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EDO Guber 2024: Is Labour Party A Representative Or Problematic Cell Unit?

Eben Enasco Reporting.

LABOUR Party, LP, in recent times, became a Party that often splits the opinions of the Nigeria political fanbase, with some unable to look past its flaws.

However, there’s no denying that the party in the last two years developed into a clutch political party’s player, particularly, during the last Presidential election that shook the four walls of the Country.

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Former Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi was highly instrumental to the ratings that got millions of Nigerians divided perhaps with a certain quarter brandishing, the now waned “Obedient Movement” after losing in furosemide Court judgment that declared the APC Presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu winner.

The former Governor proved that he was a threat in the box during the 2023, Presidential election netting all manners of open support against the two political bigwigs, PDP and the APC.

However, despite what seems his heroic Obedient Movement, the party has headed into splinter cell groups with other parties now upgraded to formidable forces.

Although there are scruffs of the neck in other parties, the existing age-long structures will reduce the obvious reasons to think so.

Heading into the Edo and Ondo off-cycle elections, three groups have emerged.

In this episode, we have decided to extricate the choice of the Edo State Governorship Election by x-traying whether they pose a threat or not.

The Labour Party’s chances in the upcoming Edo State governorship election are uncertain due to internal conflicts and splinter groups.

The party’s national chairman, Julius Abure, and the state chairman, Kelly Ogbaloi, are at odds, with Ogbaloi accusing Abure of instigating the crisis.

The party’s youth leader, Ken Omusi, has also declared himself interim chairman, further complicating the situation.

Omusi in that adventure declared himself, one Stanley Orobosa, and another person as the interim executive committed of the LP in the state when he addressed newsmen at the state secretariat of the party in Benin City,

He noted that the change of leadership was necessitated by the draconian and tyrannical leadership style of the ‘sacked’ state executive.

Despite the party’s potential, its infighting and lack of unity may hinder its success in the election.

The candidate, Olumide Akpata, faces an uphill battle against opponents from the Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress.

Ogbaloi, instead, accused the embattled national chairman of the party, Julius Abure, of instigating the crisis rocking the Labour Party in the state.

The state executive had ratified Abure’s suspension by his ward in Uromi, recently, after which Ogbaloi declared that the embattled national chairman was no longer a member of the party.

Similarly, Abure-led national leadership on Monday in the same month, announced the dissolution of the state exco and instituted a 17-man caretaker committee headed by former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie.

The unfolding crisis comes barely three months before the governorship election in Edo State which has former Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, chairman Olamide Akpata as Labour Party candidate.

However, reacting to the dissolution of the party executive in the state, Ogbaloi said he wasn’t aware of a change of party leadership in the state.

He noted that his exco remains committed to working with the party candidate, Olumide Akpata to emerge victorious at the September 21 poll.

With the ban on campaigns lifted effective Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in the Edo governorship election, Nigerians expect that the candidates will make their campaigns issues-based.

Yet, some of the same campaigns of abuse of persons, ethnic, zonal, and religious nuances.

Since the Electoral Umpire INEC lifted the Ban on campaigns and made available the final lists of candidates it has been a ding-dong activity with no proof of a party manifesto but crises.

INEC signalled that the political parties should commence intensive campaigns for the off-cycle election which will be held on 21 September 2024 and the winner sworn in on 12 November 2024 when the tenure of Governor Godwin Obaseki ends.

In truth, the only attribute that the labor party provided during the past election has been a handful in the opposition penalty area, where citizens craved a genuine change in political ideology and rulerships.

Signing into the Labour Party overall would have been a fantastic deal, and given that it would be an upgrade on the two political parties, it’s a no-brainer.

Since 25 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party, and All Progressive Congress Party have dominated proceedings but added nothing or less to economic growth.

The LP governorship candidate, Olumide Akpata, will square up against Asue Ighodalo of the Peoples Democratic Party and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, Senator Monday Okpebholo, to replace the outgoing governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki.

But with the crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the party taking a comical turn recently when two LP chieftains claimed to be the substantive chairman at a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, it will be a huge huddle for Olumide Akpata to jump even with the avalanche of projects executed by the outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki if you like.

WHAT MAY WORK AGAINST LP AND OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES

Governor Obaseki came in as a technocrat who did not believe in “stomach infrastructure”.

Given his stringent beliefs, his administration is seen by many as working against the people.

Some people in Edo North Auchi and Jetu said the airport the governor promised the area is yet to take off.

His fight with his Former Deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu is also a dark spot on the governor’s white linen.

Some people also believe that his inability to reconcile with Dan Orbi is another blight in his testimonial.

Again, some political pundits thought that he imposed a candidate on the PDP and that many of those who lost were from Edo Central

All these are majors in the signatures against the Governor.

But as Governor Obaseki’s tenure comes to a close, he can proudly look back on his accomplishments that have positively impacted Edo state and its indigenes.

His administration’s achievements in the last seven and a half years have been remarkable, and so through the transformation of the state’s economy for future generations, irrespective of your position and party.

Notable projects he has executed include Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company ERPC and Duport Refinery, boosting the state’s oil production and GDP.

Two ethanol plants, Greenhill and Dufil, produce food-grade ethanol for the confectionery and beverage industry, creating employment opportunities and boosting the manufacturing sector.

Ossiomo Power Plant, a public-
private partnership providing reliable electricity.

Edo Tech Park is a software engineering training institute aiming to produce 15,000 world-class software engineers.

Edo State College of Nursing Sciences, Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, and other infrastructure projects.

The reconstruction of the Iguoriakhi College of Agriculture where the new intake of new students for its academic sections will begin on July 8, 2024.

Rehabilitation and construction of 565 roads spanning 737 km across the state.

These projects have significantly changed the economic and environmental landscape of Edo state, leaving a lasting legacy for Governor Obaseki’s administration.

Given the crisis, it is evidence that when a house stands against itself, it will only make minimal progress and this is a signal oozing out from the Labour Party.

The Labour Party’s crisis may prevent it from capitalizing on its potential and making a meaningful impact in the election. With three months to go, the party must resolve its internal conflicts to stand a chance.

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