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  • Politics
  • Updated: April 21, 2024

Opposition Labour Party urged to prioritise democratic values

Opposition Labour Party urged to prioritise democratic value

Ezenwa Nwagwu, the executive director of the Peers Advocacy and Advancement Centre (PAACA), a civil society organisation (CSO), has called on the Labour Party (LP) to enhance its democratic structures and procedures to address the challenges it is currently facing.

In an interview with reporters in Abuja on Saturday, Nwagwu emphasized that the LP, under the leadership from Dan Nwanyanwu to the present, has not functioned effectively as a political party.

He pointed out that there has been a lack of efforts to promote democratic principles within the party during this period.

Ezenwa highlighted that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) initially registered the party, with the certificate of registration still in the possession of the NLC.

He further noted that the LP has failed to invest in its role as a political entity, often merely serving as an alternative for individuals unable to secure nominations in mainstream political parties.

“The challenge with political party formation in Nigeria has to do with them being more vote-catching machines than political parties.

“The Labour Party has not invested in itself as a political party, it presented itself as a vehicle for those who could not find space in the two dominant political parties.

“They have not worked to deepen political practices within the party, so the owners of the party which is the Nigerian labour Congress has the responsibility to redirect the way the party was being run, and that is the conflict.

“It is the conflict between ideology and merchants; people who just want to trade and those who want to run a political party.

“It is a party with so much promise but is still what Doyin Okupe called Special Purpose Vehicle for those who want to run elections.

“I wish that the conflict engenders a resolution in which the real owners of the party – NLC, will take it over and then present to Nigerians a true party that is Labour-centric, that thinks and operates with the welfare of the masses in mind.”

Explaining further, he said people were not rooted to the political party, adding that 90 per cent who contested under the Labour Party and won election joined through waivers.

“So in what way are they connected to the identity of the party? That is why in the national assembly where you should have different views, position and ideology, there is none.

“I should not just be a member of a political party, I should subscribe to the programmes that the party presents.

“The Labour Party is Anti-IMF and World Bank, their presidential candidate is a market person interested in privatisation and commercialisation, can you see the disconnect.

“And this is why the Nigerian Labour Congress has decided that it is time it redirects the party back to the purpose for which it was founded.” 

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