DELTA LABOUR PARTY CRISIS: You Are Imposter, Party Chairman Tells Ezeagwu As PDP, APC Shun INEC Meeting

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The lingering leadership crisis tearing apart the soul of the Delta state Labour Party, (LP), has taken a new dimension with the former state party chairman, Tony Ezeagwu dragging his successor, caretaker committee chairman of the party, Emeka Nkwoala, before a Delta state high court sitting in Kwale to restrain him from parading himself as the state party’s chairman.

Reacting to the development during a press briefing in his office in Asaba, the state LP chairman, Mr. Nkwoala, who described Mr. Ezeagwu as an imposter disclosed that the caretaker committee which he heads as chairman has also raised a crack team of lawyers to defend the case even as he warned party members, prospective members, those planning to seek for elective offices through the party and the general public against having any dealings with the former chairman, Mr. Ezeagwu, who is still parading himself as a factional chairman.

“Going by the 2009 constitution of the party, Ezeagwu’s three year tenure ended in September 2017, a special national convention formally dissolved the Ezeagwu-led executive and inaugurated the caretaker committee in October, 2017. And because Ezeagwu has taken us to court, it shows that he has accepted the decision of the convention.

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“Ezeagwu should therefore stop parading himself as chairman until the court give a ruling on the matter. For now, he is still going about illegally claiming to be chairman of Labour Party by operating from the party’s former office. Ezeagwu does not share the ideology of the party, he is neither a trade unionist nor a member of a professional body.” Nkwoala stated.

But when contacted, Mr. Ezeagwu swiftly told our correspondent that the court has since issued an order restraining Mr. Nkwoala from parading himself as chairman of the party in the state.

Meanwhile, there was a mild drama Monday at the Delta state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), when the self acclaimed factional chairman of the Labour Party, (LP), Tony Ezeagwu, and representative of the party’s caretaker committee chairman, Emeka Nkwoala clashed at a meeting of political parties called by INEC.

It was gathered that on arrival at the venue of the meeting, the representative of Mr. Nkwoala, was barred from entering reasons been that Mr. Ezeagwu, had already seated in the hall for the meeting.

Reacting to the situation, Mr. Nkwoala, who described the acceptance of Ezeagwu into the meeting as LP chairman was illegal and unacceptable, adding that “INEC didn’t send the text to us. They wrongly sent the text to Ezeagwu. Ezeagwu came there at about 7 or 8am when the meeting was supposed to commence at about 11am. He came in earlier before my man came and you know INEC, they said Labour Party somebody had come to represent you already.

“Ezeagwu overtook us. When my representative got there, INEC told my representative that Labour Party was already represented. But we faulted that representation because Ezeagwu is not the chairman of Labour Party as at today. We have given INEC all the necessary requirements from us. And they have also told us they will liaise with their national office in Abuja and will correct the anomaly.” Nkwoala said.

It was however observed that the INEC meeting was shunned by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Addressing the political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), administrative secretary, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, said all the political parties in the state were invited for the meeting including the APC and PDP.

Mrs. Oriaran-Anthony frowned at the way and manner parties goes about the conduct of their congresses and conventions adding that “For instance the issue of party congresses, conventions, meetings require 21 days notice, stating the venue, time and date as required by the electoral act. The letter of notification must be signed by the national chairman or authorised party signatories.

“In most cases, none of these requirements are met and the INEC monitoring teams travel from one local government to the other without witnessing any congress even when notifications have been to that effect. This is disheartening since a constitutional duty is left undone not due to INEC’s unwillingness. There are parties who flaunt their own party constitution on congresses and primaries, internal wranglings and rife. Invariably, all these hurt the electoral process.

“There are also some parties who constantly change their chairmen or trying to change the existing status quo without the expiry date of their tenures. The list could grow but it is our hope that you will help us stem the flow and ease the pressure so we can focus on salient issues facing us in the dispensation of our duties going towards 2018. INEC in Delta state will in January, 30, 2018 commence a verification exercise to ascertain the physical state offices and executives of political parties in the state. All state offices are to be in Asaba, the Delta state capital.” She said.

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