The Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State has read a riot act to all aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket ahead of the Surulere Federal Constituency I bye-election, slated for Aug. 19.
The party, at a news briefing on Friday evening at its state secretariat in Ikeja, cautioned the aspirants against patronising illegal factions for the purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms.
Speaking, Pastor Dayo Ekong, the Lagos State Chairperson of LP, told newsmen that the party was committed to justice and fairness and would organise credible primary to produce candidate capable of winning election.
According to Ekong, there is a departure from the old order in party administration and processes to give everyone a deserved voice.
“The LP State Working Committee is standing distinct to make sure that the old order is removed that the new order is put in place.
“It is not about who you know but your competence and capability should count. If you are bale to showcase what you have, you should be recognised.
“You don’t need any god-father to be relevant in the chapter but making yourself distinct. Nobody’s voice will be suppressed,” Ekong said.
“I want to sound a note of warning because we know some people are parading themselves as Labour Party executive, there is only one Lagos State LP State Working Committee.
“If any aspirant fall prey and purchase form from these illegal groups, he or she does it at his or her own peril. Be warned, don’t fall victims of their antics,” Ekong said.
She said that some people were clamouring for adoption of a candidate but in the spirit of fairness, the party wanted every interested aspirant to test popularity in the primary.
According to her, the LP State Working Committee would soon unveil the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms for interested aspirants obtainable at the party’s secretariat.
The chairperson stated that the party leadership was aware of infiltration from opposition parties to destabilise the LP, but would rest until all distractions are shown the way out.
“We are not going to give them that opportunity to destroy Labour Party. Enough is enough, it is not going to be business as usual. We stand by good leadership and integrity. We are people’s voices.
“If there are issues to be resolved, we will resolve them but there is hierarchy to ensure orderliness. Members should realise the party is supreme and we should not work against the party.
“Everything we are doing should align with what the party represents. Our interest should be what the party represents,” Ekong said.
She explained that some expelled or suspended party leaders had been going around to create factions within the party to disrupt the party.
Speaking further on the Surulere Federal Constituency Bye Election, Ekong said that political parties in democracy should not resort to violence and intimidation of voters but allow the electorate to choose their representatives in a free and fair election.
Urging electorate not to sell their votes, Ekong said that people should rather install leadership that would turn thing around for them and their unborn children.
Commending stakeholders’ efforts in making the party remains relevant in the country, Ekong expressed hope that the party would reclaim its alleged stolen mandates in the state.
She said that the chapter would continue to stand fully with the Mr Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of LP to ensure that the right thing was done.
Ekong said that the party remained the main opposition and biggest fast growing political party in Nigeria, saying “our membership drive is getting a lot of responses.
“We stand for the people, we stand for the downtrodden to end suppression and repression and maligning of the people. The idea behind LP is to be the people’s voice.”
Urging the youths not to be frustrated but strongly believe in the country, Ekong said that the party was concern about the youth and ensuring a Nigeria that works for all categories of people.
“We know a lot of youths are distressed. We have hope that Nigeria will be rescued and the mission would be accomplished. We want the youth not to give up.
“We are training the youths in different professions. We are going to continue to do this with our limited resources,” she said.
Our correspondent reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released timetable and schedule of activities for bye-elections, including that of Surulere Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos State.
The seat became vacant following resignation of Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, who occupied the seat until his recent appointment by President Bola Tinubu as Chief-of-State.
Gbajabiamila, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives was reelected for the six term into the Green Chamber during the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections before his resignation from the house.