As President Bola Tinubu prepares to announce members of his cabinet in a few weeks from now, the leadership of the Labour Party has been divided over the president’s plan to appoint some members of the opposition camp into his government.
THISDAY gathered that the president has reserved key positions for the three main opposition parties: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Labour Party (LP) and the Rabiu Kwankwaso-led New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) for appointments to give them and their supporters sense of belonging and to fulfill his promises of inclusiveness.
But in what seemed to be a fresh battle for the soul of the Labour Party, both factions had taken their positions on the possibility to accept Tinubu’s hands of fellowship.
Speaking with THISDAY at the weekend, the National Publicity Secretary of the Julius Abure led-NWC of Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, said accepting Tinubu’s hand of fellowship would only amount to ceding the party’s mandate, which is currently being currently challenged in the court.
Obiora, while declaring that no member of the OBIdient family would accept an offer he described as Greek Gift, said Tinubu’s ideals were opposite of what Peter Obi and the Labour Party stood for.
“No! No member of the OBIdient family or by extension, the Labour Party would want to work with the present government led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Why? Because, we believe that we won the election and we are in the court presently to get our mandate back.
“It’s not possible for anybody from this side to think of accepting such an offer. Again, the man called Tinubu does not have any agenda for the nation. In his 24 hours into the government, he has literally pushed the people into a tumorous situation. There is crisis everywhere,” he said.
But Dr. Abayomi Arabambi, the embattled National Publicity Secretary of the party, said nothing was wrong with the offer made by Tinubu if the intentions were genuine.
Arabambi said even though Labour Party was challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election in the court, the peace and unity of the country was sacrosanct and must be guarded by every means possible.
“The winner-takes-all mentality among the political class has contributed largely to ethnic and political division witnessed in the country today.
“I will say this time around, no voice should be left unheard. No one should be left behind. No one should be subject to any form of exclusion. For democracy to be sustainable, I believe that it should be all inclusive.
“Democracy is dependent on the participation and representation of all citizens no matter the group they belong to. I am sure this what Tinubu is out to achieve,” he said.