The Labour Party has made clarifications on issues surrounding the party’s candidates for Abeokuta South and Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituencies in Ogun State.
After the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the list of National Assembly candidates last week, many members of the party in Ogun State were shocked that the names of some of their preferred candidates were nowhere to be found.
But while addressing members of the party at a meeting in Abeokuta, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Abayomi Arabambi, had said INEC failed to update the list of Labour Party candidates in the two constituencies.
According to Arabambi, the names that still appeared on INEC list were used as mere place holders, saying that they have since withdrawn from the race.
Arabambi clarified that Tolulope Phillips is now the candidate of Abeokuta South Federal Constituency, stressing that the placeholder had submitted a sworn affidavit announcing his withdrawal from the race and the party on July 4, 2022.
“When we held our primaries, we had some people used as placeholders. There is provision for this in the electoral act. “We all know there is room for substitution. In Abeokuta South, we used Ogunfidodo Michael Tomi as the placeholder. He has withdrawn from the race. He stepped down for Tolulope Phillips. This means no one else can contest for the House of Representatives under the Labour Party in Abeokuta aside from Tolulope Phillips. He is our candidate for Abeokuta South,” Arabambi declared.
For Yewa South and Ipokia Federal Constituency, the National Publicity Secretary explained that the placeholder, Kuponiyi Oluwafemi Olalekan, has withdrawn from the election, stepping down for Tade Afolabi.
“Hon. Take Afolabi is the only candidate Labour Party has in Abeokuta South and Ipokia Federal Constituency. No one else,” Arabambi emphasised.
Speaking to newsmen the party’s spokesman disclosed that the matter of candidacy is being addressed, expressing confidence that “all our candidates will contest the elections.”
He said the list released by INEC cannot be the final list as ”the electoral act gives room for substitution of candidates till 90 days before the election.”
In his words, Phillips urged his supporters to remain, saying the omission of his name was mere administrative error.
“There is no need to be worried. Our people know who their candidate is. Due to some administrative errors, the names are yet to be substituted. But my name will be published in due time. Let’s just calm down. Our constituents know us and we are going to win this election. It is no more business as usual. Our party is intact and our people know us. No cause for alarm,” he said.