The Peoples Democratic Party has administered an oath of secrecy to its members of staff as part of its efforts to control the flow of information in and outside the party.
The compulsory oath, which took many of the workers by surprise, was supervised on Thursday by the Acting National Secretary of the party, Chief Solomon Onwe.
Some of the workers, who spoke with our correspondent on Sunday, complained about the oath, which they said was aimed at victimising perceived enemies by some leaders of the party.
They said that some members of the National Working Committee of the PDP were not happy with them and had been doing everything possible to replace them with their loyalists.
The workers claimed that Onwe told them that anyone suspected to be fraternising with journalists might be summarily dismissed if the party found out that a piece of information was leaked by any of them.
One of the workers said, “On Thursday, we swore to an oath of secrecy which the party said was meant to control the flow of information at its secretariat.
“We were also warned to stay away from you people (journalists) and that anyone of us who fraternised with you could be sacked without any query.
“You will recollect that a cleaner was sacked few months ago for telling reporters that they (cleaners) were being owed five months’ salaries. That is the kind of treatment they say awaits some of us, including directors, if they suspect that we are close to you people (journalists).”
But another member of staff said they were not surprised with the attitude of the NWC members, whom he accused of being desperate to fill the secretariat with their cronies.
“You can see their retinue of aides. None of the former NWC members had the number of aides these present NWC members have,” he added.
Efforts to speak with both Onwe and the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, on the issue were not successful.
They neither picked their calls nor responded to text messages sent to their telephones
In a veiled reference to the happenings in the party, its National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said the PDP needed to maintain discipline and good conduct among its members.
Tukur stated this in a statement which he signed in Abuja on Sunday.
He said the leadership of the PDP did not harbour any malice against any of its members.
It will be recalled that the party, in the last few days, suspended two of its governors – Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko(Sokoto)- for what it called insubordination.
Tukur said, “We harbour no malice against any member. We only do not want to be a flock without a She pard. If we are not disciplined as a party, we certainly may not be able to produce the most progressive government in line with the greatest expectation of every Nigerian and the rest of the world.
“The PDP government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has a good agenda founded on desire to transform Nigeria.
“The agenda has started bearing fruits. Indeed, the PDP should lead in the implementation. We do not want to constitute a distraction to the President’s Transformation Agenda.What we require are absolute discipline and loyalty from every member.
“Right now, we are reorganising by way of bringing everyone to appreciate the constitution and manifesto of the party so that when we go into election in 2015, we can win landslide as a family.”
Also, Metuh said in a statement that happenings in the party in the last few weeks were part of the processes of instilling discipline within the PDP .
He said the PDP was not unmindful of the feelings of its members since it began to enforce discipline, hence the need for the clarification.
Metuh said, “We assure that all the issues will be looked into and resolved amicably in line with the spirit of brotherliness and the guiding principles of our party.
“The PDP remains a strong, united and democratic family guided by the principles of equity, justice, rule of law and love for one another and will at the end of the day definitely come out stronger than ever before.
“We therefore urge all members to close ranks and totally disregard suggestions from enemies of our family that some individuals or groups are being targeted for certain reasons.
“We assure all members that the PDP remains the only national party committed to the welfare of the people for which it will continue to win elections across board.
“It will continue to exist as the party with structures in all wards, local governments and states in the federation where all are free to air their views and canvass their opinions.”
Meanwhile, leaders PDP in the North-West will on Monday (today) speak on the suspension of Wamakko.
The Vice-Chairman of the party in the zone, Senator Ibrahim Kazaure, stated this in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Saturday.
Kazaure said the zone would use the occasion to speak on the suspension, which he had earlier said was not acceptable to them.
The suspension was believed to have been the outcome of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s chairmanship election, which was won by Amaechi.
The Presidency was said to have been angered by the defeat of their candidate for the office, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State.
Also, governors elected on the platform of the party may meet this week to review the outcome of the NGF election.
A competent source said the meeting was being considered to appraise the efforts of the Jang-led faction of the NGF to gain acceptability among Nigerians.