The embattled Labour Party Governorship candidate in Taraba State, Philip Munlip has opened up about writing his withdrawal letter under duress.
According to him, he was under pressure by the party’s chairperson in the state, Easter Gulmu to withdraw from March 18 election.
Naija News understands that Munlip disclosed on Channels Television’s, Sunrise Daily on Monday that Gulmu kept pressuring him to step down because she had her preferred candidate, which is Joel Ikenya.
Munlip explained that “I wrote the withdrawal letter under duress, but the court ruled the withdrawal out in my favour, the chairperson placed me under pressure and I didn’t know she had gone to the national office for her to buttress her claims that I had withdrawn.”
The embattled governorship candidate advanced that plans were underway for his replacement by the party leadership, noting that he was replaced almost immediately after he withdrew.
He stated that “She (Gulmu) informed them telling them that I have withdrawn from the race and I have written the letter and a fresh primary should be conducted which was not true.
“After the fresh primary was redone, The Labour Party decided not to properly inform me about the arrangement. It was a direct plan to hitch me out, I was not officially informed of the primary, I went to the national to ask for the letter of the primaries and I was not given.“
Speaking about why he endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, in the state, Kefas Agbu, Munlip pointed out that “The court is yet to declare its judgement and that is why I am endorsing the PDP candidate, I took the decision unanimously as the leader of the support group since the decision of the court had not been made.”
Meanwhile, the party’s leadership on Saturday distanced itself from his endorsement of Agbu while describing Munlip’s action as “mischief and blackmail” for personal gain.
However, the Secretary of the Labour Party in Taraba, James Benjamin, said a resolution over the new governorship candidate had been met and the winner of the re-conducted poll, Joel, is ready and has plans to win the 25 per cent requirement in two-thirds of the state.
He stated that “He has plans and strategy to win 25 per cent, he is someone that is focused, he is somebody who knows what he wants to do when he wants to do it. He has his plans for Taraba.
“He has been in the grassroots politics, he has been in the house of reps, senatorial and was a minister in Goodluck Jonathan administration.
“Senator Joel Is ready for this election, he has the track record, he has the character, and he has the capacity to lead the people.
“It is within his right to do that (to withdraw), and to take that decision but it is not scattering the party in any way, the party is still focused, and we are closing rounds together with the PCC, with all our candidates and with all our stakeholders, with all local government chairmen.”