BREAKING: Stay away from Edo LP primary, protesters tell Abure

Members of the Edo Chapter of the Labour Party, on Sunday evening, protested against the party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure, over alleged support for some aspirants ahead of the party governorship primary to be held later this month.

The angry members besieged the state party’s secretariat with placards bearing different inscriptions, chanting, “Abure must go.”

They were, however, prevented from entering the building by security operatives, who also seized some cameras belonging to journalists covering the protest.

It took the intervention of the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, Festus Alenkhe, for the security operatives to release the cameras.

The protesting youths alleged that Abure had compromised his position and demanded that he should stay away from the February 24 governorship primary.

One of the protesters, who gave his name as Imafidon Emmanuel, said: “Why would the National Chairman of the party say that the executive will not be part of the primary? Who does he want to participate in the primary?

What it means is that he already has a candidate of his choice, which is very wrong! We want everybody to participate.

We want a free and fair primary. We don’t want Abure to influence the primary, whoever emerges as the candidate of the party, should be allowed to be the candidate.”

Another protester, Johnson Edobor, said, “We want peace in the Labour Party. We don’t want the National Chairman again.

The National Chairman is giving us problems. We don’t need him again in Edo State. We don’t want to sell the ticket. We have been losing elections in other states. We don’t want to lose Edo State too.”

The Edo State Chairman of the Labour Party, Kelly Ogbaloi, said the secretariat of the party was attacked by weapon-bearing protesters.

He said, “People came protesting with weapons and they told the press that they were protesting because they were informed that the primary would not be free and fair; so they came to attack us.

“For over two hours, we were under siege but we were protected by some security operatives. That was why we were not within their reach.”

There has been agitation in the LP, following the decision of the party to make the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for its governorship aspirants N30m, which many of the aspirants described as out of reach.

The party leadership had, however, insisted that the fees would not be reviewed downwards, saying the election was for serious aspirants.