With the issuing of a certificate to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the national leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has put an end to the debate regarding its genuine governorship candidate in Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the Lagos state LP governorship primary elections, leadership, and candidate had all been dogged by scandal.
Recall that Ifagbami Awamaridi, the party’s contested state chairman and governorship candidate, insisted he would continue to serve in both roles despite having won earlier primaries and having his name published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, who on Tuesday revealed Mr. Rhodes-Vivour as the party’s real governorship candidate at a press conference in Lagos, said that Mr. Awamaridi was only acting as a stand-in, which is why the recent substitution primaries were necessary.
Moshood Salvador, who joined the party from the All Progressives Congress, lost to Mr. Rhodes-Vivour, who left the Peoples Democratic Party.
The party has completed the relevant paperwork with INEC on its new candidate, Mr. Arabambi said, adding that the party had zero tolerance for the “shady and questionable politics that Mr. Awamaridi was reportedly exhibiting
“For a candidate for election to emerge in a political party, it has to go through a constitutional process.
“The emergence of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour as the 2023 Lagos state governorship candidate of the LP followed all necessary laws, regulations, and guidelines as provided in our Constitution, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and INEC guidelines.
“Simply to put the records straight, Awamaridi was the chairman of the LP Lagos state Caretaker Committee at one point.
“He was made a placeholder for the governorship primary election, thus, his name was submitted as the governorship candidate since Lagos LP was yet to finally conclude all the required processes.
“The placeholder status given to Mr. Ifagbemi Awamaridi was one from which he formally tendered official resignation.
“Awamaridi’s letter of resignation was willfully, voluntarily, and clearly signed and tendered. Of course, documents don’t lie. He has ceased to be our gubernatorial candidate.”
The LP spokesperson told Mr. Awamaridi to quit posing as the party’s chairman and governorship candidate in the state and suggested that if he felt defrauded, he seek recourse in court.
He added that the press conference should put an end to any disputes and reiterated the Labour Party’s support for other winners running for various elected seats.
According to Mr. Arabambi, Mr. Awamaridi’s term as the caretaker committee’s chairman had also come to an end.
On behalf of the party’s National Working Committee, he officially inaugurated the newly formed 24-man caretaker executive committee in the state.
“On no account should anybody parade himself as the gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party and chairman,” he added.
Mr. Arabambi said that Labour Party had garnered 22 million supporters across the length and breadth of the country and was ready to win the election and provide the right leadership.
After winning the most open primaries, Mr. Rhodes-Vivour responded by thanking the party for putting an end to all rumors and controversy surrounding his candidacy.
“I am happy that we can now move forward,” he said.