10th National Assembly: Peter Obi takes position, tells Labour Party members-elect who to support



10th National Assembly: Peter Obi takes position, tells Labour Party members-elect who to support

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Tensions have risen within the Labour Party as its elected members express their discontent with the directive given by the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, to support Senator Abdulaziz Yari for Senate President and Hon. Muktar Betara for Speaker. News Week Nigeria reports that Obi has also urged party members not to vote for Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Jibrin Barau, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, and Hon. Benjamin Kalu for various positions in the National Assembly. Advertisements These disagreements arose during separate meetings between the lawmakers and Obi and his running mate, Hon. Yusuf Datti, in Abuja. A member-elect of the Labour Party, speaking anonymously, revealed that the first meeting with Datti took place at the Chopstick Restaurant in Maitama, while the second meeting with Obi occurred in Wuse Zone 5, both in Abuja. The member-elect disclosed, “During the first meeting, Datti categorically stated that we should not vote for Tajudeen Abbas, Akpabio, or any candidates supported by the APC. He claimed that Abbas was endorsed by the APC to undermine him, and Kalu was endorsed to suppress Otti. The meeting ended in a stalemate at Chopsticks.” Advertisements The member-elect continued, “Another meeting was held on Monday in Zone 5, where Obi was present. Obi declared his endorsement of Yari for Senate President and Betara for Speaker, instructing all LP members-elect to vote for them.”


Expressing disapproval of Obi’s directive, the member-elect stated, “Ideologically, he’s forcing us. If that’s the case, there’s nothing new about LP.” The member confirmed that one of the lawmakers-elect had followed Obi’s order and joined the Betara camp but emphasised, “He wants to force us to do what he wants, but no way.”

The lawmaker revealed that another meeting is planned for the coming weekend before the inauguration next Tuesday, stating, “They plan to call us for another meeting this Sunday. They might announce that LP has decided to vote for Yari and Betara. Obi tells us that the party is supreme, but how can we support someone rebellious against his own party? We won’t back down.” Advertisements The lawmaker questioned Obi’s transformation from being seen as a democrat, asking, “How can Peter Obi, whom people praise as a democrat, now turn undemocratic?” This newspaper learnt that when reached for comment, the LP caucus leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Ogene, dismissed the allegations as baseless, stating, “The insinuation that Mr. Peter Obi is coercing members-elect of the House of Representatives to vote for a particular candidate in the speakership race is a lie.” Ogene clarified that the meeting was not initiated by Obi but by the party’s national chairman, Barrister Julius Abure. Ogene further emphasised that during the meeting, Obi never mentioned any aspirant by name and encouraged the members to engage in discussions under the guidance of the national chairman and caucus leader. Advertisements Ogene reaffirmed, “Mr. Obi had advised them that ‘You are the ones elected, so the onus rests with all of you to interface with others to choose your leaders.’”

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