Labour Party is an idea whose time has come, will win Imo, Bayelsa, Kogi governorship polls – Spokesman


Obiora Ifoh, is the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour party. In this interview with MAYOWA SAMUEL, he speaks about the untold hardship Nigerians are facing due to the economic policies of the Federal Government. He also shed light on the legal battles within the party. Excerpts:

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The economic situation of the country, especially after the effects of the policies by the Bola Tinubu administration which commenced on May 29, is still really biting hard. What’s your party’s impression about the policies?

We actually want to reserve our comments until later when this government would have done a hundred days in office. We’re intending to do a comprehensive analysis of how this government has brought significant hardship to this nation.

In less than a hundred days, they’ve brought this nation to the lowest level ever in the history of this nation.

Nothing seems to be working, the currency, the energy sector have collapsed, there’s a high rate of inflation, purchasing power has gone so low, workers can’t get home with their salaries.

In a nutshell, we think in the Labour Party that this government has brought untold hardship that we’ve never seen or ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria.

Before the election, each presidential candidate agreed that the fuel subsidy must go. However, each of these candidates has condemned the process at which the government is doing it. How better and differently would Peter Obi have done it, that it won’t be a huge burden on the masses?

His Excellency, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, said that if he’s elected into office as president, he’ll remove fuel subsidy, because it’s a scam benefitting just very few persons in high places.

He’s also said that there’s no way you can pull somebody’s teeth without applying analgesic.

What this government has done is to pull somebody’s teeth without applying analgesic, and the pain is horrible and unbearable, that’s what they call medicine after death.

They ought to have applied the medicine and see how effective they’ll be before removing the subsidy. That’s why a lot of things are going wrong in Nigeria because we’re learning the hard way.

“The Labour Party is an idea whose time has come. The Labour Party is not working alone, the OBIdient family makes up the majority of the Labour Party”

If you own a car, I’m not sure if you still fill your tank. We are pro-masses, we want to run a government where the gulf between the have-nots and those that have so much, will be reduced drastically, where salary earners will go home with something that will take care of them and their families.

We’re not going to be a government where we’ll give N8, 000 per month for a family of five which can’t feed a family of five for one day. That tells you how they think about Nigerians, and we have millions of Nigerians who are languishing in poverty and penury.

The Labour Party wants to get governance to the grassroots, and wants people to be involved. I’m sure NLC is in all the local governments in Nigeria that tells you how we want to put things together. The government will be less at the top but more at the grassroots, so that the people who we aim to reach will be reached, we’ll know everybody in the local government, and you’ll find a situation where these interventions get directly to them.

We’ve seen an APC that opened a social register where fictitious names were written and money entering into the pockets of the people disbursing it.

We want to eliminate hunger, unemployment; we want to change Sambisa forest into an agro-allied area where those people in the bushes will be turned into farmers.

They’re in the bushes because of the difficult situation in Nigeria, they need to make a living, nobody wants to die my brother but because of hunger, they were driven into that area. 70 percent of Nigerian lands are arable, not cultivated.

That’s why we said we’ll change from consumption to production, we have our policies cut out for us and people are eager, that’s why people went to the polls to vote Labour Party massively.


Everywhere in Nigeria, the Labour Party got over 10 million votes but they dashed us a little above 60 million, that’s why we’re in court contesting seriously, to regain our mandate.

The court is yet to fix a date for the judgement. What are your expectations? Are you confident that the court will cut it through the middle?

We have no doubt that the tribunal will do justice to our matter.

A tribunal in Delta State stopped us from pursuing our case, and we appealed, and the Appeal Court said no, you must allow them, that’s democracy. The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has already been sitting and hearing cases.

If you’re in Nigeria, you’ll know that while the party that said they won the election couldn’t produce more than one witness, the Labour Party produced over 50 witnesses, we had more but we didn’t have time to conclude.

INEC the umpire could not even produce one. They tried to produce one man who came and indicted them more. So, the evidence before the tribunal is so overwhelming that we don’t have to fear what will be the outcome of the tribunal.

Is it on our winning 25 percent of votes in FCT? Or is it the over-voting that happened in states like Rivers, Lagos and everywhere?
Is it the evidence of intimidation by so many pro-APC thugs, we had them on video. Where will you start from my brother?

Are you talking of the double citizenship that the presidential candidate is believed to have? Are you also talking about the vice presidential candidate that contested in two positions at the time both as a Senator and Vice president, against the laws of Nigerians? So, which one are you talking about?

So, it’s a web of intricate crises that’s set to consume them and their ambition. We believe and are so sure that the tribunal will do this case well; we don’t have fear that the tribunal will do justice to the case before them.

Ahead of the local government elections in Edo State, the leadership of the party, Abure, Obi and so on, were there for the mega rally. How prepared is the party to ensure that the Labour Party wins at least, most of the polls?

