Fully Armed Policemen took over security at the national headquarters of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the Labour Party on Tuesday. While that of the PDP was to prevent angry workers from vandalising the properties of a party once touted as Africa’s biggest, LP’s premises was taken over, following intelligence report that former chairman of the party, Dan Nwanyanwu, had allegedly recruited hoodlums to attack and remove the chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam
The management, workers and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP have been at loggerheads over plans to downsize workers and reduce salaries of those to be retained.
The workers had threatened to expose all alleged illicit actions of the NWC members who they accused of misapplying of funds.
However, despite the presence of policemen at the party secretariat where workers were initially locked out, it was learnt that a peace meeting had been called where some of the grievances of the workers were addressed.
The peace meeting, a source told Daily Independent, was held late on Monday night.
It was learnt that the NWC, which earlier refused to brief the workers on the outcome of its Monday meeting had to also shift the venue of its subsequent Tuesday meeting to an undisclosed venue, while directing Police operatives to seal-off the Wadata Plaza secretariat.
The situation almost degenerated into a crisis, as the angry staff resisted the attempt by the police to lock them out of their offices as allegedly directed by the party leaders.
The angry workers, some of whom arrived the secretariat as early as 8.00am, were not allowed in by the policemen, until a call was allegedly placed to them by “somebody from above.” The gates were subsequently opened to the workers at 10.30am.
The takeover of the LP came as leaders of the party last night described as illegal, the recent hand over of Certificate of Registration of the party by former National Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
In a communique issued at the end of a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) held in Abuja, the LP said Nwanyanwu had since resigned his membership of the party and had no powers to do what he did.
The communiqué signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, and Deputy National Secretary, Julius Abure, lambasted the Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) for accepting to be used in such shameful conduct
“The NWC in session express shock and surprise at the inglorious conduct of the NLC. The House in session further notes that the NLC should focus on workers welfare. There is no doubt as to whether the Nigerian workers are being exploited, impoverished, cheated and bearing the harsh economic and social conditions of Nigeria.”
The LP party also blasted Nwanyanwu for lying over the CoR and faulted its hand over to the NLC, describing his action as contemptuous.
Chukwuma Ekomaru, SAN, counsel to LP had in a letter to NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, maintained that the receipt of the certificate was faulty as it has been reported missing by Nwanyanwu, who handed it over, despite earlier claim that it was missing.
At his resignation to join the Peoples Democratic Party some months ago, Nwanyanwu declared the party’s certificate missing.