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Ezenwafor Emerges Labour Party Factional Presidential Candidate

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A faction of the Labour Party (LP) on Wednesday in Abuja, elected Chief Jude Ezenwafor as its presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

Ezenwafor was the LP former Chairman in Anambra State, and erstwhile aide to former Governors Chinwoke Mbandinuju and Willie Obiano.

His emergence took place at the convention of the party held at the Garki area of Abuja.
A former deputy national chairman of the LP, who is leading the faction of the party, Calistus Uju Okafor, superintendent the convention where Ezenwafor emerged as the standard-bearer.

Addressing the national delegates after his emergence, Ezenwafor said: “I am on a rescue mission to free Nigerian from social, economic and political crises currently bedevilling it.”

He said having understudied two former governors in Anambra State and being the chairman of the party in the state, he had what it takes to lead the country to economic freedom.

“We are not after experiences in the executive office because those who were there before and had requisite experiences had failed us,” he said.

He also said he had a brighter chance of defeating the presidential candidates of other political parties being a young man with energy and vigour.

Also speaking in his capacity as the acting National Chairman, Okafor said the party had earlier in the week, successfully concluded the national and houses of assembly primaries.

He said Ezenwafor’s name, as well as the lists of other candidates that had emerged so far, would be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday.

He reiterated the readiness of his faction’s national working committee to open discussions with former Governor Peter Obi, who had emerged as the candidate of the Julius Abure-led faction of the party.

Okafor insisted that he had nothing against the person of Obi, but maintained that the former governor was in the faction of the party whose leadership was allegedly not recognised by the LP’s constitution.

He told delegates at the event that the constitution of the party recognises him as the acting national chairman of the LP following the sacking of its late chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam.

He said: “I am fighting for justice. There’s nowhere in our constitution that says Abure, in his capacity as the acting national secretary, can take over the national chairmanship position when we have the deputy national chairman and six zonal vice-chairmen.

“We don’t have anything against Peter Obi but he should know that the leader of the faction he belongs to is an acting national secretary, while I, Calistus Uju Okafor, remained the acting national chairman. The court will soon remove them. I am very open to any discussion for the right thing to be done.”

Okafor, a factional leader of the party, is currently in court to challenge the legality of the leadership of Akingbade Oyelakin, whom he said “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party.”

He also joined INEC as a co-defendant.

Others sued by Okafor include Julius Abure and Umar Farouq, who emerged as the national chairman and the secretary of the party, respectively, at a national executive committee meeting of the party held in Benin, Edo State, in March 2021.

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