As the 2023 general election approaches, Calistus Okafor, a factional Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, vowed to “fight on” to a “logical end”.
Politics Nigeria reports that Okafor stated that Peter Obi’s claim of being the Labour Party’s presidential candidate was still contentious, blaming the former Anambra State governor for not resolving the party crisis he “met on ground”.
Okafor, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Labour Party, let out his grievances in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
This newspaper learned that Okafor has a case in court against the Labour Party.
“I know that there are people benefiting from the current situation who are making Peter Obi not to see the reality of life. They didn’t allow him to come to reality that he has no ticket with which to contest next year’s election yet.
“There are people telling Obi not to mind me thinking that my case had no merit. He (Obi) is paying lawyers, hundreds of millions instead of him to resolve the crisis in the Labour Party.
“This is a man who wants to change the narratives politically, who wants to do something differently, but he could not settle the crisis he met on the ground. He cannot resolve the party crisis and he wants to resolve the problem of Nigeria.
“If anyone wants to crucify me for fighting for my right, I’m also prepared to fight on, even to the logical end,” he said.
POLITICS NIGERIA learned that if Okafor is successful in his suit, it could terminate Obi’s candidature and create strong problems for the party.
Okafor, a factional leader of the party, in his suit is challenging the legality of the leadership of Akingbade Oyelakin, whom he said “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party”.
He also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a co-defendant. Others sued by Okafor include Julius Abure and Umar Farouq who emerged as the national chairman and the secretary of the party, respectively, at a national executive committee meeting of the party held in Benin, Edo State, in March 2021.
The rest of the defendants sued by the defendants are members of the committee set up by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to take over the affairs of the party. The committee members are Salisu Mohammed, Lawson Osagie, Isa Aremu, Baba Aye, Ikpe Ektokudo, Sylvester Ejiofor, and Lucy Offiong. Sued along with them are one Salamatu Aliyu and the NLC.
He criticised the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, stating that decided to defect to LP without proper information on the fact that the party’s leadership had been a subject of litigation since 2018.
Okafor claimed that he remained the authentic national chairman of the party. He explained that he got the post by virtue of his position as Deputy National Chairman of the party when the late national chairman, Abdulsalam, was in office. He added that Abure, who is currently leading a faction of the party, was Acting National Secretary, when Abdulsalam, died in 2020.
“Peter Obi, at the moment, has been deceived and he is sitting on a keg of gunpowder and it is a pity. He went to wolves in sheep clothing thinking he was discussing with the right people. Staying in the PDP would have been better for him.”
“The LP has not done any convention since 2014, after the last one it did in Akure, the Ondo State capital.”