Embattled National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, got a respite, yesterday, as stakeholders okayed his stay in office pending the conduct of a national convention
However, the party national convention, where new party officials will be elected will now hold by the end of October, 2021 instead of December, when the tenure of incumbent National Working Committee (NWC) is supposed to elapse.
Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, briefed journalists, in Abuja, on the outcome of the meeting between the governors, the Board of Trustees (BoT), and other critical stakeholders in the opposition party.
The meeting was attended by the 13 PDP governors, BoT members, National Assembly members amongst others
Tambuwal added that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet next week to constitute the convention planing committee as well as the committee on zoning.
At the, National Zoning Committee, which will allocate elective offices in 2023, including the national chairmanship positions, the president and vice president would also be constituted.
He explained that Secondus, as chairman of the PDP would convene the NEC meeting in line with the party’s constitution.
The decision to hold the national convention in October is a middle course approach in the resolution of the PDP crisis.
Daily Sun reliably gathered that the pendulum swung in favour of the national chairman after he addressed the governors on Monday. Secondus told the governors he had done nothing wrong to get the kind of treatment he was getting, noting that his transducers are the same people he supported to win election with material and financial resources.
A highly placed source told Daily Sun that at the governors meeting on Monday, after the Forum resolved that the convention should be held in October, the anti-Secondus governors started pushing that members of the NWC should be barred from re-contesting at the convention.
The source said immediately the NWC members got wind of the proposal to bar them from re-contesting at the national convention, they moved round party leaders to solicit their support against the proposal.
“The governors proposal was that the national convention should be held in October and that the members of the NWC should serve out their tenure. But some of the governors insisted that the NWC should not re-contest at the convention.”
He said when the proposal for any early convention was tabled at the stakeholders meeting, Secondus told them that October was not feasible.
“But Secondus told them October was not feasible, as the NWC has slated state congress in nine states for October 16. However, the chairman agreed that the convention can hold in November,” the source stated.
Regardless of the position of the governors and other stakeholders, lawmaker representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Dumnamene Dekor, has urged Secondus, to resign honourably.
Dekor, chairman, House Committee on Host Communities, said there could not be a better time for the Secondus-led PDP to quit than now for a more focused leadership to be put in place.
The federal lawmaker, who was also a one-time deputy speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, and Commissioner of Works, hinged his call on what he described as heading a “visionless leadership.”
The Ogoni-born politician noted with dismay the ceaseless conflicts, bickering and defections that characterized the Secondus’ administration, positing that the earlier his party leadership is replaced, the better for the PDP.
According to the lawmaker, the PDP is the only hope Nigerians have for survival in view of the economic quagmire the All Progressives Congress (APC) has plunged the country into.
He stressed that PDP could not afford to go in for the 2023 general elections under a leadership that cannot deliver.
Dekor noted that the national PDP leadership as presently constituted, lacks all it takes to reclaim the party’s mandate under the prevailing political realities in the country.
Meanwhile, former deputy national chairman of PDP, Chief Bode George, has come hard on the NWC of the party, describing it as a shameful symbol of avarice and greed.
According to him, the critical organ of the opposition party has sold out to former governor of Lagos State, and the National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement entitled, “Special Meeting of PDP Elders – My Position” the former Ondo military governor, noted that the party was at critical crossroads between survival or extinction, emphasising that, “the outcome of this meeting will decide where our future lies, adding that, “we must speak the truth to power without mincing words, as the current National Working Committee is a shameful symbol of avarice and greed.”
He stressed that the NWC is rudderless, visionless, stripped of any moral anchor, and has abused and trampled recklessly upon the sacred grund norm, of the party constitution.
Chief George, therefore, called for an immediate setting up of a National Convention Committee, which should be saddled with the burden of organising congresses from the ward level to the national level.
“This is the time to get it right lest we lose it all; the nation is waiting for us to rescue our people from the ruling party’s divisive and destructive politics. Let it be very clear to all and sundry that the present leadership of the NWC has compromised in totality.
“It has sold us out totally to Bola Tinubu. I am absolutely certain of this. Let us take our party back from these fifth columnists who have sowed confusion in our midst from Maiduguri to Calabar, from Sokoto to Delta, from Abuja to Lagos.
“We must be honest and bold enough to set up the National Convention Committee that will handle all the congresses from the ward level to the National Convention. Anything short of this will send our party to the precipice of apocalypse, the Atona O’odua of Yorubaland warned.
The crisis in the PDP came to the fore last Tuesday after seven deputy national officers served the NWC a 30-day resignation notice.
Same day, the National Youth Leader, Sunday Udeh-Okoye, who confirmed a crack in the NWC, openly called for Secondus’ resignation over alleged poor leadership of the party.
In the aftermath of the notice of resignation and split in the NWC, the BoT set up a committee to resolve the crisis. – The Sun.