The aftermath of the last general elections has continued to create waves across the political parties.
The latest victim is Mrs. Faith Yinka Alufohai, Chairperson of the Labour Party in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State. She has been sacked by the 11 Wards and Local Government party officials on grounds of “misappropriation of party funds, anti party activities, high-handedness” amongst others.
According to her accusers, her action led to the party’s poor showing in the last general elections.
The party’s decision was taken after a meeting held in Sabo-gidda Ora, on the 5th of April, 2023. In attendance were party faithfuls and Obi-dient adherents, from the 11 who signed the petition for her removal and suspension from the party.
Mrs. Alufohai was accused of attending series of meetings with the two major opposition political parties, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC, where she allegedly traded off the candidates of the LP.
A glance at the petition addressed to the State Chairman, Comrade Kelly Ogbaloi and the National Chairman of the Party stated as follows:
“Petition Against Mrs Yinka Faith Alufokhai by Owan West LGA and Wards Executives Members and Leaders Of Labour Party (LP).
“We the undersigned Owan West Local Government Area, ward executives and leaders hereby demand the immediate removal of Mrs Yinka Faith Alufokhai from her position as the owan west LGA Labour Party (LP) chairperson before proper congress is conducted in June.
“This has become sacrosanct and very urgently important for Labour Party in Owan West to revive and regain back it numerical strength and glory.
“As it is today, LP Owan West is gasping for breath because of the maladministration, nonchalant, autocratic, nepotistic and insubordinate styles of her leadership.
“For instance, Yinka F Alufokhai does not and has never call for executives meeting, she single handedly take decisions and execute them all by herself without recourse to any leader or executive member.
“Money was brought to the LGA during House of Assembly election, she single handedly decide to purchase bags of rice with the money, did the sharing and distribution without consulting the house.
“Nobody knows the actual amount brought and the sharing formula she used and this has set the party on fire. People are decamping and many others are at the verge of decamping also to other parties, and this is a party we have spent so much time and resources to build, therefore, we cannot allow the party to die completely hence this action.
“During the presidential election a certain man brought bags of beans to the LGA. She did the sharing and distribution herself, no leader or executives member knows the actual quantity and the sharing formula.
“Mrs. Alufokhai have no understanding of what political party is, neither does she comply in any form with democratic principles, she does not have team spirit.
“What we have experienced through out the time she has been piloting the affairs of our great party in Owan West is autocratic in nature and the people are not ready to take that any further.
“She changes plans, people, offices and positions at will without involving members of the party. Faith herself was handpicked and imposed on Owan West without party congress by the State Chairman, Comrade Kelly Ogbaloi because both of them from Owan East have a relationship.
“As such, that is no longer acceptable especially for our Labour Party that is riding on the mantra of “changing the narratives.”
“She had sidelined all leaders, elders and executive members, without recognition for anyone in attending meetings at both senatorial and state level and will not relate agendas of such meetings to party members as if she’s the only person that makes up the party. How can such a party grow?
“Before House of Assembly election she attended series of meetings with Comrade Philip Suaibu of PDP at Auchi but refused to discuss or disclose agenda of such meetings with any party member.
“She accepted attending meetings with the Deputy Governor before the group of ward Chairmen and some LGA executive members that went to her house early hours of Sunday, the 26th day of march 2023. Money was allegedly given to her to support PDP in that particular election.
“This of course is anti party activities which we cannot condole not even from a leader. Also, before presidential election, she was visited by Professor Julius Ihonvbere, a member of All Progressives Congress, APC, which she also confirmed but as usual, hid it from members until confronted at that meeting, and money was also allegedly given to her to mobilize party members to vote for him.
“How can a party chairman de-market candidates of the same party she is heading? That’s exactly what Mrs. Yinka Alufokhai did before and during National Assembly election. She queried a member that posted Erasmus Ikhide’s campaign posters and ordered that it should be pulled down immediately.
“She was telling people secretly that Erasmus cannot win election and that is the major reason we lost that election. Who know if she voted for Erasmus?
“She’s power drunk! Holding three positions in the party at the same time. She was the chairman LP Owan West, Deputy Director South South wing of Peter Obi Mass Movement and the State Cordinator of the same movement.
“Despite several appeal from members and stakeholders to relinquish some positions for effectiveness she refused. No wonder she could not make meaningful impact. Such attitude of hers is having serious adverse effects on the party.
“Because of her nonchalant and selective attitude, she put aside executive members and impersonate them with hand picked individuals whenever the need arises.
“These individuals had been parading themselves as executive members, one of them is one Mr. Odion Ifidon that she’s parading as the LGA secretary whereas the authentic and generally known and accepted Secretary is Mr. Ojeamien from ward 10.
“Another of such is Mrs. Gladys from ward three (3) the same ward of the LGA Treasurer. She had been paraded as the LGA women leader and the actual women leader is Madam Emily Eboigbe from ward 11.
“She does not imbibe the principle of accountability. On the 30th of December 2022, campaign fund lunching was organized by the general members of the party, monies for logistics was contributed by party members, only her account number was displayed on the invitation letter to receive all donations with a promise to print and present statement of account after the exercise but no account has been rendered either about the fund raising lunching and all other monetary transactions like the money contributed for one million man march.
“What about the money contributed by various wards towards the funeral of Engr. Eric Edegbai, former chairman of ward two? What about money released for election duties by the State office of LP and many more?”
Specifically, a Hundred Thousand Naira each was said to have been disbursed to the eleven wards in the Local Government for Presidential and National Assembly elections but she only gave Forty Five Naira Each to each wards.
“On many occasions, she call for meetings; allow people to lay down their time, spend their money and energy only to announce to them that the meeting has been cancelled. She summoned emergency meetings, no effective communication, notification and procedural values all because of her egocentric nature and absolute lack of transparency.
“With her at the saddle, no meaningful success would be achieved in Labour Party in Owan West, hence the clarion call to salvage the party from the shackles and manacles of a deliberate dabbler and destabilising giant size egoist empress”, the petition reads.
The party leadership, in a press statement made available to press men in Benin City detailed how Mrs. Alufohai used her personal account number domiciled with the First Bank Plc to recieved millions of naira from donors from the global Obi-dient movement and well meaning individuals without rendering accounts to the party leadership as against the party’s constitution. Mrs Alufohai Oluyinka account number 3102668839, with which she received the money from donors.
The leadership of the party called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other relevant security agencies to intervene and block her account so that proper and unhindered scrutiny can be carried on her First Bank account.