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‘Your allegations unfounded’ — LP reacts to Olumide Akpata’s letter on Edo guber primary

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Labour Party

The Labour Party (LP) says it is committed to conducting a free, fair and credible primary for the Edo governorship election.

The Edo governorship election has been slated for September 21, 2024.

The LP had initially fixed February 22 as the date for the conduct of its primary, but later shifted it to February 23.

Olumide Akpata, an aspirant, had in a letter dated February 18 and addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleged that there is a plot to handpick a candidate for the election by the leadership of the LP.

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He said his attempts to get the leadership of the party to see reason and provide accountability were not successful.

The former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president also alleged that the lack of transparency by the party caused some aspirants to exit the race.

Reacting, Sam Uroupa, Edo LP publicity secretary, in a statement on Tuesday said the LP is committed to conducting credible primary election in Edo.

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“Normally, we would not have replied to the letter; however, due to the concerns regarding integrity, fairness, and transparency raised about the party in relation to the ward congress and primaries process, we find it necessary to provide some clarifications,” Uroupa said.

“Furthermore, Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata’s claim that the lack of information and transparency regarding the primary election process resulted in a mass departure of aspirants from the party is unfounded.

“This is because those who withdrew or abandoned their supposed ambitions were not officially recognized as LP aspirants.

“Aspirants are individuals who have successfully purchased both the expression of interest and nomination forms, as opposed to those who merely expressed interest without completing the form purchase.

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“None of the individuals in question acquired either the nomination form or expression of interest. Some of these individuals only utilized the party’s branding on social media platforms like Facebook to solicit funds and donations from LP supporters worldwide.

“After achieving their objectives, they abandoned their alleged ambitions based on flimsy and unverifiable excuses, as detailed in Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata’s letter announcing their departure from the party or resignation from their ambitions.”

The statement added that LP is determined not to repeat the errors of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“In conclusion, the LP leadership, led by Barr. (Dr.) Julius Abure as the National Chairman and distinguished Comr. Kelly Ogbaloi as the State Chairman, has consistently emphasized that ensuring a free, fair, and credible process in selecting the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer is non-negotiable,” the statement adds.

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“The party is determined to steer clear of the recurring errors seen in the APC and PDP, which have hindered the country’s progress and perpetuated poor governance.

“Under this leadership, the LP is at the forefront of advocating for electoral reform in Nigeria to establish a framework for transparent, equitable, and trustworthy processes in electing leaders, ultimately aiming to foster good governance.”

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