Leadership crisis rocks Bauchi LP, candidates threaten to scuttle Peter Obi’s election
Some of the aggrieved LP candidates in Bauchi
By Akanji Alowolodo, Bauchi
Few hours after the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi flagged off his presidential campaign in Bauchi, a leadership crisis has engulfed the state chapter of the party.
Recall that Peter Obi had on Thursday, led his running mate, Yusuf Datti Ahmed, LP national Chairman and other party bigwigs to Bauchi state to flag off his campaign.
Shortly after the campaign held at the Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa Memorial Stadium, a group of the candidates of the party has threatened to dump the party over what they described as maltreatment and sidelining by the party leadership in the state.
While addressing journalists on behalf of the aggrieved candidates, Mallam Shabbir Duguri who is the LP candidate for Duguri/Gwana Constituency in the State House of Assembly said that, “You know that our presidential candidate, Peter Obi was in Bauchi today (Thursday) but we as candidates were completely sidelined, nobody told us the programme was, we were not allowed to play any role before, during and after the programme.”
He added that,”We are the people at the grassroots, we have strong support base but the leadership of the LP in the state is not carrying us along, we don’t know what is going on in the party.”
The candidates alleged that they were told that the presidential candidate said that he does not need their support to win election in Bauchi state because he has other more important people working for him.
Shabbir Duguri then said that,”though we did not hear that directly from Peter Obi, but, what happened during the campaign was an indication that something is fishy. We were not allowed to go close to where he was neither were we presented with flags despite the fact that our names as candidates have been displayed by INEC.”
Also speaking, another candidate, MK Said, LP candidate for Pali State Constituency lamented that they have been left behind in the scheme of things in the running of the LP in the state saying that they have spent their money to float the party in the state.
He alleged that the sum of N50m was sent to the leadership of the party in the state for mobilization but the leadership of the party in the state has sat on the money at the detriment of the entire membership of the LP in the state.
He therefore called on to the presidential candidate of the LP to look into their grievances before it is too late of he actually wants to win election in the state saying that all of them will ensure that the LP did not win if they were not listened to.
According to him, “We joined LP because of the good Peter Obi but as it is now, we have been disappointed by what is happening. He should immediately look into the matter and resolve the issue. We are giving him 4 days from today to act or we and our supporters will go to where we are valued.”
All other candidates from Giade, Shira, Katagum, Jama’are and other LGAs, alleged that the party Chairman in the state is running the party as a private business excluding every other person from knowing what is going on in the party.
The 21 state House of Assembly Candidates as well as those contesting for the House of Representatives under the LP said that at the expiration of the ultimatum given to the leadership of the party, they will be left with no option other than to jettison the LP for the presidential elections and direct their supporters to vote for another presidential candidate.
They however said that they will go ahead with their aspirations of becoming legislators under the LP having been cleared by INEC to contest during the elections.