By Charles Akpeji
Taraba State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has suspended its chairperson, Esther Gulum, from office for allegedly diversion of N21 million campaign fund.
Also, she got a no confidence vote, yesterday, from the executive council, who alleged that she misappropriated over N21 million meant for campaigns.
The State Organising Secretary, Peter Philip, said Gulum’s six months suspension became necessary to enable the party’s leadership investigate the allegation.
Apart from the alleged diversion of fund, which was meant for the party’s presidential rally in the state, Gulum was also accused of running the party affairs alone with her immediate family members.
The use of personal accounts to run the affairs of the party in the state, according to Philip, also necessitated the action taken by the party’s executive against her.
Her sins were legion, The Guardian learnt, as she was accused of engaging in anti-party activities and working for the state government since ascending the leadership position of the party in the state.
“Lack of accountability and transparency in running the affairs of the party in the state,” they said, was the order of the day.
But Gulum claimed to be innocent of the allegations against her.
While admitting that N17 million was approved for the rally, she said N9 million was released to her for the exercise, which account, she had rendered to the exco.
She said: “It is childish and false to say that I was given N20 million by Peter Obi’s campaign council and I embezzled it. I was not given N20 million; I was given only N9 million and I used it judiciously with a clear record.”
According to her, the allegations against her can be the handiwork of a youth leader, who wants to soil her good name and image in his desperation to make money.
“It is also false to say that I am running the party office with my immediate family and that I engage in anti-party. I want the national secretariat and all supporters of our party to disregard the information, as it is purely false, targeted at tarnishing my good image and that of my family. I am a loyal party woman and I am Obedient,” she added.