National Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure, on Monday called for complete electoral reforms in order to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and regain the trust the people’s trust in the system.
Abure made the call when LP members in the National Assembly paid the party leadership a courtesy call at its Secretariat in Abuja.
The National Chairman said, “ This visit is to show that we are one, formidable opposition party. We thank God that we retained our strength in the House. I’m also facing the same challenge.
“You have been the symbol of the people, you will not abandon them. Many have been killed and maimed, you have become the voice of the voiceless. I hope that you will continue to keep faith.
“Opposition is the soul of democracy. It is only in this part of the world that we see opposition as an anthem. There must be a strong opposition for the survival of democracy.
“You are the symbol of a new beginning. Moving forward as a party, we think that a reform of the electoral system is necessary.
“We need a holistic electoral reform. I will say that LP with your support we will begin with mobilisation, political education is important. Leadership is not only the problem, followership is also the problem. The party will be with you in all your struggles and challenges.”
In his remarks, Deputy House Minority Whip of the House of Representatives who led the group, said that LP, led by Mr Peter Obi, had performed the magic of the century by turning the country’s political landscape just within eight months.
He said:“This visit is a courtesy visit in the sense that within 8 or 9 months, the leadership of the party led by Peter Obi, did the miracle of the century.
“A party without structure was able to shake the country. This visit was delayed because of court cases. It is to thank Obi, and the National Working Committee and to appreciate the party for giving us the platform.
“We got 35 seats within 8 months and we are looking forward to more. Most of us have settled in. We are working very well. Our colleagues have been supportive. Be rest assured that we will not disappoint this party. None of us will leave this party.”
He further said, “All of us owe our victory to Obi’s goodwill and the NWC. I will remain in opposition until Obi becomes president and I pray it will come to pass.”
Also speaking, Afam Ogene, Leader of the LP caucus in the House of Reps said that they (the lawmakers), were aware of the expectations of Nigerians as an opposition.
Ogene said they had resolved to roll out plans in January on how to engage in constructive opposition in the country.
He disclosed that after the Presidential petitions, the party lost three seats but gained two, which puts its total number of seats at the House at 34.
He said: “We know our expectations. Opposition doesn’t mean fight but alternate viewpoints. We are ready to put forward these viewpoints. Members were busy attending petitions. We can assure you that upon resumption in January, we will roll out programmes on how to engage in opposition.
We will not be audio opposition but in truth and spirit.” He on behalf of his colleagues appealed to the party’s NWC to carry out a postmortem on presidential and National and State Assembly petitions in order to prepare for the future.