The crisis rocking the Labour Party took a new turn for the worst in Edo State following a violent mob attack against two officials of the Labour Party from the Lamidi Apapa faction by supporters of the Abure faction of the party who are loyal to Mr. Peter Obi.
The victims of the mob attacks were accused by the Obidients mob of attempting to organise a parallel Labour Party Gubernatorial Primary Election and Congress in Edo State. One of the victims was identified to be one Mr. Eragbe Anslem, the National youth leader of the Apapa-led faction.
In a viral video on the social media platform X, scores of youths were seen mercilessly beating the victims, one of whom is an elderly person. The attackers included a couple of women. Mr. Eragbe Anslem, who was suspended as National Youth Leader by Julius Abure was a Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 General Elections.
The mob after beating him forced him to grant an interview with bruises all over his face. Under a post on X by a popular Obidient with the handle @theserahibrahim, Labour Party supporters especially those loyal to Mr. Peter Obi and Julius Abure were seen hailing the violent mob action against their opponents from the Apapa faction.
This attack by Obidients against perceived opponents is not unusual. During the 2023 presidential election, voters who were accused of voting against the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi especially in the South East were subjected to violent attacks and intense verbal abuse.
After the electoral loss of Mr. Peter Obi and his subsequent petition at the presidential elections petition court, the factional chairman of the Labour Party was also subjected to physical abuse in the premises of the Appeal Court in Abuja and it took the intervention of security agents to prevent the Obidient mob at the time from lynching him.
Curiously, in all these incidences, Mr. Peter Obi who is the supposed leader of the party and on whose name, the Obidient movement is rooted has failed to call his supporters to order nor admonish them against the use of barbaric tactics of violence and mob action to settle political differences. It appears, Mr. Peter Obi in fact endorses such bullying tactics and violent mob action.
The use of violence by Labour Party supporters to settle disputes is increasingly making political observers to describe LP, especially the Obidient movement in the party as fascists. During the 2023 general elections, Obidients took online bullying to a record level. In the aftermath of the electoral loss of Mr. Peter Obi, it appears the online mob bullying is crystallising into offline mob violence against opponents.
So far, Mr. Peter Obi has failed to unify his party or settle any internal dispute in the party. It is uncertain how he will handle fallouts from governorship primaries in the upcoming off cycle elections in Edo, Ondo and most importantly Anambra State.