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Edo LP gov aspirant resigns over alleged bias, chairman disagrees

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A Labour Party governorship aspirant in the Edo State, Dr Dennis Aikoriogie, has resigned his membership of the party, alleging that some leaders were taking sides.

He expressed fear that they (the leaders) may not be fair during the party’s primary election, while also alleging that outsiders and moneybags have hijacked the party.

He also noted that people and others like him who have worked to make the party what it is today have been relegated to the background.

Aikoriogie, in a letter addressed to the LP Ward 9 Chairman in Egor Local Government and copied to the party’s national, state and local government chairmen, said he would pursue his political ambition elsewhere.

The letter read in part, “I hereby turn in my letter of resignation as a member of the Labour Party effective immediately.

“This is borne out of observed and perceived partisanship and bias of party executive in the build-up to the gubernatorial election in Edo State, many party executive members have co-opted themselves and have become an integral part of aspirant campaign organisations. This act is capable of not giving other aspirants a level playing field.

“I joined the Labour party solely because of Peter Obi who has a proven track record and exemplary lifestyle both in the public and private sectors. I felt the Labour Party could herald a new ideology and thinking about the way politics is played in Nigeria, this made me become the Global Coordinator of Diaspora Strong for Peter Obi, a support group that cut across all continents, it garnered financial, human, and material support at the national and presidential elections, as well as the state and federal legislative elections.

“In addition, the group provided financial support to the Lagos and Rivers governorship candidates in the persons of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and  Beatrice Itubo respectively.

“I have observed my contribution to the party, before, during and after the presidential election is not appreciated, it is even more saddening that other aspirants and myself from the diaspora are sidelined.

“The aspirants who dictate the tune in the party are those who just joined the party, either from other parties or those perceived to be money bags. There is this erroneous impression that money only wins elections in Nigeria and that the credibility and acceptability of the candidate do not matter.

“It is on this premise and others that I am resigning from the party as I proceed with my political ambition elsewhere. I wish the party well in its future endeavour.”

Reacting to the allegation, the party’s state chairman, Kelly Ogbaloi, described the allegation as unsubstantiated, urging Aikoriogie to exit the party without making flimsy excuses.

He said, “I can tell you that the Labour Party will do what is right in my time as the state chairman. Where aspirants appreciate his incapacity to be in a contest, he should just go peacefully without making flimsy excuses that party leaders are taking sides.

“The statement he made is grossly unsubstantiated. He should be able to say which of these leaders is involved in this. If he brings that before us, we (the exco) will investigate and take necessary action.

“Our exco should not take sides. All the aspirants are equal in capacity for now until they go to the primaries and one of them emerges as the candidate. At the moment among all of them, no one is above the other. Is it right for leaders to support an aspirant? You can only support a candidate that emerges.

“I think Aikoriogie is grossly deficient in capacity. By this, I mean he can’t pull delegates to his camp and that is why he is coming up with these excuses that are not substantiated.”

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