The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party(LP) deepened on Thursday as the State Executive Council (SEC) stripped the Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe and 11 others of their membership, citing violation of the party’s constitution.
Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the end of the State Executive Council meeting, the chairman and secretary of the party, Michael Ashade and Feyisola Michael, alleged that Okupe and others have refused to pay their membership dues in the last six months, despite repeated reminder that they should validate their membership by updating their financial status.
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 before December 1, 2022.
To give effect to the SEC decision, he asked the national chairman, Barr. Julius Abure, and the presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to obey the party’s constitution by immediately relieving Okupe of his position as Director General of the presidential campaign council and appoint another person, who should come from the North to reflect federal character and political balance, in his place.
The chairman anchored the action of the SEC on Article 9(3)xi of the party’s constitution that says, “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, Barr. Julius Abure and Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that it’s expedient to obey the constitution of Labour Party by immediately appoint another DG for the PCC and that should come from the North to reflect federal character 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 Atate Treasurer) and Mr. Abdulmalik Olaleye (former State Youth Leader).
Others are Mr Jide Amusan(former State Publicity Secretary); Mr. Adeshina Wasiu Shojobi (former Assistant State Youth Leader); Miss Deborah Adewale (former Senatorial Women Leader, Ogun East) and Mr. Olatunde Abolade (former Assistant State Secretary).
In attendance at the press briefing were the National Publicity Secretary,Dr. Abayomi Arabambi, and members of the State Working Committee.