The acting national chairman of the Labour Party, Lamidi Apapa, says his suspension as a member of the party is invalid, noting that he remains the ‘legitimate acting chairman.’
The factional chairman who admitted the notice was surprising said the purported meeting chaired yesterday lacked the authority to effect his suspension.
He also stated that the presidential candidate of the party in the elections, Peter Obi, has not responded to his calls despite several attempts to reach him.
“I have called Mr Peter Obi several times as the chairman but he didn’t pick up my calls,” he said.
The PUNCH reports that the national working committee of LP, on Tuesday suspended Apapa alongside five others over “anti-party activities, contravening the constitution of the party and running of parallel leadership and putting the party in total disrepute”.
But speaking when he appeared on Channels TV Politics Today on Wednesday night, Apapa claimed his suspension was invalid because Abure lacked the legal authority to convey the NEC meeting.
He said, “I was told of the suspension but I am not suspended. I was not invited to the meeting and as of today, I am the only legitimate acting chairman of the party.
“This is on the grounds that the man who organised that meeting doesn’t have the required authority, the court has asked him not to parade himself as chairman of the party and that order has not been vacated.
“As of today, I am the oldest member of the party in terms of age and length of service in the party. For anybody to say I am not known is surprising. In 2002, when the party was formed as a social democracy, I was the first chairman in Oyo and when it metamorphosed into the Labour Party, I remained as chairman for ten years and at the last election I became Deputy national chairman of the party.
When asked about who remains the party chairman, he simply stated, “I am not struggling with Abure, I am there in an acting capacity, the constitution of the party is clear on this that for whatever reason the chairman is not able to perform his role, the deputy takes charge and that is what has happened.”