Labour Party threatens street protests over presidential election
Challenging APC victory in court, LP says it is willing to take to the streets
The Labour Party (LP) said it is prepared to hit the streets to press for its mandate if the courts fail to ensure justice over the just concluded presidential election.
The LP challenge
The party whose presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who came third with about 6.1 million votes in the election, is already in court, challenging the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, as the winner, citing manipulation of the results.
LP willing to exploit its youth in street protests
According to Dr. Kachi Ononuju, Special Adviser to the LP on Public Affairs, who revealed the plan to the Nigerian Tribune, the LP is prepared to exploit youth in its ranks to launch street protests to ensure that the right thing is done.
The party chieftain maintained that the LP has gone beyond an ordinary political party and has assumed the form of a civil rights movement, saying: “If they don’t want to respect the vote, we will turn it into a civil right movement. I’m telling you this.”
Fears of an orchestrated plot
Ononuju suggested that there was an orchestrated plot to announce a predetermined winner of the election even before the exercise commenced, noting that with the permission granted by the court to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reconfigure the BIVAS and allegedly tamper with evidence, getting a judgement will be a huge task.
“I thought when we won, they would do this. They’ve done it. We’ll now pursue the other side. If the courts don’t work, the streets are there for us because we have the youth,” he declared.
The party elder added
The party elder added: “So, we might sometimes allow the streets also to tell Judges because at times, Judges don’t see the streets very wild and hot, they may not behave. But we are taking them gradually. We don’t want anybody to point out that we are part and parcel of any insurrection. We will not make that mistake.
“That’s why you see Peter (Obi) is openly allowing himself to be seen to adhere to the processes in the rule of law,” he said.
Focusing on ethnic groups
Ononuju, who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) along with Obi, remarked that the youth have decided to be “frontal and visible in the movement because nobody gave them a chance,” adding: “Today, we have created, I won’t say a party but call it a civil right movement. That is what it is going to be, peopled by the youth. You will see a lot of people jump into it.”
He revealed the strategy employed by the party that enabled it to achieve success in the North, in particular, in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, noting that rather than go to the Fulani and Kanuri tribes, LP applied “ethnic penetration” whereby it focused on the numerous other ethnic groups in the region.
LP confident of success
The Special Adviser expressed that despite not prioritizing the core North in its campaign, the party was sure of mobilizing enough votes around the country to have won the presidential election.
He expressed confidence that the votes will choose LP in this weekend’s state governorship and houses of assembly election just as they had done in the previous exercise.