News coming from the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja further confirms that the former ruling party is bleeding externally and internally. Two months after the party parted with power, having lost the presidential election, it is still writhing around as a result of the wounds of external conquest aggravated by internal injuries.
Workers at the PDP base are in a foul mood, following an official notification by its National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, threatening their bread and butter. Their reaction to information that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) is planning a 50 per cent downsizing of the secretariat personnel and a related 50 per cent pay cut has further exposed the PDP to public ridicule.
It was an embarrassing and humiliating lesson for the party as the PDP Staff Welfare Association staged a protest at the secretariat on July 31. The workers threatened to prompt investigation of the NWC members by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
In an exchange of gunfire, things were said that were perhaps better left unsaid. A statement issued by an aide to the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said: “We are aware that anti-PDP forces have easily found a handful of disgruntled PDP staff as willing tools to attack Chief Metuh with a view to bringing him to public odium, distract him and deny our party a credible voice to propagate its positions.” More specifically, the statement said: “This is not unexpected given the role of the National Publicity Secretary in the rebuilding of our great party and how uncomfortable the ruling APC has been for his outspokenness.”
The desperate effort to drag the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) into PDP’s internal crisis failed to credibly address the central issues in the conflict. According to a statement by the workers’ association Chairman, Ngozi Eze, and the Secretary, Dan Ochu-Baiye, “indeed, labelling the staff of the PDP could be a veiled attempt to justify the huge sum of N70 million which Metuh collected in July in the name of fighting the APC in the media.” Among other things, the workers accused Metuh of squandering “a whooping sum of N450m media fund” and demanded that the NWC members should account for over N12billion realised from the sale of nomination forms ahead of the general elections held this year.
The implication of the workers’ point of view is that the planned staff reduction and pay cut are unjustifiable. They must be wondering: With so much bread, why should the NWC members conceive a move that would definitely endanger the workers’ capacity to put food on the table?
It is noteworthy that the workers described the NWC as “morally repugnant and obsessively corrupt.” Word of advice from the workers: “We wish to therefore advise him and the NWC to respond to gritty issues raised in our press briefing without which the fortunes of the party will continue to dwindle.” The problem is: A word may not be enough for the unwise.