…says party not appendage of unions
By Lawrence Olaoye
The Labour Party (LP) yesterday threatened to press legal charges against the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress over their claims to have taken over the party.
The party, in a statement by its National Chairman, Barrister Dan Nwanyanwu, also said it was not an appendage of the labour unions but a duly registered political party in the country.
Nwanyanwu described the claims of takeover of the party by the NLC and TUC and their call for the cancellation of the LP national congress slated for this Saturday as mischievous and bizarre.
While insisting that there would be no going back on the convention, the party chairman stated, “This brigandage is completely inconsistent with the tenets of democracy anywhere in the world and ethics of the Labour Unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress. The Labour Party is registered with INEC under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act. To qualify as a registered Political Party, the Party met all requirements of the law including a functional Party Constitution and manifesto duly registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
While explaining that the two unions only have two slots in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, Nwanyanwu insisted that the LP is not a trade union tied to the apron string of the NLC and TUC.
He said “The Labour Party is not a Trade Union but a registered Political Party actively involved in the Politics of Nigeria. Over the years, the Party has sponsored and produced Elected Governor, members of the National and State Assemblies, and Local Government Chairmen and Councillors. Neither the Party nor its elected members report to the NLC and the TUC at any point in time, instead it is the representatives of the NLC and TUC who are admitted ex-gratia to the Party meetings even when they have not fulfilled obligations to be so admitted.
It is therefore unfortunate and disappointing that some misguided elements using the revered names of NLC and TUC will announce to the public that a legitimately, constitutionally and legally convened National Convention of the Labour Party should not hold purporting to have taken over the Party in a clear act ofgangsterism. We expect the authentic leadership of these two revered Trade Union centre’s to disown the offensive advertisement without delay failing which the Labour Party will press charges against them for aggravated damages.”
He added that the exit of the Ondo state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko from the party would not make the party call off the Akure congress as being advocated by the trade unions.
This is just as he called on all LP members to disregard the call for boycott by the trade unions and participate actively at the congress at the weekend.