Obi’s visit to Abure reconciliatory, not endorsement – Campaign team

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The team of the Labour Party Presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, on Wednesday said the visit of the former Anambra governor to the party secretariat in Abuja was a reconciliatory move and not an endorsement as being reported in a section of the media.

A statement issued in Abuja by Obi’s campaign spokesman, Yunusa Tanko, added that his principal also met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress political arm on Wednesday to seek an end to their conflict with the party.

Recall that the media had reported Obi and his supporters visited to the leadership of the party at the national secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.

It was further reported that Obi was received by the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, and members of his National Working Committee.

A few hours after their visit, a section of the media described the meeting as an open endorsement of the embattled leader of the party and his NWC members following the contentious national convention that returned them to office.

But in his statement on Wednesday, Tanko insisted the visit was a reconciliatory visit.

He said, “Obi’s visit to Labour Party headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday was a reconciliatory move not to endorse any group interest in the party. Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family and not to endorse anyone’s interest.

“The visit was part of the consultations Obi has been embarking on in search of peace in the party. In line with this, he also met with the political arm of the NLC and TUC on Wednesday in continuation of his search for peace in the party.

“At his meeting with the workers’ union, the leadership of the NLC/TUC political commission led by comrade Titus Amba and comrade Chris Uyot was also disposed to peace in the party. He clearly made the point that the party needed to reconcile all various positions in a peaceful atmosphere to have a united house that should be all-inclusive.

“He thanked the leadership of the political commission for their understanding and expressed the hope for a good working relationship very shortly. The LP standard bearer also plans to meet with other critical stakeholders like the Obidient to have an all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.”

Tanko’s statement, however, didn’t go down well with the Abure-led NWC.

In a statement released later, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, warns against twisting the ‘well-intentioned’ visit of their presidential candidate.

Ifoh also reiterated that both Obi and Abure were on the same page on reconciliation of aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party

He said, “As a party, we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week of Abure-led NWC wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the NLC to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful national convention of the party held in March. To us as a party, we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.

“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government to liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its political commission to understand we are not the foe. They see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria. They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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