Labour Party suspends ex-speaker of Edo house of assembly

Elizabeth Ativie

The Labour Party in Edo has suspended the membership of a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie who along with some other persons had appeared in a video which captured the purported swearing-in of a 17-member caretaker committee for the party in the state.

In a stakeholders meeting in Benin City on Saturday, the state chairman of the party disclosed that Ativie was suspended in her ward, Ward 4, Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State on May 4th and the suspension was subsequently ratified at the local government area level on May 30.

The letter communicating Ativie’s suspension from her ward as signed by the ward chairman Charles Usiesefe and ward secretary, Mike Ighile, partly reads:

“The executives of Labour Party, Ward (4) Uhunmwode LGA after due consideration of your gross anti-party activities and insubordination have approved your suspension as a member of Ward 4 in Uhunmwode local government area,” the statement read.

“While this suspension is with immediate effect, you are advised to restrain from holding out or parading yourself as a member of the Labour Party, Ward 4, Uhunmwode LGA.”

The candidate of the party for the September 21 Edo governorship election, Olumide Akpata who was also in the meeting advised members of the party in the state to stay focused and ignore distractions so as to pursue the goal of winning the election.

Akpata disclosed that he was not aware of any legal instrument from the relevant organ at the national level of the party informing the Labour Party in Edo State of the dissolution of its state working committee or the inauguration of a leadership different from the Kelly Ogbaloi -led state working committee.

Akpata noted that in the absence of such a formal document, it is only advisable that status quo antebellum is maintained.

“Remind yourself, what do our rules say? You have to be objective, what do our rules say? Is there an instrument that informs us of the change of our state working committee, I haven’t seen one.

“Is there a procedure prescribed by our constitution on how this can be done? Yes. we need to interrogate whenever that instrument comes, if it ever comes, and whether the procedure was duly followed.

“For now, the gold standard will be to maintain status quo ante bellum, which is the situation we were in,” he stated.

He went on to describe the situation the party was in before the recent events, which involved a state working committee led by Kelly Ogbaloi.