2023: Labour Party crisis deepens as Awamaridi vows not to relinquish guber ticket

Ifagbemi Awamaridi, the Lagos State chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has said he remains the party’s authentic chairman and 2023 governorship candidate in the state and would not relinquish his ticket for any one.

Awamaridi stated this on Saturday in Lagos during a media briefing, interactive meeting with support groups and candidates of the party to unveil LP’s 10 cardinal programmes for the state.

The gubernatorial ticket of the LP in Lagos is been contested by Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour and Moshood Salvador.

Salvador, recently defected to the party from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Two weeks ago, during Salvador’s formal declaration for the LP, several national leaders of the party was in attendance, including the Deputy National Chairman, Bashiru Apapa, who announced him as the party’s Lagos governorship candidate.

At the event, the leadership of the party also announced Seyi Sowunmi as the chairman of the party in Lagos State.

But in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), publication of personal particulars of governorship candidates in Lagos State released revealed that Awamaridi name was retained as the gubernatorial candidate of the party.

Speaking on Saturday, Awamaridi said he had deliberately decided to remain silent to recent developments in the party in the state because he was the one duly recognized by INEC.

Read also: 2023: Why PDP, Labour Party alliance is needed to dislodge APC – Adewale

He denied reports that he had been elevated to the national level of the party and that the ticket of the party has been given to Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour, who recently defected to the party from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), stressing that nobody had contacted him about such decision.

He noted that he was the duly elected state chairman of the LP in Lagos State, whose tenure had not expired, adding that there must be a documentation and letter if at all he would be removed as the chairman.

He noted that the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) had not met in the last two years to even take such purported decision, while imploring members of the party to maintain peace so that LP can win the state in next year’s gubernatorial election.

According to Awamaridi, “ I was elected by delegates across the state, from the ward to the local government officers as the gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party in Lagos State.

“I was elected state chairman and my tenure as not expired.

“Nobody can take over the party’s position from the backyard. The NEC meeting was about two years ago and nothing happens apart from the NEC decision.

“You can’t come through the backyard and claim to own the party or be the gubernatorial candidate.

“We are going into elections and we don’t want division in the Labour Party. The Labour Party is one in Lagos State.

“Also, INEC has released the personal particulars of governorship and House of Assembly candidates across the state, the names you will see there are all the candidates here and the governorship candidate that is there is Ifagbemi Awamaridi”.

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