The election will be conducted by the Edo State Electoral Commission. In the past, we know what usually happens when the electoral body conducts elections, but we’re going into the election with all hope that we’re going to win the election because in the last general election, 75 percent of people in Edo State were OBIdient, they voted for the Labour Party.

We want to trickle it down to the local government, all things being equal, if there’s a level playing field, without any interruption by the state government, if the Edo State Electoral Commission will be independent, then we don’t have to fear whether the Labour Party will win the state. The Labour Party is so organized.

In Nigeria, of all the three or four prominent political parties, Labour Party is the only one that has a national chairman who is from Edo State, very popular in Edo State.

I can tell you that the Edo State Labour Party is witnessing a massive drove of people joining from other political parties.

Governorship campaigns haven’t even started but we already have over 10 to 15 persons that have indicated interest to run for governorship in Edo State for the Labour Party, which tells you how popular we are.

Let me shock you that even the high monarch in Edo State is OBIdient, he said it himself. I’m sure you know that the PDP is in crisis, they are fighting; APC is in crisis, they are fighting, it’s only Labour Party that has peace in Edo State. So, if the State Electoral Commission plays by the rules, then we’ll not have any fear, Labour Party will come out successful.

There were reports that your party’s governorship candidate in Imo State, Athan Achonu, was unseated by the court. What’s the truth regarding that?

The report you heard is fake. On Wednesday, Labour Party sued a particular lawyer who went on air to dish out lies to unsuspecting Nigerians, misinformed them that Achonu is no longer the party’s candidate, and that Julius Abure had been sacked.

We reported him to the disciplinary committee of the legal body. The fact of the matter was that the Appeal Court in Benin affirmed Abure as the national chairman, it mainly endorsed what the lower court said earlier, but these people went on giving misinformation to the public that they are standing on the existing order that says that Abure shouldn’t parade himself as he national chairman.

The order has since elapsed after 14 days, because an ex parte order has a maximum of 14 days.

The matter was also challenged at the Appeal Court which ruled that the lower court should stay off the matter pending the determination of the Appeal Court, that the lower court lacked jurisdiction, that’s what we’re contending, and the Appeal Court is already looking at it.

Where a case is pending, and the court says every other matter should remain status quo, these young men went gallivanting all over Nigeria, using social media to spread rumours and lies that they have taken over the leadership of the Labour Party.

As a matter of fact, they shared positions among themselves. We tried not to join them but they were making noise all over.

So, when we conducted primaries, in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States, they too went ahead, based on that misconception that they’re in charge of the party, to go and conduct primary elections.

In Imo State for instance, Achonu emerged as the authentic candidate of the Labour Party, in a primary witnessed by INEC and everybody.

INEC has since published his name as the authentic candidate based on the legal advice from all the judicial judgement that has come in.

These men fraudulently went to one court in Imo State and had their way, betrayed two persons that contested election between one Basil Maduka and one Ikechukwu Ukeagbu.

Ukeagbu won their fake primaries, and Maduka sued Ukeagbu and the Labour Party. We tried to join ourselves but the court said no, that we’re not party to the case because we were not part of the primary they did, that the judgement is clear that the Labour Party has not done anything, so we shouldn’t be part of it.

“The whole of Imo State is OBIdient and they know the candidate of the Labour Party as recognised by our leader”

But these people now went and said because the case came from them, that the Labour Party they’re talking about is their own Labour Party. That’s how they went and started misinforming people.

In the judgement paper, the CTC had the names of the appellant and the plaintiff, it didn’t mention Abure there, it didn’t mention Achonu there. We weren’t part of it, so we allowed them to gallivant in ignorance, so that’s what is happening. Until today, INEC said that they only know one Labour Party leadership.

I’m sure you’re aware of the Lamidi Apapa faction of your party. Are you not worried that this Apapa faction that’s dividing the party will negatively affect the governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States in terms of litigation and even the presidential election petition of Peter Obi?

The Labour Party is an idea whose time has come. The Labour Party is not working alone, the OBIdient family makes up the majority of the Labour Party.

You know these other political parties have OBIdient members working with our national leader, His Excellency Peter Obi.

Peter Obi went to Owerri and raised up the hand of the candidate of Labour Party in a crowd that witnessed over 50,000 people gathered in a place. The whole of Imo State is OBIdient and they know the candidate of the Labour Party as recognised by our leader.

The only state governor we have now in Abia State was also there. These people are being sponsored by a certain government in the South East to give the wrong impression about our party and the candidate, but unknown to them, they’re even making the party more popular because they’re campaigning for the Labour Party and the person they said is their candidate is not known.

We’ve gone ahead to tell the world that the man is an importer. So, we don’t have any problem in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi