Abure Went Against Obi’s Advice For All-Inclusive Convention — Tanko

The chief spokesperson for the Obi-Datti campaign organisation, Yinusa Tanko, says that the current crisis rocking the Labour Party could have been prevented if the leadership had taken the advice of Peter Obi, the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

Tanko said the recently concluded national convention of the party which returned Julius Abure as the national chairman was not all-inclusive.

“His Excellency, Peter Obi, has made a concerted effort in trying to intervene at any point we have this particular issue and trying to improve,” Tanko said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.

“When the issue of the national convention came up, he (Obi) suggested to the national chairman that because we are bigger now, we need to have a wider consultation: meet with responsible and interested people such as the TUC and NLC, stakeholders, the Obidient group – young generation people who are interested in seeing Nigeria work. Meet with leaders who have different ideas that can midwife us into a greater height.

“All of these were the suggestions that he (Obi) made, and not only did he make those suggestions, he practicalised them because he met with the members of the National Assembly.

“He (Obi) met with the leadership of the party recently in Asaba trying to give them ideas on how he thinks certain things could be done and you could improve our situation but of course, you know how politics is, sometimes, people may be trying to encourage people, but they do something different.

“You can only take a horse to the river, but you cannot force it to drink water, so that’s exactly what Peter Obi has done, he has done so greatly to see if we can find a solution to some of the problems we find ourselves.”

He said while Abure has the right to contest the national chairmanship position again, it was only proper that the right things are done by opening the door for more people to be part of the process.

Tanko noted that Abure went outside an initial agreement to have an all-inclusive national convention which ought to start from the ward, local government and state levels before the national level.

He said that the convention held in Nnewi Anambra State that returned Abure as the party’s leader did not conform with that agreement and therefore was not acceptable to everyone within the party.

Asked if the crisis in the party could be a problem for Obi in the next election, Tanko said Obi is a brand of his own and that he and other people will always move with him wherever he goes to.

At the convention of the Labour Party held on March 27 in Nnewi, Abure was re-elected as the National Chairman for a second term by a unanimous affirmation of delegates despite strong opposition by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had also said none of its officials monitored the convention while the party’s Board of Trustees insisted that Abure’s tenure had expired.

Before the controversial convention, the NLC called for Abure’s resignation as party chairman and the immediate constitution of a caretaker transition committee to organise a legitimate and all-inclusive national convention for the party.


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