Labour Party factional leader, Comrade Lamidi Apapa, has said that he was not being recognized by Peter Obi and the Director General of the Obi/Datti Campaign Organisation as the National Chairman of the Party on a religious basis.
He said he remained the only elected National Deputy Chairman of the Labour Party while the other two were of their respective platforms from Labour Party (LP) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
According to Apapa, Obi’s weakness is manifest in his religious leaning because it is the way he operates. “I do not want to say this in public but I have to say it. Obi is a Christian, Abure is a Christian, Osuntokun is a Christian, I am the only one that is a Muslim. This is the way he operates.”
Apapa, who was a guest on Channels TV morning show pointed out that the non-recognition of his person by Obi at the court was preceded by a meeting where this group and the Abure group met to decide who would recognise the party at the court since Abure had no such powers being restrained by the Court to stop parading himself as chairman of the Party with four others.
Apapa said he was only acting as the chairman of the Labour Party pending when all allegations in Comrade Julius Abure are cleared, then he would return back as deputy national Chairman which he is.
He alleged that Obi’s harassment and assault at the court on Wednesday was premeditated. “They wanted to lynch me, that is the handiwork of Abure and Peter Obi, he organized it.
“My group said whenever we are holding the party event and am there, I should represent the party, Daramola was there, Engr. Mike was there.
“When they came back, Obi insisted that he will not recognize me as the Chairman of the Party. Am in Court he will not recognize me.
‘They now said who will now be there if Abure cannot be there because he has been asked to step aside because as far as the party is concerned, I am the next person to Abure.
“This Argument was so hot that they came back to my hotel room around 1 am before the court sitting and they said that if I were to be there today (Wednesday) they will deal with me. I thought it was a joke but they have done it. Arabambi confirmed it to me.
“It was confirmation of what they told me, I am quoting them.
“I have never said I am the National Chairman, I am the Acting National Chairman. If Abure steps aside, I am the next person to be in Acting Capacity.
“There is nothing like distrust, this is our mandate, it is a Labour Party project. Obi is our Project. No one should deviate from that project. Whether I am there or not, that project must be executed by all of us.
“If there is any deficit of trust, that cannot be referred to me. I want Obi to say to the whole world, why is he behaving, the way he is behaving to me, despite the fact that I have not done anything bad to him.
“Is it possible to withdraw a case with word of mouth? I have told the whole world, if you have any evidence to prove, I have done this or I have done that, bring it to the open to prove!
“He is bound to recognize me, he is not the owner of the party. I met me at the party. I have served for 21 years in the party, he is just a year in the party, he met me in the party and he is bound to recognize me in the party.
“I am not going to appeal to him to recognize me, the party belongs to Nigerians not to a particular tribe. He is bound to recognize me.
“On the issue of trust, I am bound to be trusted. I have not been found wanting for the last 21 years. If he should be fair now, he is the person that should be checked.
“He came to the party in just a year, and you are the one destroying someone who has been in the party for the past 21 years. So who is deceiving who, he is the one who should be checked.
Appearing on the TV platform was the Head of Media, Obi-Datti presidential Campaign Council Yunusa Tank said Apapa was head of the plot given to external forces to destabilize the party.
He pointed out that an originating summons from its group against Barr. Julius Abure in a plot to remove him from his ward 3 in Erue, Uromi, Esan North of Edo state had the lead counsel, Chief Ogwu James Onoja, the same Senior Advocate of Nigeria is the APC lawyer in the Presidential Campaign Tribunal, in Abuja.
According to Tanko, “So the same Person who is the lead counsel for that group is the same person is the representative and a lawyer to APC and the same lawyer is representing Apapa.
“This clearly shows you proof that they are being sponsored by the APC and I say it with clear intentions.