‎Leadership crisis: Police Bar PDP Staff From Party Secretariat

‎Leadership crisis: Police Bar PDP Staff From Party Secretariat

Chris Steven, Abuja

There is no end is sight to the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , as armed Police men on Monday stopped staff working at the Wadata House Secretariat of the party from entering their respective offices.
The sealing off of the party secretariat by armed Police men which entered its second day, saw staff, who came to resume work milling around without direction this was as some of them gathered in small groups discussing the issues surrounding the crisis.
Not only were staff barred, visitors and also journalists covering the party were not allowed into the premises.

Tired of milling around the premises, some of the staff went back home, while those who parked their cars in the premises and travelled for the convention in Port Harcourt waited patiently to see if the Policemen would open the gate for them to take their cars.

A woman who works in the admin department of the party secretariat said she heard that the former governorship candidate of the party in Lagos, Mr Jimmy Agbaje has been tipped to lead the party.

Another staff of the party countered and said: “Agbaje cannot lead the party, he is too young. Chief Bode George will be better.”

Meanwhile, the party environs have recorded more human traffic than ever before as people trooped to the area to see things for themselves.

Also affected were the small businesses that thrive within and outside the premises. Some of the food vendors lamented poor sales, saying that only few Policemen on duty at the gate patronised them.

Journalists, who were hoping that
the Makarfi’s caretaker committee was coming to assume duty were disappointed, even the expected Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jubrin did not show up.

However, a member of the caretaker committee who pleaded anonymity hinted that their camp had been in a meeting at an undisclosed venue and will address press on Tuesday.

The embattled Senator Ali Modu Sheriff camp which promised to brief the press on Monday could not do so as the former chairman was said to have travelled to Lagos.

Recalled that on Sunday, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase had explained why the PDP national secretariat was sealed off.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, the IGP had explained that aggrieved factional leaders of the PDP had plan to threaten public peace and security in Abuja.

He had said: “Intelligence at the disposal of the Force leadership indicates that some aggrieved factional leaders and members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have perfected plans to engage thugs from across the country to join them in threatening public peace and security in Abuja. This is sequel to the on-going intra-party leadership crisis in the party and further fallout of the recent political engagements of the Party.

“The plan of the brains behind this development is to infiltrate Abuja and attack the National Headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party with intent to forcefully occupy the facility.

Towards perfecting this criminality, credible Police sources confirm that the actors will mobilise into Abuja with effect from Monday 23rd May 2016 and they intend to march through major streets in Abuja before proceeding to the PDP Secretariat to manifest their intention.

“Consequently, the Inspector-General of Police has directed the deployment of Police assets to secure the PDP Secretariat and protect the staff until the threat to internal security that is being occasioned by the intra-party crisis within the PDP is stabilised.

The Police action is a proactive initiative which is being emplaced in furtherance to the statutory Mandate of the Nigeria Police to prevent breakdown in law and order and protect lives and property.

“The Inspector General of Police, however, warns all actors in the crisis as well as their loyalists to refrain from any act that may threaten public order as the Police shall deal promptly, firmly and decisively with such persons or group in line with their legal obligations.”