The faction loyal to Apapa had on Wednesday suspended 12 members including the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Obiora Ifo and Okonkwo.
The national spokesperson for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Kenneth Okonkwo, has described his purported suspension by the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party as comical.
The National Executive Council of the party – the faction loyal to Apapa – at its meeting on Wednesday suspended 12 members including the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Obiora Ifo and Okonkwo.
The 12 members were suspended for alleged anti-party activities and unruly behaviour against the Apapa leadership, which include issuing statements without the authority of the party.
Their suspension is contained in a communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting held in Bauchi State, North Central Nigeria.
Okonkwo said it is meant to make people laugh.
Okonkwo said this on Thursday night in an exclusive interview on News Central's Political HQ.
The Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council spokesperson said that the Apapa-led faction of the party is a department of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) pushed forward to distract the party from pursuing its presidential mandate in court.
He said that Apapa and his group are not members of the party by its constitution and that while they were in a hotel paid for by their paymasters, he (Okonkwo) and all the Labour Party state chairmen, state secretaries and members of the National Executive Council (NEC) were holding a meeting about the party at the party’s national headquarters.
He said there is no crisis nor factions in the party, adding that the process by which national officers of the party would emerge is clearly stated in its constitution – Article 13 (1)(b)(iv).
He said, "It is amusing. They are political clowns and they make people to laugh. As they were burrowing in Bauchi like rodents that the NLC Chairman described them as, so they are just burrowing from one hotel to the other paid for them by their paymasters who are the ruling party.
"They are now a department of the ruling party, clearly functioning to distract us from chasing our presidential mandate which Nigerians gave to us, and which we must recover through the court.
"So, these people are simply a distraction. If it is not a distraction, why are they targeting a presidential spokesperson? Simple, to distract from speaking about reclaiming our mandate.
"How can some group of people who are not members of the Labour Party by the constitution of the Labour Party will ever have the right to suspend anybody?
"As they were doing that in Bauchi, I was attending a meeting in the national headquarters of the national office of the Labour Party. I was with all the state chairmen, all the state secretaries, all the members of the NEC, and we were having a meeting about our party and they were burrowing in Bauchi. So, who has the right to suspend who?
"To state one thing clearly, there is no crisis in the Labour Party. There is no faction in the Labour Party, because the process by which national officers of the Labour Party emerged is there, clearly stated in the constitution of the Labour Party, and I'm talking about article 13 (1)(b)(iv).
"It is only the national convention that has the right to elect or remove the national officers of the Labour Party. And if there is a vacancy among the national officers, it is the NEC by article 13 (2)(xvi) that has the right to replace any national officer that was removed. Is there anybody among them that was elected by the national convention?"