The crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) deepened on Wednesday as its faction led by Calistus Uju Okafor elected Chief Digar Ezenwafor as its presidential candidate in Abuja.
Ezenwafor, who is a former Anambra chairman of the LP, emerged at a National Convention of the factional body in Abuja.
The Julius Abure-led faction of the party had earlier elected a former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, as its presidential candidate for 2023.
In his acceptance speech, Ezenwafor said he was on a rescue mission to salvage the country from all its socio-economic challenges.
Ezenwafor said: “I am on a rescue mission to free Nigeria from social, economic and political crises currently bedevilling it.”
He said having understudied two former Anambra Governors and being the chairman of the party in the State, he had what it takes to lead the country to economic freedom.
“We are not after experiences in the executive office because those who were there before and had requisite experiences had failed us,” he said.
He also said he had a brighter chance of defeating the presidential candidates of other political parties being a young man with energy and vigour.
Okafor, who presided over the convention, said the party had earlier in the week, successfully concluded the national and houses of assembly primaries.
He said Ezenwafor’s name as well as the lists of other candidates that had emerged so far, would be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, on Friday.
He reiterated the readiness of his faction’s national working committee to open discussions with former governor Peter Obi, who had emerged as the candidate of the Julius Abure-led faction of the party.
Okafor insisted he had nothing against the person of Obi but maintained the former Governor was in the faction of the party whose leadership was allegedly not recognised by the LP’s constitution.
He told delegates the constitution of the party recognise him as the acting national chairman of the LP following the sack of its late chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam.
He said: “I am fighting for Justice. There’s no where in our constitution that says Abure, in his capacity as the acting national secretary can take over the national chairmanship position when we have the deputy national chairman and six zonal vice chairmen.
“We don’t have anything against Peter Obi but he should know that the leader of the faction he belongs to, is an acting national secretary while I Calistus Uju Okafor remained the acting national chairman. The court will soon remove them. I am very open to any discussion for the right thing to be done.”