By Martin Opara
Labour party that once produced a governor in the south west and also fielded candidates who contested and made tremendous impact in subsequent elections, in the country, has bounced back in Imo State and is presently, strategizing on how to capture power and occupy Douglas house come 2019.
This view was expressed in a meeting held at Oxygen Hotel, New Owerri, on Saturday, 4th August 2017. The meeting, which was attended by the national leadership of the party, led by the National Chairman, Dr. Mike Omotosho was convened by the new Imo exco, led by Comrade John Onyenemere, and attended by LGA, ward and chapter executives from the 27 local government areas.
Speaking at the occasion, the national chairman Dr. Omotosho expressed happiness that Labour Party is strongly entrenched and already has existing structures in the state. He called for more synergy and urged the leadership of the party at the various levels to continue to strengthen the party’s structures.
He availed that a committee will soon be set up to review the party’s manifesto and make it more unique and people-oriented. “The family unit is of special interest to Labour Party; hence the welfare of the father, mother and children will be given prominence, as regards the payment of salary/pension, comprehensive health care and qualitative education, in the overall interest of the people”.
He opined that Labour Party presently has an edge, because most political parties are corruption infested and have lost credibility. “The people are now looking up to our party for genuine and positive change and we should live up to expectation”.
The Deputy National Chairman, (South) Hon. Calistus Okafor Ujunwa, urged the public to disregard the congresses purportedly organized by Labour Party in the state recently. According to him, “Ikenga and his group joined Labour Party few years ago and started working closely with our former chairman who has been sacked for embezzlement, fraud and financial impropriety. They are bent on polluting and causing problem in our great party but will not succeed”. He said the National Chairman gave the Ikenga group three months in acting capacity and another three months after the expiration of the initial three months. “Within this period, they acted like emperors, hiring and firing people at will, without following due process”.
He accused the former National Chairman of not accounting for over 1.3 billion naira the party realized in 2015. “The party has a procedure of disbursing funds which he violated at will and usurped the functions and responsibilities of other members of the exco that should normally guarantee checks and balances”. He used party’s funds to acquire exotic cars, lands and other personal property.
The police in their investigation, has already found N110m, out of which 30 million and 46 million naira were diverted to Selaim’s private accounts, hence they out rightly indicted him in their report, which we will soon make available to the press”.
Responding to a question, one of the national officers said, zoning is not in the party’s arrangement. “We don’t believe in zoning as a policy but in capacity and ability to deliver. Zoning encourages mediocrity and often throws up people who are ill prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of leadership”.
He said Labour Party, has leaders and not god fathers. “We will always present and support the best and credible candidates”. He stressed that zoning is a product of the PDP, which ultimately failed to give Nigerians the best in terms of leadership.
The State Chairman, Comrade (Chief) John Onyenemere urged members, present and past stake holders to work hard and ensure the party’s victory in future elections, assuring that “nobody’s effort will be ignored, forgotten or unrewarded at the appropriate time”.
A political strategiest Hon. Marshal Okoroafor Anyanwu attended the meeting with thousands of his campaign coordinators, foot soldiers and supporters. The youthful politician who was cardinal to the emergence of two Imo governors including Owelle Rochas Okorocha pledged his support for Labour Party, while arrangements for his formal declaration are in top gear.
According to him, “I have seen the vision that most people are yet to see. Labour party from all indications will occupy Douglas House in 2019”. The state secretary, Hon. Oparaugo Eze Prince said Labour Party is a unique and digital party without dent or blemish “I urge the youths to identify with and embrace the party that is passionate about their welfare and empowerment. Labour Party is committed to the liberation of Imolites from the shackles of poverty, hunger and retrogression”.
Some of the dignitaries present at the meeting include the Deputy Vice Chairman, South/South, Hon. Atan Ado, National Secretary, Barr. Julius Abure, the State Chairman, Comr. John Onyenemere, State Organizing Secretary, Chief Philip Uwazuruonye, State Secretary, Oparaugo Eze Prince, State Publicity Secretary, Dr. Nwanegbo C.E and other members of the state exco.