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Ebonyi Labour Party members beg Peter Obi to save state chapter (part 2)

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Members of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) have reached out to the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, to rescue the party from its woes ahead of the 2023 general elections.

This was contained in two separate SOS for urgent intervention to save the state chapter, signed by the LP House of Representatives Aspirant for Ezza North-Ishielu Federal Constituency, Dr. Peter Okey, and the state chairman and gubernatorial candidate of the party, Comrade Splendour Oko Eze.

In the first part of this two-part report, titled “Save Ebonyi State Labour Party, members send SOS to Peter Obi (part 1)“, Dr. Okey, an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist (UK) and Member of medics4PeterObi in Diaspora, as well as a member of Peter Obi Support Network (POSN), went through memory lane to identify the genesis of the woes betiding the LP State chapter.

In this second part, Comrade Splendour Eze expresses his grievances, narrating how he was disenfranchised by party members, despite his position as the state chairman and the gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State.

He pleaded Peter Obi for his ‘intervention to quench this raging fire that is stemming from the brutish merchandising and commercialization of his name and the party before it erupts into a volcano that will be fueled by media and adjudicated on in the court of law and then, public opinion; leaving all to suffer the consequences of the bad conduct of a handful of officials who should ordinarily be better behaved’.

In a letter entitled “An SOS message based on recent happenings in the Ebonyi State Chapter of the Labor Party” and addressed to the former Anambra State Governor, Comrade Eze wrote:

Dear Sir,

INTRODUCTION

I humbly write to bring to the attention of your esteemed self, His Excellency, Dr. Peter G.O. Obi; CON, the national leader / presidential candidate of the Labour Party of Nigeria, recent developments in the Ebonyi State chapter of our great party. It is pertinent to note that if the issues contained herein are ignored and not attended to with dispatch, there will be grave consequences and they will include:

1. An erosion of every achievement that has been middle by the Ebonyi State chapter of our great party over the last 60 days.

2. A credibility crisis for the Labour Party of Nigeria in Ebonyi State.

3. An indelible stain on the corporate image of the Labour Party of Nigeria and your esteemed self.

4. A reversal of every win that has been recorded in terms of contact and mobilization in view of 2023; and,

5. Bad press for the Labour Party of Nigeria in Nigeria on the event that the events referred to herein finds their way into the media space under the most scandalous headlines by way of aggrieved persons resorting to self-help and seeking closure from the court of public opinion.

Pursuant to the above, I hereby state that I am the state Chairman of Labour Party in Ebonyi State and my appointment was made on the 25th of May, 2022 and I, thereafter, transitioned to become the gubernatorial candidate of our great party in Ebonyi State after fulfilling all known statutory conditions precedent to such emergence.

Upon my appointment as the State Chairman of Labour Party along with my 18 executive members, I deployed my competence and grass roots network towards activating activities in the state starting with the establishment of a functional state executive committee and next, the provision of a state secretariat to serve as a rallying point for our great party in Ebonyi State at a cost of one million, six hundred thousand naira (N 1.6M) only.

Alongside my state executive committee, we assembled a crack team of political mobilizers across the state and appointed them into offices at the local government as executive members in the thirteen council areas.

Within a short while, we replicated the same at the ward levels; all to the shock of the Dave Umahi-led APC government. Against all odds, we broke through.

Your Excellency Sir, thereafter, my leadership conducted the most peaceful and transparent primary election in the South East where the outcome resonated the wish of Ndi Ebonyi just like yours across Nigeria as can be attested to by INEC and security agencies.

Without this primary, the Labour party would not be in existence in Ebonyi State.

THE PROBLEM

After the conduct of the primary election in Ebonyi State, I was contacted by the national chairman, Comrade Julius Abure and the purpose was his directive that the position of gubernatorial candidate of the Labor Party in Ebonyi State duly held by me be relinquished to one Architect Edward Nkwegu.

According to the national chairman, the directive was handed to Him and the national organizing secretary, Clement Ojukwu by your esteemed self, Your Excellency, Dr. Peter G.O. Obi; CON, the national leader / presidential candidate of the Labour Party of Nigeria.

My initial reaction was to the effect that as much as I have reservations about the authenticity of their claim… on the event that is accurate, it will be injurious to our fortunes as a party in Ebonyi State as the individual for whom the exception is being made. Architect Edward Nkwegu cannot win a governorship election in Ebonyi State.

I further submitted that the individual, Architect Edward Nkwegu had in 2015 contested for the gubernatorial position of Ebonyi State on the platform of Labour Party with the backing of then outgoing governor, Chief Martin Elechi and was trounced by incumbent governor, Dave Umahi under circumstances that clearly indicated that while enjoying patronage from Chief. Martin Elechi, he was in bed with the PDP.

