Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, a former candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos State, says he still remains the authentic candidate of the party in the March 18 Gubernatorial Election.
Awamaridi, who was also the National Coordinator, Labour Party Concerned Stakeholders, made the disclosure in Lagos on Thursday at a news briefing to round off his electioneering campaign.
Awamaridi said that he never withdrew from the governorship race as claimed by some National leaders of the party.
He said that he was the party’s bonafide flag-bearer in Lagos state, haven emerged winner in the state primary election in July 2022.
He said that his name was forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the party leadership.
“In July 2022, INEC published the name of Labour party candidate and the name is Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi based on the fact that I won the primaries.
“The party forwarded the name to INEC around July 5 and INEC published the name around July 25 and that name subsists.
“Later on, I discovered that the name has changed and some party leaders decided to organise a substitution primary and claimed that I have withdrawn,” he alleged.
Awamaridi said he had replied INEC that he had not withdrawn from the race, adding that a candidate could only withdraw on a signed Letter of Oath or Form 11B of INEC.
He said that the party was trying to change a lot of things in the country and INEC irregularities would not be excluded.
He alleged that the the party had issues of forged documents in 22 states, including Edo and Ebonyi , in connivance with some INEC officials.
He, therefore, urged the Nigeria Police to look into the issue of forged documents by some national officers and charge them to court.
According to Awamaridi, the matter of his candidacy is before the Supreme Court.
However, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of Labour Party, Dayo Ekong, has refuted claims that Awamaridi was the party’s candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Ekong told newsmen that Awamaridi was being used by the opposition party to cause confusion in Labour party.
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