The Bayelsa State chapter of the Labour Party is currently enmeshed in internal wrangling with different factions expelling and suspending each other from the party.
This is as the state executive council of the party announced the expulsion of its governorship candidate in the recently concluded governorship election in the state, Udengs Eradiri.
The council also announced the dissolution of the local government and ward chairmen of the party during its meeting.
The state LP chairman, Eneyi Zidougha, who read the outcome of the meeting, said that the executive council members resolved to expel Eradiri for allegedly contravening the codes and conduct of the party.
Eradiri, however, counseled Zidougha to leave him out of the crisis rocking the state leadership of the LP, describing him as “an acting factional chairman of the party”.
Eradiri also declared that “the party’s constitution did not confer such powers on him (Zidougha).”
Zidougha, while announcing Eradiri’s expulsion, claimed that the state LP leadership took the decision to expel the former governorship candidate after they received information on his alleged illegal activities after the governorship polls, warning members of the public not to have any dealings with him and the ward chairmen.
He said: “After the party primaries and the governorship election on November 11, 2023, the state executive council has unanimously agreed that Mr. Udengs Eradiri be expelled.
“All party members should remain calm because the exercise is meant to strengthen our party and prepare us for the challenge ahead. The general public is hereby advised not to have any dealings with the deposed local government chairmen or Mr Udengs Eradiri on behalf of the Labour Party.”
Speaking further, the state LP chairman said the council relied on Article 12 sub-section 60 (2) of the party’s constitution, which conferred powers on the council, as well as the national council, to formally terminate all local government and ward chairmanship positions, adding that the chairmen’s tenure had expired since June 2023.
In his response in a statement he issued on Monday, Eradiri urged members of the public to disregard Zidougha’s recent claims that he had expelled him from the LP, saying the constitution of the party did not confer such powers on him.
He said Zidougha should deal with the crisis he invited upon himself when he betrayed his party ahead of the off-cycle election in the state by leading some members of his exco to endorse the State Governor, Douye Diri, who was the governorship candidate of PDP.
Eradiri said: “We all know what transpired ahead of the election. The so-called chairman worked against his party. He was accused of collecting N100 million to endorse the state governor. He didn’t hide it. He and some of his exco members worked for the candidate of the PDP for the sake of their stomachs.
“They betrayed the Labour Party the same way they betrayed our Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi. He led some of his exco to play the highest level of anti-party and doesn’t have the locus standi to talk about disciplinary measures against anybody.
“The local government chairmen of the party were angry at their shameful and selfish conduct and decided to take over the leadership of the party. I called on him to stop dissipating his energy on me and channel it to dealing with the crisis he created for himself because of money”.
In a related development, members of the LP Local Government Chairmen Forum of Bayelsa State have announced the indefinite suspension of the chairman, Eneyi Zidougha, and his executive committee “due to their involvement in anti-party activities during the just-concluded state governorship election.”
The chairman of the LP Local Government Chairmen Forum, John Tobi, who announced the indefinite suspension, said the action followed a unanimous decision by six out of the eight local government chairmen of the party and over 80 per cent of the party’s ward chairmen.
Tobi said: “The local government and ward chairmen took this drastic decision against Zidougha and his executive for publicly endorsing the serving governor during the last governorship election.
“This is despite the party having a competent governorship candidate. The move smacks of greed and betrayal of the party’s principles.”
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