The national leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has ended controversy surrounding its authentic governorship candidate in Lagos State, with the issuance of a certificate to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that controversy had continued to trail the LP governorship primaries, leadership and candidate in Lagos state.
It would be recalled that Ifagbami Awamaridi, the embattled state chairman and governorship candidate of the party, had insisted that he remained the chairman and governorship candidate of the party, having won the primaries earlier conducted and his name published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Abayomi Arabambi, who unveiled Mr Rhodes-Vivour as the authentic governorship candidate of the party, said Mr Awamaridi was just a placeholder, hence the need for the substitution primaries recently.
Mr Rhodes-Vivour, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, defeated Moshood Salvador, who joined the party from the All Progressives Congress.
Mr Arabambi, who noted that the party had concluded all necessary documentation with INEC regarding its new candidate, said the party had zero tolerance for “unscrupulous and dubious politics that Mr Awamaridi was allegedly exhibiting.
“For a candidate for election to emerge in a political party, it has to go through a constitutional process.
“The emergence of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour as the 2023 Lagos state governorship candidate of the LP followed all necessary laws, regulations and guidelines as provided in our Constitution, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and INEC guidelines.
“Simply to put the records straight, Awamaridi was the chairman of the LP Lagos state Caretaker Committee at one point.
“He was made a placeholder for the governorship primary election, thus, his name was submitted as the governorship candidate since Lagos LP was yet to finally conclude all the required processes.
“The placeholder status given to Mr Ifagbemi Awamaridi was one from which he formally tendered official resignation.
“Awamaridi’s letter of resignation was willfully, voluntarily and clearly signed and tendered. Of course, documents don’t lie. He has ceased to be our gubernatorial candidate.”
The LP spokesperson who urged Mr Awamaridi to stop parading himself as the chairman and governorship candidate of the party in the state said he could seek redress in court if he felt cheated.
He also reaffirmed the candidacy of other winners into various elective offices on the platform of the Labour Party, saying the news conference should put all controversies to rest.
Mr Arabambi said that Mr Awamaridi’s tenure had also expired as the chairman of the caretaker committee.
He also inaugurated the newly appointed 24-man caretaker executive committee of the party in the state on behalf of the National Working Committee of the party.
“On no account should anybody parade himself as the gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party and chairman,” he added.
Mr Arabambi said that Labour Party had garnered 22 million supporters across the length and breadth of the country and was ready to win the election and provide the right leadership.
Mr Awamaridi did not respond to phone calls seeking his comments on the development.
In his response, Mr Rhodes-Vivour commended the party for clearing all doubt and controversies about his candidacy after winning the freest primaries.
“I am happy that we can now move forward,” he said.
NAN reports that the caretaker executive committee has Kayode Salako as its Chairman.(NAN)
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