Lamidi Apapa factional chairman of Labour Party on Friday (June 2, 2023) told the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi, to withdraw his case at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal over what they described as “lack of seriousness”.
According to him, the advice became necessary following the incident which happened at the Tribunal on Thursday (June 1, 2023) where the court stepped down hearing in the petition filed by Obi and the LP against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Speaking about the removal of fuel subsidies, the LP faction criticized the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria for opposing the new gasoline pump price.
They argued that the LP’s stance on the elimination of gasoline subsidies during the campaign had not altered, claiming that “we cannot reverse that position because it was not our candidate who won the presidential election.”
These concerns were brought forward at a news conference in Abuja by the LP’s factional national publicity secretary, Abayomi Arabambi.
He said to journalists that since PEPT began meeting, Obi has been unable to support his assertions with any hard data.
Arabambi claimed that Obi went to court to contest Tinubu’s election because he and his cohorts had different goals from the Nigerian people, who had freely thrown their support to LP.
He said, “We have followed with keen interest the shameful developments and approach by the so-called legal team assembled by Peter Obi challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission and we have, like many Nigerians, come to the conclusion that Obi is not only taking Nigerians for a ride but would continue to waste the hard earned resources donated by Nigerians for this purpose to even enrich himself the more.
“All of you here who have been following this case can recall that the day we had altercation in court with (Julius) Abure’s group, that INEC announced that Peter Obi could not pay for CTC form EC08 and other documents. That now compelled them to only present 30 per cent of the materials they would need for the hearing at Election Petition Tribunal.
“How would any right thinking person go to election tribunal with only 30 per cent of documents where none of all them would be accepted or agreed to be tendered by other political parties?
“Three days ago, they said two of their counsels were sick and yesterday (Thursday), they could not even file a single process with the array of SANs with Obi. This is what we have been saying that they are just trying to hoodwink the public, deceiving the Obidients and giving them false hope that they have something at the tribunal.
“It’s evident from the attitude displayed by them when they wrote a letter to INEC that Obi could not pay N1.5 million. Who are they deceiving? Counsel were sick?
“That’s why we have consistently maintained that Obi is not serious. He came in to the party with nothing. He didn’t fund the election, he didn’t fund the party, he didn’t do anything for the party. He only came to mess of the entire process and to deceive Nigerians that he has something to offer to them.
“Labour Party is thereby calling on him to step down his selfish ambition and stop messing up the party if he has nothing serious to present to the tribunal.”
Arabambi said, “Whatever we have agreed on during our campaign, and as a party that promote peace, equity and justice in Nigeria, then we can’t be found approbating and reprobating at the same time. Our position is that, once Obi has said he would remove fuel subsidy from his first day in office, the same organized labour who stood on that position must not be seen working in cross purpose on the same thing that Tinubu, Atiku and even Obi said they were going to do.
“Obi said subsidy was an organized crime that must be stopped. The NLC can’t call for any strike. If they do, it is obvious that they are just being mischievous for a reason best known to them or maybe they have something against the President that they should come out open to tell Nigerians. That is our position as Labour Party.”