Anambra: Labour Party members decry deceit as Tony Nwoye’s empowerment programme crumbles

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Many members of the Labour Party in Anambra State were left disappointed and frustrated on Sunday as the much touted empowerment programme of Senator Tony Nwoye representing Anambra North failed to take place.

The angry party members who assembled at the DMGS field, Onitsha, went home angry and disappointed.

The party faithfuls who were invited from the 21 local government areas of Anambra State claimed that they were short-changed and misled to converge at the venue only to go home with nothing, not even transport fares.

Patrick Obiakor who spoke to newsmen said he and others travelled far away from Nzam just like others under the scorching sun without food and water while Senator Nwoye dined with members of the clergy and traditional rulers after the thanksgiving service both at the All Saints Cathedral and Catholic Basilica, disregarding the party faithful who came for the empowerment early in the day.

“It was like the more you look, the less you see”, he said.

Reporters sighted several bags of 10kg rice, rickety wooden boats, sewing machines and other empowerment items displayed on the pitch but were eventually carted away while the party faithful were asked to go home and expect to collect their empowerment materials from their local government Labour officials.

Reporters also sighted groups scrambling and fighting over coolers of cooked rice which hardly went round a canopy while aged men and women fled the scene.

Hundreds of uniformed members of the Catholic Women Organisation, Catholic Men Organisation and members of the Laity Council who gathered in their numbers also left the venue in anger as most of them were heard saying that they had been used for political gimmickry.

Some traditional rulers and red cap chiefs were equally left in the lurch and were dumbfounded.

While addressing the congregation at the Basilica, Onitsha during the thanksgiving service, Senator Nwoye said his victory as a Senator was a prayer answered as vindicated in his anointment by the church.

He pointed out that though he came from a humble background, that God has been paving his way to attain his present level after so many political failures.

He spoke of his university days where he was behind the arrest of cult members in the school and his misfortune of not graduating early as a medical doctor.

The traditional ruler of Onitsha Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe and members of his cabinet,ex Governor Peter Obi, Chief Victor Umeh,traditional rulers and other prominent people were present.

In a related development, former Director General of Peter Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe, has dumped the Labour Party.

In his resignation letter, shared with journalists on Monday, Okupe cited ideological differences post-2023 election as the basis for his departure from the party.

Okupe was in December 2023 convicted by the Federal High Court in Abuja after being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for money laundering to the tune of N700m.

He was accused of illegally receiving money from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from the funds meant for arms procurement

He was jailed for two years but the judge placed an option of a fine of N13m, which he took and avoided time in prison.

Okupe a day after his conviction for money laundering, announced his withdrawal from the campaign of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, but vowed his support and loyalty to the party’s flagbearer.

In his resignation, Okupe said, “I submit herewith my letter of resignation from the Labour Party with effect from today. You will recall that our flag bearer, 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.”

He added, “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 Organisation.”

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