The National Conference yesterday warned personal aides and drivers to delegates to the conference against a planned protest.
Deputy conference Chairman Bolaji Akinyemi also advised the delegates to call their supporting staff to order over a move to stage protest at the conference venue on June 2 over alleged unpaid allowances.
Akinyemi, who gave the advice during plenary in Abuja, said a petition written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, over the protest was referred to the conference.
He appealed to delegates to help avoid any ugly development that may ensue from the protest, adding that the Police had been put under instruction to ensure that nothing disrupted the conference.
The deputy chairman said the drivers and aides had written to the IGP to hold a peaceful protest on June 2, to draw attention to the lack of provision of welfare.
He explained that the secretariat was not in charge of the conference budget since it was drawn by the Federal Government, adding that no provision was made for delegates’ aides and drivers.
Akinyemi, who intimated delegates that presiding officers were paying their personal aides and drivers despite not being paid for some weeks, advised them to also take care of their drivers and aides.
“Now that this issue is on the floor, let me also say that even the presiding officers have not been paid because government has not given us the money.
“You will notice that the Assistant Secretary, Finance and Administration is not here. He reports in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation every day.
“ It is not that the money is not there nor approved, it is the letter to authorise the release that is the issue.
“So, it’s not under our control. We also have not been paid,” he said.
Mr Dan Iwuanyanwu, a delegate representing Labour Party (LP), however, accused the drivers and aides of presiding officers of instigating other drivers and aides to stage a protest over poor welfare.
Iwuanyanwu, therefore, called for payment of delegates allowances.
He noted that part of the reasons why drivers and aides were not properly taken care of might be because delegates had not been paid for six weeks.
“May be they are not aware that you have not paid us here for accommodation and transport for six weeks and yet we are coming.
“Some of the delegates that occupy the empty seats you see here have been driven from their hotel rooms because hotel is paid up front, not in arrears,” he said. (NAN)