The battle between the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the secretariat staff deepened, yesterday, as the workers alleged that the National Working Committee (NWC) was “morally repugnant and obsessively corrupt”.
The staff also accused the leadership of the former opposition party of contributing to the defeat of erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election.
They had, on Friday, levelled some allegations against the PDP NWC which they asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, described the allegations as baseless.
But the workers launched a fresh attack, yesterday, in which they accused the PDP leadership of corrupt practices and helping to defeat Jonathan in the general elections.
The face-off between the main opposition party and the workers started after the latter said it would reduce its staff strength by 50 percent while cutting the salaries and allowances of the remaining workers by half.
In a letter from the PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, and addressed to all directors and administrative staff of the party, the leadership, while asking the workers to return to their respective states and prove their membership, also said, “Furthermore, establishment staff, who would remain, are required to obtain individual letters of revalidation from their state party chapters within one month of this circular as to their suitability for service at the national secretariat”.
Analyst said the staff rationalisation measures taken by the PDP leadership stemmed from the reality of a party that was once in government with access to large funds but now in opposition and cash strapped.
The embattled workers, under the aegis of the PDP Staff Welfare Association, yesterday, dismissed Metuh’s allegation that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was using them to destabilise the PDP.
“We are not surprised that the allegation will become the most fashionable means of covering tracks. The allegation is a wide window into the impressionable character of the man who has been in saddle as the party’s image-maker and an ominous signpost into the shallow manner the publicity of the party has been run”, the staff said in a statement signed by their Chairman, Ngozi Nzeh, and Secretary. Dan Ochu-Baiye.
“ We therefore place on record that the majority of the establishment staff of the PDP are not just unrepentant members of the party who have spent over 16 years in service; who have assimilated the PDP ethos as a way of political life, but are also the repository of the party’s institutional memory whose spirit can hardly succumb to the ephemerality of power loss”, they said.
“Who plays anti-party activities, you may ask? Staff members who are genuinely resisting the morally repugnant and obsessively corrupt NWC so that the PDP will survive or some NWC members who have the track record of anti-party activities especially the one who openly endorsed the APGA candidate in the 2013 Anambra governorship election, the subsequent denigration of PDP candidate and his chances on live television program less than 24hours after the election, even as the result was being awaited?
“Again, we have incontrovertible evidence that some of the NWC members worked assiduously against the presidential candidate of the PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan, in the last election in order to get back at the ex-President for rejecting them in strategic campaign offices, a development which came after they had squandered 450 million naira earlier approved by President Jonathan.
“We wish to therefore advise the NWC to respond to issues raised in our Friday press briefing without which the fortunes of the party will continue to dwindle.”