LAGOS – The national leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has warned the party’s governorship place-holder in Lagos State, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, to desist from parading himself as the candidate of the party and therefore issued a certificate of returns to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
Rhodes-Vivour won the substitution primary election on the platform of the party in the state as the governorship candidate for 2023 election. Awamaridi had insisted that he remained the chairman and governorship candidate of the party, having won the primary earlier conducted and his name published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
But the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Abayomi Arabambi, who unveiled Rhodes-Vivour as the authentic governorship candidate in Lagos, yesterday, said Awamaridi was just a place-holder, hence the need for the substitution primary recently.
Arabambi, who noted that the party had concluded all necessary documentation with INEC regarding its new candidate, said the party had zero-tolerance for “unscrupulous and dubious politics that Awamaridi was allegedly exhibiting.
He said: “Awamaridi was the Chairman of the LP of the Lagos Caretaker Committee at one point. He was made a place-holder for the governorship primary election. His name was submitted as the governorship candidate since Lagos LP was yet to finally conclude all the required processes.
“The place-holder status given to Awamaridi was one from which he formally tendered official resignation. Awamaridi’s letter of resignation was wilfully, voluntarily and clearly signed and tendered. Documents don’t lie.”
Arabambi added that if Awamaridi by any stretch felt or feels aggrieved, he could approach the court to seek legal redress, stressing that his tenure has expired as the chairman of the Caretaker committee.
“We officially and very strongly re-affirm with all authority that the winner of the substitution election on the platform of the LP as the governorship candidate for 2023 for Lagos State is Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour,” he said.
He also re-affirmed the candidacy of other winners into various elective offices on the platform of the party, saying the news conference should put all controversies to rest.
Arabambi, who said that Awamaridi’s tenure had also expired as the chairman of the caretaker committee, inaugurated the newly-appointed 24-man caretaker executive committee of the party in the state on behalf of the National Working Committee (NWC).
In his response, Rhodes-Vivour commended the party for clearing all doubts and controversies about his candidacy after winning the freest primaries.
“I am happy that we can now move forward,” he said.