The PDP Staff Welfare Association on Saturday told members of the PDP national working committee to provide answers to allegations of fraud against them and stop accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) for instigating the fraud allegations rocking the party.
They, therefore, described as an absolute bunkum, a clumsy, and blundering blackmail, an allegation by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh that staff members were being sponsored by the APC to destabilize the PDP.
Metu had accused the workers of playing the script of the APC in the face of PDP’s demand for the removal of director general of Department of State Services (DSS) Lawan Daura and Acting national of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Amb. Amina Zakari.
The workers had invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the NWC members of the party over huge fraud.
The workers were responding to moves by the party leadership to reduce its workforce by 50 percent, asking them to return to respective states to prove their membership.
However according to a statement jointly signed by the chairman, Ngozi Nze and secretary, Dan Ochu Baiye, yesterday, the staff said the excuse by the party was a “weak shot from a mortally crippled arsenal of witch hunt is incapable of breaking the resolve of the staff to expose the thieving band in the NWC and restore the core vision of the party.
“We are not surprised that the allegation will become the most fashionable means of covering tracks.”
“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 sixteen 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 added that 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.
“We wish to state that this is a man whose conduct, demeanor and media outings have been a repulse to professionalism and a source of embarrassment to party members.
“Who plays anti-party you may ask? Staff members who are genuinely resisting the morally repugnant and obsessively corrupt NWC so that the PDP will survive or the likes of Olisa Metuh who has a track record of anti-party given his open endorsement of APGA candidate in 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?”
They further said “Earlier in January 2010 Anambra governorship election, Metuh as National Vice Chairman, South East abandoned Chukwuma Soludo, the PDP candidate while openly galvanizing support for Hope Democratic Party candidate, his friend and benefactor.
“The PDP did not only woefully lose in Otolo Nnewi Ward 1 of the Party’s zonal vice Chairman but came a distant third in his polling booth! What a faithful party officer!
“Again, we have incontrovertible evidence that the man who is PDP Publicity Secretary worked assiduously against the presidential candidate of the PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan in the last election in order to requite the ex-President for rejecting him as Director of Publicity of the Presidential Campaign which was given to Femi Kayode, a development which came after Metuh had squandered a whooping sum of 450 million naira media fund earlier approved for the office of PDP Publicity Secretary by President Jonathan.
“Last week’s controversial congresses in Anambra is another signpost to the destructive trajectory which the likes of Olisa Metuh is driving the PDP to.
“The process was so personalized to the chagrin of party members, especially leaders who were also illegally compelled to part with certain amount of money.
“As we write, the party is still waiting for the result of the congresses a week after it was held, pending when Metuh is done with his conclave of distortion and extortion.
“This is the same man who we reliably gathered, is surreptitiously scheming to emerge as the Organizing Secretary of the party next year. To do what? Turn the party organization into Idumota Market and institutionalize exaction, graft and impunity .
“This is a man who started in 1999 as a zonal youth leader, then National Ex-officio, Acting National Auditor, Zonal Vice Chairman and now publicity secretary. It is either his umbilical cord was buried at Wadata Plaza or that he can’t survive on any other thing except the PDP.
“We make bold to add that the worst form of anti-party is the mindless plunder of the party resources by the NWC which Olisa Metuh is integral part of, in fact the leader of the body’s extortion gang.
“Recall that the same man was the Chairman of Kogi State congresses which held last week and match it with the fact that the widely rumoured request for One billion Naira from the State governor emanated the same week.
“Indeed labeling the staff of the PDP could be a veiled attempt to justify the huge sum of 70 million naira which Metuh collected in July in the name of fighting the APC in the media.
“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.”
In his response however, Metuh, said he is open for probe by DSS and other agencies.
Metuh who described the accusations against him as direct attack and threats on him, said “from all indications, those behind the statement chose to drift from issues and narrowed on the National Publicity Secretary.
“This is not unexpected given the role of the National Publicity Secretary in the rebuilding of our great party and how uncomfortable the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been for his outspokenness.
“We are aware that the anti-PDP forces have easily found a handful of disgruntled PDP staffs 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. These forces had even gone to the extent of engineering some discontented PDP members to portray statements by the National Publicity Secretary as his personal opinions in the attempt to discredit and intimidate him.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that the National Publicity Secretary will not be deterred or detracted by such threats and cheap blackmails as he remains committed to his role in the rebuilding of the PDP and in providing firm, credible and issue based opposition to the ruling party.
“This office would not join issues with these elements, however we make bold to state that Chief Olisa Metuh, being aware of the challenges that comes with his new role has offered himself, his office as well as all his private companies for probe by the Department of State Services (DSS) or any other government agency for that matter.
“We also find it laughable that anybody would criticise the recent PDP congresses in Anambra and Kogi that have been widely applauded to be transparent and credible as established by the peace and harmony that characterised the processes. One also wonders how the issue of congresses helps the case of welfare matters being pushed by the staff, if not for the ulterior motive of destroying the PDP publicity.
“The authors of the press statement deliberately refused to appreciate Chief Olisa Metuh’s immense contributions in the party and the fact that he became the longest serving member of the National Executive Committee due to hard work and the confidence members of the party repose on him as an individual.
“Finally, this office is happy that those after Chief Olisa Metuh have for now, chosen to demand for investigation instead of resorting to plots to assassinate him. However, we restate that the National Publicity Secretary will not in any way be cowed or intimidated by the threats, blackmails and attacks by anti-PDP forces to abandon his mandate as spokesperson of our great party.”