This was after Okupe announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down from the role following a judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that convicted him of violating the Money Laundering Act. In a letter addressed to the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, the ex-aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan said he was stepping down because he didn’t want his travails to be a source of distractions to the campaign. He wrote, “Dear Peter, you will recall that I briefed you yesterday (Monday) about my travails in seeking justice and clearing my name using the Nigerian legal system to pursue same.
“I have invested too much in your campaign to allow my travails to become a source of distraction. “In the circumstances, I have decided to step aside and plead that you appoint a new campaign DG who can continue the assignment with zero distractions. God bless you and your family.” Reacting, Tanko, in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, monitored by our correspondent on Tuesday, said the party was yet to have a list of names that could replace Okupe.
He said, “Well, we have not officially made a pronouncement even regards the resignation that you read out on this particular show. When the campaign council meets, they will decide on what to do and how to do it next. So, those particular names will also probably be speculations until when the campaign council meets. Because we are not independent people or where one singular person will take a decision.
It is a collective decision for the interests of the Nigerian people. On how the LP felt when it learnt of the court judgment against Okupe, Tanko said, “When the judgment came, we only went back to look at the plus or minuses of the particular pronouncement, and looking at it with the view of how we’ll come stronger. “But collectively, the campaign council or the party has not made any pronouncement in regards to that, only our presidential candidate who made it clear that nothing will deter him from continuing to fight for the Nigerian people, continue to fight for the collective interest of Nigeria and ensure that Nigeria is back on track.
This is the collective target and we are not derailing from that.” Meanwhile, the National Deputy Campaign Manager, Obi-Datti presidential campaign headquarters, David Balami, on Tuesday described as untrue his alleged replacement of Okupe as the Director-General. Balami dissociated himself from the report in a statement signed by his Spokesperson, Olusegun Dosunmu. He described the publication with the caption, ‘Labour Party may announce Isaac Balami as Okupe’s replacement’ as fallacious, baseless and false.
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