The Labour Party (LP) has said that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has never called for the postponement of the May 29 inauguration ceremony for the swearing-in of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The rebuttal follows an earlier pronouncement by a faction of the party led by Lamidi Apapa, where it distanced itself from alleged calls by Obi that Tinubu should not be sworn in on May 29 pending the resolution of the petitions before the presidential election tribunal in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Labour Party’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, describing Mr. Obi as a Democrat who believes in the judiciary as the last arbiter and has resorted to the court to seek justice.
Ifoh in the statement titled, “Apapa’s statement on ‘swearing in’ reflecting ‘Hand of Esau, Voice of Jacob’”, denied that his principal ever raised such an issue whether in a private or public conversation.
Obi never called for shift of May 29 inauguration
The LP spokesman said that the real enemies of the party are beginning to unfold, noting that no amount of hatchet can distract Obi from reclaiming his mandate.
- He said, “In all Peter Obi’s public and private statements, he has never said or by implication, insinuated that May 29 should be shifted. He is a Democrat and he is one person that believes so much in the judiciary as the last arbiter, and that is why he has resorted to the court to seek justice.
- “I had refused to join issues with the expelled former acting National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi and the suspended Deputy National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa on their mischievous narratives of the ‘May 29 handover’ to INEC’s declared winner of the presidential election. The Labour Party actually does not want to comment on the matter which hearing has since commenced at the presidential appeal tribunal.
- “However, the text of the statement which was read as a commercial in about three television stations in prime time hours suggests that the real sponsors of the crisis in the Labour Party would stop at nothing in ensuring that they sustain the imbroglio.
- “Few weeks ago, you will recall how we alerted Nigerians to plots by this faction to withdraw the cases filed by some of our candidates in the tribunals, allegations they are yet to exonerate themselves. Part of their plots to scuttle the ongoing presidential tribunal as shamelessly boasted by Arabambi is to desecrate the sanctity of the tribunal venue on the next adjourned date with Lamidi Alaba forcing himself to appear as a representative of the Labour Party. Nigerians already know that you are sponsored to work against the presidential ambition of Peter Obi. No one is in doubt about Apapa camp’s altruistic ambition to remain a destructive agent in the Labour Party.”
What you should know
- Recall that yesterday, a faction of the Labour Party led by Lamidi Apapa, distanced itself from calls for an interim government and the agitations that the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, should not be sworn in on May 29, pending the resolution of the petitions before the presidential election tribunal in Abuja.
- Arabambi noted that whether the President-elect is sworn in or not, there is a right to remove him legally if it is found out that he was not duly elected, adding that what Peter Obi is crying for is not supported by law.
- Meanwhile, the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, had about a week ago, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, to boycott the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023.
- Baba-Ahmed said that swearing in a ticket that has not yet met constitutional requirements is tantamount to violating democracy.