‘He’s operating illegal NWC’

ALL the 127 workers at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peoples Democratic Institute, PDI, have alleged that the embattled national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has been breaching the judgment of the Court of Appeal which reinstated the last National Working Committee of the party. Addressing a press conference in Abuja over their refusal to resume work, the PDP Establishment Workers comprising all the four cadres of staff, said they are afraid of their safety because of the strong opposition to the resumption of Modu Sheriff at the party’s secretariat. According to them, Modu Sheriff has been oprating with an illegal National Working Committee, in breach of the judgment of the court which directed that the status quo prior to the May 2016 national convention in Port Harcourt be maintained. “With the recent Appeal to the Supreme Court by the Makarfi leadership, the Board of Trustees has written a strong protest letter to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, against the re-opening of the Secretariat to avoid breakdown of law and order, a situation which again highlights the danger that staff will be exposed to if they resume duty as directed. “This notwithstanding, when the Acting National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff resumed duty, we were taken aback to find out that the judgment of the court is being implemented in the breach. Status quo ante May 21, 2016 means that the following officers should resume duty immediately. According to them, the reinstated NWC members are “Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Acting National Chairman; Prince UcheSecondus, Deputy National Chairman; Prof. AdewaleOladipo, National Secretary; Alh. Abubakar Mustapha, National Organising Secretary;Alh.Bala Buhari, National Treasurer; Elder BolajiAnani, National Financial Secretary; Victor Kwon, National Legal Adviser; Chief OlisaMetuh, National Publicity Secretary; Dr. KemaChikwe, National Women Leader; Alh. FataiAdeyanju, National Auditor; Hon. Onwe S. Onwe, Deputy National Secretary and Alh.MaibasiraAbdullahi National Youth Leader. “What we have seen is a situation where only three of the NWC members are working with the Acting National Chairman. These are Prof. AdewaleOladipo, National Secretary;Alh. Bala Buhari, National Treasurer and Alh. FataiAdeyanju, National Auditor. “The truth is that four members of the National Working Committee cannot form a quorum for a valid NWC meeting to hold (Please, see part viii, Section 2(4) of the PDP Constitution, (2012 as amended) which states inter-alia: “The quorum of the National Working Committee shall be 2/3 of the membership drawn from at least 2/3 of the Zones in the country and a simple majority shall pass any motion”. Two-third of the NWC members translate to 8eight members drawn from 2/3 of the zones in the country as against what is obtainable presently. “The situation is more frightening to us as staff in the light of the fact that those working with the Acting National Chairman are those handpicked through processes that are alien to the PDP Constitution. For example, Dr. Cairo Ojugboh, presently officiates as Deputy National Chairman when he was a candidate in the May 14, 2016 PDP Zonal Congress where he contested for the office of the National Vice Chairman, South South but lost to Hon. Emma Ogidi. “The same untoward recruitment holds for Hon. Bernard Mikko from South South geo political zone who now operates as Acting National Publicity Secretary as against Chief OlisaMetuh who is from South East. Other similar anomalous recruitments suffice in other offices. “The PDP workers also lamented that they are at the receiving end of the leadership crisis in the party. To put it mildly, one of the major casualties of this power struggle has been the staff of the PDP National Secretariat, many of whom have spent 17 years of their working life striving to establish and grow the bureaucracy of the Party. “They have witnessed their salaries whither away, receiving just about 32.50% of their 2015 salaries. Their housing, transport, and other allowances have all fallen into arrears with many members of staff thrown out of their accommodations by landlords. “Members of Staff are desirous of resuming work after having been made victim of problems they never caused but are concerned about their safety. “Following the Judgment validating the National Convention by FHC in Port Harcourt, members of staff were requested to resume duty in May/June, 2016. They did so. “In the few days we reported for work, we were harassed and intimidated by demonstrators and protesters. We were violently chased out of the offices, many had to run away leaving their personal belongings which we understand have now been vandalized by unknown persons. “Staffs are afraid that again, seeds are being sowed for violent contestations that would endanger their lives and properties.”