The National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied allegation that it was collecting N50 million monthly subvention from governors on the party’s platform.
The committee’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, made the denial on Monday in Abuja.
The National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, had at a news conference earlier on Monday in Abuja accused the caretaker committee headed by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, of collecting money from the governors monthly.
Sheriff, who was represented at the conference by his deputy, Dr Cairo Ojougbo, also alleged that all organs of the party wanted political solution to its leadership crisis “except the caretaker committee’’.
According to him, the caretaker committee does not want to let go because of the N50 million it was receiving monthly from the party’s governors.
But, Adeyeye described the allegation as “a lie, cheap and unintelligent attempt’’ to blackmail the committee members.
“It is a known fact by all critical stakeholders of the party and even the staff that the National Caretaker Committee has from inception been hamstrung by inadequate finance.
“This is so much that simple secretariat duties have been a struggle not to talk of payment of staff salary.
“To pay staff salaries of just N18 Million a month has been a problem for us because the funds are not available,’’ he said.
Adeyeye added that members of the caretaker committee did not enjoy any remuneration, and that more often, they spent their personal money to meet some of the party’s needs.
He said that the committee never complained publicly about the paucity of fund because it was an internal matter.
He said that the governors ruling on the party’s platform were alive for people to verify the truth of their alleged financial support to the committee
The publicity secretary, however, pointed out that there was nothing wrong or untoward in receiving contributions from the governors or party members in running a party.
“Our only regret is that these contributions have not been forthcoming as expected, giving the heavy responsibilities placed before us.
“Weighty responsibility, especially the burden of having to deal with distractions caused by Sheriff and his group are left for us to deal with.
“Nevertheless, no matter how little, it is better to be funded by our party members than by the All Progressive Congress (APC) as is the case with Sheriff and his cohorts.
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“Gov. Àyodele Fayose has also made a public allegation that Sheriff has received the sum of one million dollars from the APC to organize a new convention for PDP.
“Sheriff is yet to publicly refute the allegation,’’ he said.
On Sheriff’s call on Prof. Jerry Gana-led Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee to stop speaking for the party because “it is illegal’’, Adeyeye said that the committee remained legal.
He urged Gana and his group to continue with their good work aimed at repositioning the party.
On the status of Ojougboh in PDP National Working Committee (NWC), Adeyeye said Ojougboh parading himself as in that capacity was “an extreme act of impunity’’.
He said that Ojougboh was neither elected into the position nor appointed by National Executive Council of the party.
“He was not a member of the NWC that existed prior to May 21, 2016.’’
On political solutions to the party’s leadership problem, he said that the committee has not rejected it, rather it had accepted the resolutions reached by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors.
“The agreement states clearly that all parties should resign their various positions.
“It added that our lawyers should therefore meet and draw up an agreement that we can present to the Supreme Court as a voluntary judgement that we have agreed to.
“These would have provided both political and legal solution to the logjam, but Sheriff rejected it.
“Sheriff has continued to insist that he would conduct a National Convention but he does not enjoy the trust and confidence of the vast majority of party members,’’ Adeyeye stated.
He added that if Sheriff truly believed in the unity of the party, he should resign “as the caretaker committee members are also willing to resign, saying, “no scarify is too much for anybody to make’’