The leadership of Labour party has called on the Nigeria Police and Department of State Security to invite embattled former National publicity secretary of the party and spokesman of the Lamidi Apapa-faction, Abayomi Arabambi, over allegation that LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was after his life.
Arabambi had accused the party’s National Youth Leader, Kennedy Ahanotu, of sending threat messages to him in the build up to last Wednesday’s assault on Apapa outside the court premises.
The PUNCH reported that some aggressive supporters believed to be loyal to the National Chairman, Julius Abure, strongly resisted journalists from interviewing the Apapa-led faction.
The group waited to block the interview with Apapa and booed him while chanting “Ole” (thief).
To curtail the chaos, the police had to ward off the determined protestors who followed him and attempted to block him from entering his car to leave the premises.
A furious Arabambi had insisted that the attack could not have occurred without the alleged collusion and knowledge of Obi.
His statement was also corroborated by Apapa, who fingered Obi and Abure, as sending the thugs that assaulted and humiliated him at the tribunal.
The factional chairman, who featured on Arise TV on Thursday, bemoaned that he was shown the threat message threatening to “deal with him” if he appeared in court.
“There was a text message from one of the groups that if I should appear they are going to deal with me and they actually executed that text. That’s why I accuse Peter Obi and Aburi to have committed the act…,” he stated.
Reacting in a joint statement issued in Abuja by Ahanotu and LP National Secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk, respectively, the party described the accusation as “preposterous”.
They also threatened to petition the DSS and police authorities to invite him for questioning.
The statement read, “We are going ahead to make a formal report to the Nigerian Police and other security agencies of the grave dimension which these anti-democratic elements are taken in their inordinate attempt to stifle democracy. Labour Party is demanding that Arabambi must come up with evidence and facts that Ahanotu is under instruction to visit him violence.
“We are challenging him to make public the said conversation he had with our National Youth Leader to prove the allegation of threat to life from our leaders. We see such baseless attempt to defame our principal and that of our National Youth Leader as a last kick of a dying horse. Arabambi must be reminded that those who fetch ants infested firewood invite lizards to their abode.
“We want to restate that neither His Excellency Peter Obi nor any other person from Labour Party has or will ever contemplate to influence or stimulate any such response to Apapa from Nigerians who already knew that Apapa, Arabambi and their cohorts have been heavily compromised to thwart the proceedings in the Tribunal.
“He is renowned to be the only governor in Nigeria who moved around without a bullet proof car. For anyone to imagine, suggest or even contemplate to associate him with act of violence is pure mischief taken too far and this must be addressed.”
When notified about LP’s petition to the DSS, Arabambi appeared unperturbed, saying he is not afraid of anybody.
The spokesman disclosed that he has his evidence, some of which have already been published in the print media.
He said, “I am planning to have a full press conference over it. But let me quickly repeat again that my life was threatened in court the last time. Kennedy Ahanotu sent me a text message that I will be severely dealt with if I showed up. I still have the message with me. And we were dealt with. We were thoroughly beaten in the presence of Peter Obi.
“Ahanotu said Obi did not like me and I am not a member of Labour Party. Can you imagine? That is a tenant challenging a landlord. I am telling you that Obi was there live and direct when they were dealing with us. You also heard the acting national chairman saying on television saying Obi gave the directive.
“Even after the incident, Obi did not give me chance to pull a call through because he said he doesn’t know us. A tenant saying he doesn’t know his landlord? So when did he become a member of Labour Party? Obi can’t be a tenant and be challenging us from his master bedroom. It can’t work. As I am talking to you, I have received over 15 calls from people I don’t knowing threatening me. I have reported to the IGP already. I quoted all their numbers and did an open advert in the dailies on the threat to my life.
“I am also using this opportunity to ask the DSS, Police to put Obi and Abure under house arrest over plans to scuttle Asiwaju’s inauguration. I want to security operatives to be checking the Labour Party secretariat from May 26 for strange movement. We have heard they are recruiting miscreants. This is democracy. Nobody should be allowed to derail it.”
Although Arabambi disclosed that he received the intelligence from some of his loyalists in the party, our correspondent could not independently verify the claim.