonafide chairman and governorship candidate of the party” can lead to the nullification of the presidential candidacy of Peter Obi.
Awamaridi, who spoke with PUNCH in a telephone interview on Friday, said he was neither removed nor replaced through any constitutional procedure.
He added that there was a subsisting case in court on the matter.
The Lagos State chapter of the LP has been enmeshed in leadership crisis with regards to the positions of the chairman and the governorship candidate.
Awamaridi also stated that his name remained listed as the governorship candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Awamaridi said, “There is a governorship candidate of the party, which has been published by INEC, and that candidate has not withdrawn, and that candidate has not died.
“For someone to say that he is organising a second primary election, that person is a political comedian. They (some members of the national leadership) have been compromised by money because whatever they are doing does not have any cerebral basis.”
Speaking on the state chairmanship position of the party, he said, “I am still the state chairman of the LP. You can go and refer to the constitution of the Labour Party. There is a procedure for removing an officer from the party.
“The document with which they said they appointed Kayode Salako was disclosed through a press statement on July 23, 2022, and it was fraudulently backdated to the 18th of May 2022.
“That document can never hold water. In the first place, he (Salako) is not a member of the LP; he is a member of the All Progressives Congress. Furthermore, it means that Peter Obi is not the presidential candidate of the LP. It means that as of the 18th of May, Kayode Salako was the Chairman of LP.
“I, as the Chairman of the LP, Lagos State, led the delegates from Lagos that elected Peter Obi to be the presidential candidate on May 30, 2022 (at the special convention).
“So, you are now saying that the delegates that went to the convention from Lagos State are illegal and that delegates that went to that primary election were defective, and that the convention is tantamount to be invalidated.
“Parties are now going for the Certified True Copies of that document in Abuja because they want to use it against Peter Obi. The moment you can prove that the primary was defective, you invalidate the congress and then you nullify the candidate of the party.
“That is what the originators of the Labour Party want to achieve, having been compromised with financial gratification or other things.”
Meanwhile, in response to Awamaridi, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi, claimed that they had not been served any notice on the matter.
Arabambi said Awamaridi had ceased to be a member of the party because he had not attended the stipulated number of meetings and did not pay his dues, according to the party’s constitution. He also debunked the alleged threat on the candidacy of Peter Obi.