Buhari’s Campaign Staff Allege Neglect

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Several staff of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) have complained of ill-treatment by the party and the presidency.

The staff, numbering over 100, yesterday lamented that all the promises made to them by the PCC have been jettisoned.
According to some of them who spoke with journalists, they were posted to the PCC office from the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) as volunteers, while others stated that they were employed as protocol staff for campaign officers.

A lady who gave her name as Joy Ebere Umeh, stated that her appointment letter was signed by the Director General of the APC PCC who is now the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi.

She also said she served as a protocol officer for the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Presidential Campaign Office in 2011 and her appointment letter then was signed by President Muhammad Buhari then.
According to her, they were told to work for the PCC with the promise that they would follow the president to the Presidential Villa should the APC win the election.

She however stated that since the party won and the president moved into the Villa, they were abandoned by the PCC.
“l am Joy Ebere Umeh, Protocol Officer of the APC campaign council. We were at the PCC on appointment as we were given letters in Febuary 2015. From the day we resumed office, there was no salary, and there was no allowance.

“They did not state any amount on the appointment letter, all they said verbally was that if the election was won, we will move into the President Villa with the president and that is when they would place us on salary.

“So, we now worked with all our hearts without salaries or any other form of remuneration. We served the presidential candidate and the campaign office, and after winning the election and inauguration, that was the end of the story. We were chased out of Lobito Crescent office and were sent to the campaign office to go and remain there since May last year.

“From that May till date, it is almost 17 months that we have been in campaign office without any money. We have been subjected to poverty, s we end up begging on the streets. Most of us cannot pay for our children’s school fees anymore,” she said.
Umeh said they have brought their complaints to the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who said his hands were tied and could not help them on the issue.

Two other persons  who also spoke, Badiru Olabiyi Balogun and Usman Justice Sambo, said they were volunteers that were deployed from the Head Office of the BSO at Lobito Crescent, Wuse 11 to the APC PCC office as security men.
They also decried the ‘ugly’ treatment meted out on them by the PCC and the presidency as they were only paid N20, 000 for the months of January and February last year.

According to them, they were told that they would be paid N50, 000 per month as volunteers, but what was paid them later was N20, 000.
Efforts to reach the party leaders for their comments did not yield any fruit just as a similar attempt to get a response from the former Spokesman of the APC Campaign Council  and presently the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu, on telephone did not succeed.