Callistus Okafor: Peter Obi’s Chances Under Threat if LP Crisis Isn’t Resolved

1 month ago

You cannot build legality on illegality, it cannot stand, you cannot build this house on a mud and expect it to stand. An acting National Secretary cannot sign a document that will make Obi the President. chairman of the Labour Party, Callistus Okafor, speaks with FRIDAY OLOKOR on the crisis in the party and why he is in court

The Labour Party has been in the news of recent because of controversies at a time the people believe you should consolidate and ensure a Peter Obi presidency. Why?

Like you rightly said, this is the time the Labour Party should come together, become one and be able to take over the leadership of this nation come 2023 because of the emergence of Peter Obi. But the truth of the matter is this;
 the problem of the Labour Party did not start because of Obi, the problem of Labour Party started since 2017. In a convention that was held on October 11, 2014 in Akure, Ondo State, I emerged as the Deputy National Chairman (South), Julius Abure emerged as Deputy National Secretary, the late Abdulkadir Abdulsalam of blessed memory emerged as the National Chairman and after that, everything was okay.

When Momodu came to the Labour Party to contest election, Dan Nwanyanwu, in his wisdom, asked him, ‘what do you have to say? You want to contest presidential election? He (Momodu) said he had millions of followers on Facebook and Dan Nwanyanwu told him that Nigerian election is not won on Facebook

How would you describe the challenges of strikes, industrial disputes which have become a recurring decimal in the country?

You see why the Labour Party should be the ruling party in this country. It is the political party owned by the masses. Tell me, why is it that people are going on strike? If you do the right thing, if the President or the leader or if the political party does the right things, pays these workers their allowances and all that, nobody will go on strike. That is the truth. So, I am telling you that if you talk about the political party that will rule this country, and this country will become a better country tomorrow, give it to the Labour Party.

Would you subscribe that the Labour Party should merge with the “bigger parties” in 2023?

Unfortunately, no; I don’t believe in that. The Labour Party has the strength, human strength. It has the highest members in this country. They can stand alone, why not? I don’t believe in that.

Amidst all these, it is believed that the Independent National Electoral Commission recognised the Abure faction of the LP. Why is it so?

When A.A. Salam died, remember that Abure and the national chairman were the people who had the power to write letters to INEC. When the then national chairman died, the right thing was that Abure and I would start writing letters and you know INEC, the moment they see one of the signatures, they will honour it. But when INEC got there and saw that an acting National Secretary transformed not even to acting national chairman but substantive chairman, INEC themselves knew that it is was wrong, but nobody challenged it.

INEC knows our constitution, INEC knows that constitutionally, the acting National Secretary cannot assume office as a chairman but INEC has no powers to raise any objection until someone says no to it, and if someone raises an objection, INEC will concur. I bet anything for it, that if INEC themselves knows now that the moment any court order comes, it (INEC) will not waste one second before removing his name because they know the truth, they know the right thing to do. It is law, it is a constitutional issue.

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