Labour Party chairman Ifagbemi Awamaridi says he has not withdrawn his candidature but remains the party’s 2023 governorship candidate in Lagos.
Mr Awamaridi stated this on Saturday at a media briefing to unveil Labour Party’s 10 cardinal programmes for Lagos.
The Labour Party on Wednesday conducted a substitution gubernatorial primary election in Lagos in which Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour was declared its gubernatorial candidate for 2023.
Mr Rhodes-Vivour polled 111 votes to defeat Moshood Salvador, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 102 votes.
INEC publication of personal particulars of governorship candidates in Lagos still shows Mr Awamaridi’s name as the Labour Party’s governorship candidate.
Mr Awamaridi insisted that the substitution primary conducted by Labour Party’s deputy national chairman Bashiru Apapa on Wednesday was illegal and invalid because he did not withdraw his candidature.
The candidate said no substitution of candidates by the national body of the Labour Party to INEC could supersede the primary conducted by the electoral body.
“I call the substitution primaries conducted on Wednesday a comedy because it was against the new Electoral Act to substitute a candidate without his withdrawal notice to the INEC. If it were to be the substitution in the old Electoral Act, after conducting primaries, the party, in its wisdom, can change the candidate that won without his or her consent,” Mr Awamaridi explained.
He further stated: “Then there is always a window for substitution which is different from the window for withdrawal, and the window for substitution is where you can substitute without withdrawal. “However, the widow for withdrawal is different, but the new Electoral Act has nullified that because this new act now says that once you have conducted primaries supervised by INEC, you are automatically the candidate.”
Mr Awamaridi urged Labour Party candidate Peter Obi to urgently intervene in the crisis, rocking the party to improve his chances in the forthcoming 2023 election in Lagos. The party is also enduring a torrid time in Plateau over the alleged substitution of its governorship candidate.
Source: Peoples Gazette.