LABOUR PARTY MAY NOT FIELD PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
FINANCIAL constraint may have derailed plans by the Labour Party (LP) to field a presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections, according to the party's Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja while receiving the former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), Timi Alaibe, into the LP, Nwanyanwu said the party was not considering fielding a presidential candidate because it lacked the huge financial resources needed to have a strong showing at the polls.
However, Nwanyanwu said the development would not douse the LP's ambition, adding that the party is targeting winning in 10 states.
His words: 'Like I have said at many fora, presidential election is not for small boys. That is the truth in the light of what is happening in Nigeria. There are 120,000 polling booths in the country and we are expected to have two observers at each station. That translates to N240 million.
'Apart from this, we are expected to buy buses for campaign and have campaign offices in the entire 36 states of the federation, including the FCT. Nobody can contest presidential elections on face book, twitter and other social networks without having offices in the states.
'However, the party is not totally foreclosing fielding a presidential candidate if miracle happens and the fund is available. But we want to put our energies into having more governors and we are targeting winning 10 states. We want to build our party from the bottom up'.
The LP chairman, who lauded Alaibe's contributions to the relative peace in the Niger Delta, described his coming into the party as 'significant'.
He added: 'Yes, there have been talks between the party and Alaibe and today, those talks are no longer rumours but reality.
I have always said that there are a few good people in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but those few good people must get out of that party to be relevant and useful to their people.
'One of the few good people in the PDP is Timi Alaibe who went into the creeks to restore peace to the Niger Delta. We are convinced that he will deliver on his promise because he has a history of good performance'.
Alaibe, who submitted his expression of interest form for the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State on the platform of the LP, said his decision to team up with the party was informed by the high level of resilience it has shown since its establishment.
He said he was in the gubernatorial race to free the Bayelsa people from 'the current ineptitude leadership' ruling the state.
Alaibe added: 'Having withdrawn my membership from the PDP, it is with a sense of responsibility now that I seek to contest for governorship race in Bayelsa State.
'I see myself as an agent of change for the rebirth of quality leadership in Bayelsa State. I will never let our great party down and I pledge to deliver Bayelsa State in the spirit of one man, one vote. We shall win mountain-slide. The process of change has started'.