Rodents and weeds have taken over the national secretariat of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
A Punch Nespaper correspondent, who visited the secretariat, which is located at Wuse Zone 5 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Wednesday, also observed that the policemen who blocked the entrance to the secretariat since May had vacated the premises.
However, the three gates leading to the secretariat were still locked.
Unlike before when trucks, which were occupied by riot and regular policemen were stationed in the front of and besides the building, only a few security personnel from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were seen at the complex.
One of the officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that he did not know why the policemen left the area.
However, he said they were under “stern warning to keep vigil at the secretariat to avoid any act that could lead to a breakdown of law and order.”
He said, “You can see that we have not opened the road in front of the building to vehicles and movement is also restricted. We are under instruction not to allow anyone access to the building and its environment.
“Thus, either policemen are here or not does not matter. What is important is that the building is secure and we are not going to allow anyone enter it until we get a superior order, asking us to vacate.”
In-fighting between two factions in the party had led to the deployment of policemen to guard the building.
A faction loyal to the factional National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, once engaged loyalists of the National Caretaker Committee of the party led by Ahmed Makarfi at the secretariat in a free-for-all.
Our correspondent also observed that the compound of the secretariat was littered with weeds and dry leaves from overgrown trees.
Also, the paint of the once-shining walls was peeling off.
Observing through two of the barricaded gates, the correspondent saw that rodents were already feasting on some of the books inside the buildings judging by the way some papers were seen under its main doors.
Even the chapel inside the compound was not left out of the crisis in the party; its frontage had been overtaken by weeds.
The mosque, which is close to the electricity transformer at the entrance leading to the National Executive Committee Hall, is worse hit as its entrance has been completely overtaken by weeds.
The party is currently operating in two offices within the FCT.
While the Sherif faction has its office at Matima District, the Makarfi faction has its own at Wuse 2.
Reacting to the condition of the national secretariat of the party, Sheriff said he was not in a hurry to move into it, adding that the courts would be allowed to make pronouncements on its leadership.
The correspondent, who also visited the new site of the party’s national secretariat, observed that no work was going on there.
It was learnt that the contractors had abandoned the site due to non-availability of funds.
Speaking through the spokesperson for his faction, Mr. Bernard Bikko, Sheriff insisted that the impunity in the party remained unparalleled, but he said he would stop it.
“We are not in a hurry to move in. The courts are already handling that. But one thing is certain, and that is, we won’t allow the impunity to fester again. We will stop it,” Bikko said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Makarfi-led caretaker committee failed as calls made to its spokesperson, Prince Dayo Adeyeye’s telephone, were not answered.
A member of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has, however, attributed the travails of the party to God’s anger.
He said members of the party needed to go back to God and ask for forgiveness of their sins, saying that the botched national convention of the party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on August 17, was a saving grace.
He said two governors of the party, one from the South-South and another from the South-West, were bent on destroying it through imposition of a national chairman.
Babatope, a former Transport Minister, said, “They want to destroy the elders in the party. If we have had the convention, they would have imposed a young man who had yet to spend two years in the party as the national chairman under the pretence of generational change.
“The BoT has said that it will not be part of that nonsense. This is a man who joined the party in December 2014, and apart from that, he must have a waiver that he didn’t have. They are lucky the convention didn’t hold, because the party would have been destroyed. We will wait until God intervenes and before He does that, we need to embark on prayers.
“God will never subscribe to any illegality and that’s why He didn’t allow us to have the convention.”