4 November 2012

Nigeria: PDP May Lose 'Legacy House' Over Rent

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is unable to renew the rent of its campaign headquarters in Abuja, otherwise called the "Legacy House", an indication that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is not financially buoyant.

LEADERSHIP SUNDAY findings indicate that the owners of the said property had written and informed the leadership of the party of the upward review of the yearly rent from N250 million to N350 million at the expiration of the current rent this year.

The building, a three-storey building at the heart of Maitama District, was first acquired during the Obasanjo administration to serve, among other things, as the campaign headquarters of the party's presidential candidate in the run-up to elections.

Both former president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan's campaign coordinators made use of the facility.

However, with the emergence of the Alhaji Bamangar Tukur-led NWC early this year, the national chairman showed preference for the Legacy House for his administrative duties instead of the national secretariat at the Wadata Plaza in Wuse Zone 5.

Most members of the NWC resisted Tukur's attempt to force them to move to Legacy House.

LEADERSHIP SUNDAY investigations revealed that the party's NWC members do not regard rent payment as their responsibility.

"It is not our responsibility. In fact, the NWC has never been responsible for the payment of the rent of the Legacy House," a member of the NWC confided in LEADERSHIP SUNDAY.

It was learnt that the national chairman of the party had reached out to President Jonathan over the threat to eject the party from the property if it is unable to pay the new rent of N350 million per annum.

But our source said that President Jonathan was not favourably disposed to paying the new rent as, according to the source, "there is no activity going on to warrant the renewal".

The party's dilemma, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY learnt, was worsened by the fact that the relationship between the NWC and state governors elected on the platform of the party is far from being cordial and the governors have stopped supporting the party financially.

Contacted on the issue, the national publicity secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that the issue of payment or renewal of rent for Legacy House "is not on the bill of the National Working Committee (NWC)".

For his part, the national secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, declined responding to our enquiries. But a source in his office told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that information on such issues were better sourced from the office of the principal staff secretary to the national chairman, Senator Ibrahim Idah, whose telephone lines were not available up until the time of going to press.

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