I also submitted that immediately after the swearing in of Dave Umahi as governor in 2015, Architect Edward Nkwegu became a principal associate of Gov. Dave Umahi and went on to become one of the biggest contractors handling multi million Naira projects in Ebonyi State; a status he has enjoyed uninterruptedly till date.

I concluded by drawing the attention of the national chairman and the national organizing secretary respectively to the fact that Architect Edward Nkwegu lobbied to succeed Gov. Dave Umahi and even went on to contest the APC primaries less than 40 days ago and lost to Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru whom Gov. Umahi preferred after which he reconciled immediately with the governor.

I advised both national officers on the need to exercise more care and caution and be more protective of the Labour Party as all indices point to the truth that as is His operating procedure, Gov. Dave Umahi is bound to fund and facilitate the emergence of candidates in various parties to contest elections into offices where he has an interest as means of neutralizing his strongest rivals.

Clearly, my submissions and reaction to the developments did not go down well with especially the national organizing secretary who retorted openly that whether I like it or not, Architect Edward Nkwegu must be the governorship candidate of the Labor party in Ebonyi State.
The encounter ended with a terse statement from the national organizing secretary that “I am in charge: very soon you will understand that I am in charge.”

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Your Excellency, the next few days following the above encounter saw the announcement of the dissolution of the state working committee of the Ebonyi State Chapter of our great party on the 7th of July 2022 in a most laughable manner that puts to question the integrity and transparency for which our party is now known for across Nigeria.

Ever since, the labor party in Ebonyi State, courtesy of the activities of the national organizing secretory has become a huge crime scene where the obscenest monetization of party processes has become norm.

Your Excellency Sir, it may interest you to know that my leadership supervised the sale of forms which led to the realization of about thirty five million Naira (N35,000,000.00) only, which was duly remitted to the national headquarters of our party via official channels. A “poor state” as Ebonyi State!

We have receipts for every penny received and remitted. Not a penny is unaccounted for from our end; yet as I write, the national leadership of our great party has not deemed it necessary to give the state chapter as little as one hundred thousand Naira (N100,000.00) as float for the maintenance of structures in the state. From our resources, we are still building the party because we believe in you and what you stand for.

Till date, the national officers mentioned who have never asked how we fund the party, paid rent, opened LG offices, mobilized ward executives and conducted primaries, appear to be in a hurry to trade with the party using the sweat and blood of poor men and women; jobless youth and other Nigerians who are disgruntled with the state of affairs of the nation.

Your Excellency, Sir, we believe in your mandate alongside your running mate. We trust you. We will not abandon this struggle but we will go the full extent of the laws of Nigeria to resist any nefarious antics of any agent of retrogression rearing their ugly heads in the Ebonyi State chapter of our great party and it is because our sole agenda is to win the gubernatorial election and give you a clear landslide win in Ebonyi State; no more, no less.

May I equally mention here Sir that as at now, withdrawal letters have been written and forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission purportedly written by some of our flag bearers wherein they announced their withdrawal from the elections to pave way for Architect Edward Nkwegu and His gang.

As laughable as this low dimension of forgery appears, it is my opinion that this could not have been possible without the endorsement of officers of the national leadership of our party.

The question that begs for an answer is simple: Who is hell bent on embarrassing the Labour Party and your esteemed self, His Excellency, Dr. Peter G.O. Obi; CON, the national leader / presidential candidate of the Labour Party of Nigeria at a time when Nigerians see our party, as a rallying point for liberation?

I ask because it is a no brainer that a simple application to the Nigeria Police via the courts for a forensic examinations of the so-called withdrawal letters and signatures will reveal an outcome that will be a bombshell, battering our brand, denting your image, shaming our NWC and giving the PDP and APC an edge over us.

This will be inevitable in the coming days when the INEC will start giving attention to letters of protest written by our duly returned candidates across board.

CONCLUSION

Your Excellency, Sir, I plead for your intervention to quench this raging fire that is stemming from the brutish merchandising and commercialization of your name and our party before it erupts into a volcano that will be fueled by media and adjudicated on in the court of law and then, public opinion; leaving us all to suffer the consequences of the bad conduct of a handful of officials who should ordinarily be better behaved.

The first step to a fact finding investigation should be the convening of a meeting between your esteemed self and our duly nominated candidates as the date of closure of substitution draws near to enable us have a united family ahead of the polls.

Please find attached our various addendums for your perusal as I look forward to your intervention.

Accept, Your Excellency, Sir, the assurances of my highest regards.

Comrade Splendour Oko Eze, State Chairman / Gubernatorial Candidate, Labour Party of Nigeria, Ebonyi State.

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