Edo LP crisis: Guber candidate, Akpata backs Ogbaloi-led EXCO


The candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, sats Kelly Ogbaloi remains the authentic chairman of the party in the state.

Saga Gist reports that Akpata backed the Ogbaloi-led state executive at the weekend in Benin City during an enlarged meeting of the party which was attended by local governments chairmen and secretaries of the party.

Akpata noted that there was no legal instrument by the party organs that has removed the embattled chairman and his executives from office.

While describing the leadership crisis rocking the party as distraction, he noted that there are no two chairmen in the party.

He said, “I am a lawyer and have practiced for 30 years and also a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). In this situation you follow the rules

“As a member of Labour Party and a key stakeholder in the process, I am yet to see any instrument appointing anybody else as chairman of the Labour Party.

“Secondly, we know the procedure for changing the state working committee and I have not seen that procedure being activated.

“One individual who claimed to be the party chairman took the entire party structure to court and that matter is ongoing in the Federal High Court in Benin City. Since the matter is before the court, the best practice is to maintain the status quo until there is a legal directive to the contrary.

“I am aligning with legitimacy and the law is with Ogbaloi. We have organs that is responsible for our party and no letter has come to the state from the organs stating that the Ogbaloi EXCO has been removed.

“I and my deputy are lawyers and we know that the law is on Ogbaloi’s side, until the contrary. So, we stand with the law. As far as I am concerned the chairman of Labour Party in Edo today is Kelly Ogbaloi.”

Meanwhile, the Labour Party governorship candidate has opined that the leadership crisis rocking the party in the state would not affect his chances of winning the election.

He posited that the electorate would not say they won’t vote for him because members of the party are quarrelling.

“I don’t think any voter in Benin City or other parts of the state would say, ‘I won’t vote for Akpata or Labour Party because they are quarrelling’.

“Voters would only listen to the message Akpata has for them and if they are convinced, they will vote for me and if they are not, they won’t vote for me.”

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