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Confusion trails alleged sack of Okupe by Ogun LP

By Kehinde Olatunji
02 December 2022   |   3:44 am
The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) on Thursday took a worrisome dimension as the State Executive Council (SEC) stripped the Director-General (DG) of Peter Obi – Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe...

[FILE] Former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Mr. Doyin Okupe.

The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) on Thursday took a worrisome dimension as the State Executive Council (SEC) stripped the Director-General (DG) of Peter Obi – Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe and 11 others of their membership, citing violation of the party’s constitution.

 
Briefing newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the end of their meeting, Ogun LP chairman and secretary Michael Ashade and Feyisola Michael State alleged that Okupe and others have refused to pay their membership dues in the last six months, despite repeated reminders that they should validate their membership by updating their financial status.

But the governorship candidate of the party in the state, Mr Kehinde Sogunle described the action as a joke and urged Nigerians to disregard the comedy from the jesters.

Sogunle said the party can no longer tolerate “jungle politics”, and disclosed that the real executive members of the party in Ogun State will meet today to take a decisive decision on the “rascality displayed by the renegades.”

Also, the spokesman of the Labour Party, Yinusa Tanko, dismissed the expulsion of Okupe and 11 others. He said the development is an internal affair of Ogun LP.
 
According to him, “Our DG is intact and there is no issue in what is happening in Ogun LP.” In attendance at the press briefing were the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Abayomi Arabambi and other members of LP.
 
Ashade accused Okupe of polarising the party in Ogun State with his Peoples Democraric Party (PDP) “dissidents; political liabilities who are only using LP to revive their political and financial lifelines.” He challenged Okupe to provide evidence of any payment in respect of membership dues prior to December 1, 2022 into any bank account of the LP.

 
To give effect to the SEC decision, he asked the national chairman Julius Abure and the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to obey the party’s constitution by immediately relieving Okupe of his position as DG of PCC and appoint another DG for the body, who should come from the North to reflect federal character and political balance.
 
The chairman anchored the action on Article 9(3)xi of the party’s constitution providing that “only fully registered and financially up-to-date members of the party shall have the right to vie for office in the Ward Executive, Local Government Area Executive, State Executive Councils and the National Working Committee of the Party or be a delegate to the Congresses and the National Convention.”
 
He said: “Article 9(3)iii of our Party’s Constitution states as follows: ‘only members who pay their monthly membership dues at rates prescribed shall be deemed to be bonafide members of the Party. Arrears of dues of up to six months shall lead to forfeiture of membership.’
 
“Despite repeated demands from various meetings I had with Dr. Doyin Okupe in respect of his mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status, he has failed woefully in this regard with some others to flagrantly disobey the constitution of Labour party.
 
“… In line with article 19(3) of the Labour Party constitutional provision, we declare that Dr. Doyin Okupe, having failed in the payment of his membership dues for the last six months of joining the Party, has forfeited his membership of the Party and no longer fit and competent to continue to act as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
 
“We hereby notify our National Chairman Barrister Julius Abure and LP Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that it’s expedient to obey the constitution of our party by immediately appoint another DG for the PCC and that should come from the North to reflect Federal Characters and political balance.”
 
Ashade mentioned those stripped of their membership as Abayomi Collins, Hon. Abel Olaleye, Jagun Lookman, Olori Oluwabukola Soyoye, Mr. Gbadebo Fesomade, (former State Treasurer) and Mr. Abdulmalik Olaleye (former State Youth Leader).

Others are Mr Jide Amusan ( former State Publicity Secretary); Mr. Adeshina Wasiu Shojobi (former Asst State Youth Leader); Miss Deborah Adewale (former Senatorial Women Leader Ogun East) and Mr. Olatunde Abolade (former Asst State Secretary).

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