…But Members Worked on Voluntary Basis – DG
A PDP supporter in Ebonyi State and the Ezza South of Divine Mandate campaign organization in the 2019 general election, Mr. Steve Opoke has threatened to file a fundamental human rights actions against the People’s Democratic Party, Ebonyi State Government and the state executives of Divine Mandate campaign organization, if he is not paid or compensated for his services to the party, Divine Mandate Campaign Organization in 2015 and 2019 general elections.
Opoke alleged that after working for the success of the party, he was abandoned and he didn’t receive any dime for the services rendered to the ruling party in the state during the elections.
In a pre-action notice served on the Respondents and made available to our newspaper in Abakaliki, Mr. Opoke who is also a barrister at law stated that he sympathized and supported the PDP which made the party to appoint him as the Director of Media and publicity of the Divine Mandate Campaign Organization in 2014 prior to the 2015 general elections, a position which Mr. Opoke stated placed him the burden of anchoring all the campaigns to the 11 Federal electoral wards in Ezza South LGA, culminating in the resounding victory of PDP in Ezza South LGA in the 2015 general election.
Mr. Opoke regretted that after the victory and the forming of the government in the state, he was completely forgotten, neglected without any incentive, remuneration or compensation during the entire 4 years this administration ruled in the first tenure.
Mr. Opoke stated that at the end of the first tenure of this administration, the Divine Mandate campaign organization further appointed him as the Publicity Secretary of Ezza South Divine Mandate Campaign Organization for the 2019 general elections which he accepted, believing that the party will be fair to him unlike before.
Displaying the appointment letter issued him which was dated 6th December, 2018 and signed by the State Director of Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, Engr. Chief Fidelis Nwankwo, Mr. Opoke stated that as usual, he anchored the campaigns to all the electoral wards in Ezza South LGA by openly using the microphone and other media platforms to campaign in favour of PDP in compliance to his mandate as the publicity secretary.
Mr. Opoke regretted that now the party has won and eventually formed government, he has again been forgotten and neglected.
In the pre-action notice, Mr. Opoke stated that given his appointment letter, receiving his services and failing to compensate/remunerate him is tantamount to using him as a slave or making him to pass through forced labour which according to him is against section 34 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and other international instruments on people’s rights.
The pre-action notice letter gave the Divine Mandate Campaign Organization which is an organ or agent of PDP and Ebonyi State government which is the beneficiary of both the PDP and the Divine Mandate Campaign Organization 14 days ultimatum to respond positively to his request or be prepared to face a fundamental human rights actions at the Federal High court.
When contacted on phone, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo who signed the said appointment letter as the Director-General of Divine Mandate campaign organization explained that the campaign organization was ran on voluntary basis, adding that volunteers decisively volunteered to work for Divine Mandate campaign organization and after the election, the appointment ceased.
He said, “For the records, I have not been served with any pre-action notice. I will rather regard the said allegation as speculations as I have evidence to treat it otherwise.”
“I was the Director-General of the state (PDP) campaign organization, I did so voluntarily without any strings attached. Until I see the evidence of the allegations you mentioned, I am not disposed to make further comments on the matter.”