By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — THE lingering crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following a sharp disagreement between the national leadership and staff over plans to reduce the staff strength, their salaries and allowances by 50 per cent, yesterday took a new turn as men of the Nigeria Police blocked the gate of the National Secretariat.
In the early hours of yesterday, following directives from the leadership of the party, a truck load of Policemen blocked the gate and deprived the staff from entering the secretariat.
Police action, however, met a stiff resistance from the angry PDP staff.
The policemen, who were deployed at strategic ends of the PDP secretariat, refused to utter a word to the aggrieved staff that came to work as early as 7.30 am only to be shut-out.
It will be recalled that as part of moves to end the crisis, management of PDP who are the directors, deputy directors and assistant directors, had on Monday held a closed door marathon meeting with the warring staff where the National Director of Administration, Alhaji Gurama Bawa, presided.
At the meeting, Bawa was said to have pleaded with the aggrieved staff to have a temporary ceasefire against the backdrop that the management would then hold a meeting with members of the NWC on how to arrive at a possible compromise to avoid heating the polity which at the moment was not the best for a party that last a Presidential election.
With the agreement to a ceasefire, the staff came to work, but they were stopped, just as Vanguard gathered that it took the intervention of PDP Acting Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, who made a call to the leadership of the party that the staff be allowed into the premises.
BoT chair intervenes
Vanguard gathered that following the intervention of Mohammed, a call was then made to the Police and they immediately left the gate.
It was until around 10am that the security operatives, after a purported phone call from ‘somebody’ agreed to allow them entry after screening the workers.
With this development, strong indications have emerged that there seems to be no end in sight in the crisis as both the leadership of the party and the staff have resorted to what could be described as a hide and seek game.
It was also gathered, yesterday, that the NWC, which had earlier refused to brief the staff from its Monday meeting, also shifted the venue of its yesterday meeting to an undisclosed venue and directed Police operatives to seal off the PDP secretariat from all, including its staff.
The angry PDP staff revealed that they have reached an agreement within themselves to sheathe their swords until the end of the week and if there was nothing good coming from the NWC, they should be ready for a brutal showdown.
A source told Vanguard that the problem would end as there were assurances that all their entitlements have been considered for payment, just as the source disclosed that two cheques of N5 million each meant for upsetting their allowances, including their July salary and the last Sallah bonus which have not been paid, have been raised.