..As Nwodo calls for probe into party headquarters contract
By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The Chairman-Elect of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Iyorchia Ayu has vowed to sanitize and reposition the party ahead of the next general election even as Okwesilieze Nwodo has demanded for investigation into the PDP headquarters contract that has remained uncompleted despite millions of naira raised for that purpose.
Senator Ayu made the pledge on Thursday in Abuja while presenting the PDP communiqué at the end of a two day retreat organised for elected and appointed party officer as well as outgoing members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
The chairman elect said that a lot of reports on how to resposition the party were submitted and are gathering dust at the shelves in the party. He said that he will revisit those reports and trigger all internal conflict resolution mechanism to set the party on a winning path.
Disclosing the steps the incoming NWC will take to reposition the party, he said, “By the time we come to office, accountability will remain our watch word and I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“I want to assure you that we shall try to clean our house no matter who is going to be affected, we shall try to clean our house following due process and that due process also include exhausting all internal conflict resolving mechanisms before we bring in any external intervention when we cannot resolve the issues” he said.
Ayu lamented that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has so much divided the country by allowing banditry and criminal elements to hijack the system. He said that the planned removal of subsidy and planned increase in the petroleum pump price will cause more hardship on the people.
He said, “The PDP does not believe in visiting more hardship on the Nigerian people. The party has not discussed the issue of increase in petroleum prices but our general position is that the people of Nigeria are already hard pressed, there is so much hardship.
“I want to assure Nigerians that when we come back to power as a party, everything will be done to make sure that the massive sufferings that Nigerians are going through, because if you increase the price of petroleum products today, with the kind of suffering that Nigerians are going through, it means that there will be enormous difficulty in transportation.
He said that the new leadership of the party should in line with the party’s slogan, return the PDP to the people by entrenching the culture of internal democracy as envisaged by the party’s founding fathers,
Meanwhile, former National Chairman of the party, Okwesilieze Nwodo has called for a probe into the construction of the PDP national headquarters which has remained uncompleted despite the huge sums raised for that purpose.
Nwodo in a paper titled “Political Party Funding” said that his administration left about eleven billion in fixed deposit and eight hundred million in current account for the party but lamented that the edifice has remained a shadow of itself.
Nwodo was the party’s National Chairman for only seven months in 2011 before he handed over to Haliru Bello, Abubakar Kawu and later Bamanga Tukur before Prince Uche Secondus was appointed as the Acting Chairman of the party. Secondus later handed over to Adamu Muazu, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi before Secondus came back as a substantive chairman in 2017.
Nwodo said that it may be pertinent to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the party’s leadership and uncover why the edifice has remained uncompleted.
“Today we seem to have lost it. I handed over eleven billion in fixed deposit and eight hundred million in current account when I left as National Chairman after seven months. I don’t see what was done with that money.
“Millions were raised to finish our National Headquarters; we don’t seem to have a trace of where all that money went. Our headquarters is yet to be completed. Today we don’t even have a party account. We have to get back to strict monitoring of our party accounts.
“Our internal audit department needs to be strengthened and supported by the party leadership. Very strict sanctions must be imposed on mismanagement of party funds, I suggest that we include inviting EFCC to probe erring officers and members and prosecution of those found culpable. This is the only way to create deterrent” Nwodo insists.