Amid Internal Leadership Disputes, Violence Breaks Out at the Labour Party National Secretariat (Photos)

Pandemonium erupted on Monday when suspected thugs attacked members and executives of the Edo State chapter of the Labour Party (LP), who had gathered to protest the continued tenure of National Chairman Julius Abure following his purported suspension last week.

The assailants, numbering about 20, descended upon the demonstrators as they alighted from their vehicles, forcing them to retreat into neighboring streets. Even journalists covering the protest were not spared, as the invaders attempted to break into the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ secretariat in Utako, where the media personnel sought refuge amidst the chaos.

The situation was eventually brought under control after security operatives intervened and called for calm on both sides.

This incident marks a significant escalation in the ongoing internal conflict within the Labour Party. The embattled National Chairman, Julius Abure, has been at the center of a contentious struggle with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), facing allegations of high-handedness and anti-party activities. Abure was suspended on Friday by his Ward in the Arue-Uromi area of Esan North-East Local Government in Edo State.

A letter of suspension dated May 14, 2024, and another letter of ratification dated May 15, 2024, were ratified at a meeting of the state executive committee on Friday night in Benin. These letters stated that the suspension was with immediate effect and advised Abure to stop holding out or parading himself as a member of the party. The State Executive Committee, led by Kelly Ogbaloi, endorsed the decisions of the ward and local government committee of the party.

However, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has opposed this action, declaring it illegal and unconstitutional. The National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, stated that Article 17 subsection 1 of the 2019 constitution of the Labour Party is clear that only a national convention arranged solely for the purpose of suspension, with a two-thirds majority, can suspend or remove the national chairman.

The internal strife within the Labour Party underscores the urgent need for conflict resolution and dialogue to restore unity and ensure the party remains focused on its objectives.

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Written by Joe

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