The Labour Party national chairman says he might have been compromised
The National Legal Adviser of the Labour Party, LP, Isaac Fashakin, on Wednesdayresigned his position. He cited the party’s inability to follow due process in dissolving some state executives to accommodate new members joining it as the reason for his action.
He berated the party for dissolving state executives in Ogun and Ekiti states to pave way for Ekiti Bibi Ire Coalition of Opeyemi Bamidele and a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, to control the machinery of the party in their respective states.
In a swift reaction, the National Chairman of the Labour Party said the party was not bothered about Mr. Fashakin’s exit, alleging that he had been compromised by some unnamed persons.
Mr. Bamidele had recently defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the LP where he plans to contest the governorship election in June. On his part, Mr. Daniel, who ruled Ogun State between 2003 and 2011 on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also joined the LP recently. Shortly after, he was given the privilege to control the party in the state.
Mr. Fashakin alleged at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti that Mr. Bamidele’s admission to the Labour Party and the installation of one Akin Omole as the interim chairman of the party, alongside installation of other executives in the state, contravened the party’s constitution; and therefore he could no longer continue to function as the party’s Legal Adviser.
He contended that in accordance with the party’s constitution, congresses should have been held in Ekiti and Ogun States to elect the executives rather than imposing preferred candidates.
Quoting a letter dated January 6 to Mr. Nwanyanwu, Mr. Fashakin said “LP is a party that could easily capture power if system is allowed to work in accordance with the constitution of the party without recurrent arbitrary manipulations. The latest happenings in the party are aberrations and palpable disregard for due process.
“It is against this backdrop that I hereby formally notify you of my resignation as the National Legal Adviser of the Labour Party forthwith.”
The former legal adviser who vied for Ekiti South senatorial seat on the platform of the party in the 2011 general elections, but lost to Tony Adeniyi of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said allowing Mr. Bamidele’s men to hijack the party in Ekiti at the expense of the validly elected members, would spell doom for it.
He lamented that Mr. Daniel had hijacked the party at the detriment of its old members in Ogun State.
“There are rules a new entrant must follow before he can be accepted,” Mr. Fashakin said.
“He must declare at the ward and local government levels, but nothing of such happened in the case of Bamidele and Gbenga Daniel and the party ignored my advice which I cannot overlook.”
He also alleged that Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and the national leaders of the party were aware of all the illegalities being conducted by party top hierarchy, but did nothing.
However, Mr. Nwanyanwu told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that the party was not worried about Mr. Fashakin’s exit, adding that he might have been compromised before taking the decision.
He said the former legal adviser should have left quietly rather than raising issues.
“What is the big deal about his leaving? Have you heard that name before? If you have been compromised and you collected money to leave a party, why don’t you leave quietly?” he said.
“Bamidele came to Labour Party and he is going to be governor, whoever does not like it let him go. There is freedom of association. In politics, it is free entry free exit. I, Dan Nwanyanwu can decide to leave LP tomorrow, what is the big deal about that?”
On the allegation that the Ogun and Ekiti State executives were dissolved without conducting congress, Mr. Nwanyanwu said it was not true, adding that congresses in all the states would hold this month while the national convention of the party would be held in September.