The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Staff Welfare Forum has demanded the `immediate and unconditional re-opening’ of the party’s National Secretariat by the Police.
The employees made the demand on Tuesday in Abuja during a peaceful protest in front of the national secretariat.
The Secretary of the Forum, Dan Ochubaiye, said the appeal became necessary in order to enable the party discharge its responsibilities.
“It may be recalled that no court in the country gave the order for the lock-down of the PDP National Secretariat by the Nigerian Police Force.
“We, therefore, demand the immediate and unconditional reopening of the Secretariat to allow the staffers to enter their offices for routine party activities.
“It is only fair and just for the staffers to be allowed into their legitimate offices while the Police are duty-bound to provide adequate security for them as provided in the Nigerian constitution.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that party’s national secretariat has remained locked-up for eight months.
The shutdown of the secretariat followed the lingering leadership crisis rocking PDP after its parallel non-elective conventions held in Port-Harcourt and Abuja in May 2016.
Mr. Ochubaiye also expressed concern over the delay in resolving the party’s lingering leadership crisis.
“The PDP staff welfare forum while appreciating the Judiciary again appealed to them to speedily dispense justice as concerns pending PDP cases before the court in order to save our democracy from gradually degenerating into a one party state.
“The forum frowned at the incessant petitions by a party in the case and described it as a delay tactic to subvert justice.
“The staff of the secretariat believe that the delay is only beneficial to the petitioner, who clearly is being sponsored by the (opposition) ruling party.
“The staff of the PDP National Secretariat hold the Judiciary in high esteem and believe in it to remain unbiased and dispense justice that will maintain the sanctity and independence of the rule of law and the court.’’
The employees, according to Mr. Ochubaiye, however, restate their loyalty to the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
“We call on all the organs and stakeholders in the party to urgently support the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee in all ramifications.
Mr. Ochubaiye, who did not disclose if PDP staffers were being owed salaries, said the situation of the employees was unfortunate after the party lost the last general elections.
“While commending the National Caretaker Committee for its efforts so far, the staff welfare committee commiserates with the families of its members that lost their lives during this uncertain period.
“It is the belief of staff that the demise of the staff was largely avoidable.’’
Contributing, a senior staff of the party, Samson Imafidon, said the demand for the reopening of the secretariat was informed by the need to start work in the new year and put an end to idleness.
“We are not people who will be comfortable at home even when you are paid salaries. We want to work.
“We are responsible staff our duty is to work for the party. Even if we are paid the whole money we needed and then we are not working, we are not comfortable at home and this is a new year.
“So, we felt it was unreasonable for anybody to think that we are comfortable at home and not working even when we are paid at the end of the month.
“We want to work and that is why we are here.”