Doyin Okupe resigns from Labour Party, gives reasons

Doyin Okupe

The former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe has resigned his membership in the party.

Okupe announced his resignation in a letter made available to journalists on Monday.

The letter reads, “I submit herewith my letter of resignation from the Labour Party with effect from today. You will recall that our flagbearer, Mr Peter Obi, myself and others left the PDP abruptly and had to look for a Special Purpose Vehicle in which to contest the 2023 Presidential Elections.

“The Labour Party, your good self, and other members of your executives provided us with this veritable platform with no burdensomeness whatsoever and for which we were extremely grateful.

“We did contest the election on the platform of the Labour Party and lost. This makes it exceedingly difficult for me to continue to stay in the Labour Party which is ideologically rooted in the left of the center.

“I have been a rightist and a Liberal Democrat all my entire life. It is therefore this ideological conflict that makes me seek an exit so that I may continue my political activities with liberalism, sincerity and freedom.

“I wish to thank you in particular and other members of the leadership of the party for the cordiality and respect accorded to me as the Director General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organization.

“I wish you and the party success in your future endeavors. Long live the Labour Party. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your brother, friend and compatriot, Omooba (Dr Doyin Okupe, Former Director General Obi-Datti Campaign Organization.”

Recall that Okupe had in 2023, announced his withdrawal from the campaign of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

Okupe, 70, announced his resignation using his well-known Twitter handle.

“It’s time to step aside. But I am with PO and the Obidients and the Presidential Campaigns till God gives us victory in Jesus Name (sic),” tweeted Mr Okupe, reiterating his support for Mr Obi (“PO”) and supporters (“Obidients”).

In a letter attached to the tweet, Mr Okupe wrote to Mr Obi recalling a discussion both politicians had about the conviction, which the former called “personal travails”.

“You will recall I briefed you yesterday about my personal travails in seeking justice and clearing my name using the Nigerian Legal System to pursue same,” he wrote.

“I have invested too much energy in your campaign to allow my personal travails to become a source of distraction.

“In the circumstance, I have opted to step aside and plead that you appoint a new Campaign DG, who can continue the assignment with zero distractions.”

Okupe’s conviction on Monday by the Federal High Court in Abuja followed his prosecution by the anti-graft agency EFCC for money laundering to the tune of N700 million. He illicitly received money from former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki Sambi from the funds meant for arms procurement. EFCC charged.

He was jailed for two years, but the judge placed an option of a fine of N13 million, which he took and avoided time in prison.

Okupe, a trained physician, is a veteran politician who was the spokesperson for the Third Republic National Republican Convention in the early 1990s.

He was twice a presidential spokesperson, working for Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

His conviction for money laundering appeared as a setback for the Obi campaign, whose main thrust has been accountability and a break from the old order.