An emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been slated for today to address internal wrangling rocking the opposition party, including calls for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
The resignation of seven national officers of the party on Tuesday following a sour relationship with Secondus, has ignited a fresh crisis.
The party has been battling with a gale of defections of its top shots including three Governors; David Umahi (Ebonyi), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) who joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Also Wednesday, a BoT member of the party joined APC.
While tendering their resignation, Deputy National Financial Secretary, Gerald Irona; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Hassan Yakubu; Deputy National Legal Adviser, Ahmed Liman, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi and three others said they quit following the poor management of the party by Secondus.
There have been relentless plots by some stakeholders to sack Secondus as part of efforts to grab the soul of the party ahead of 2023 politicking.
However, controversy is raging over the forces behind the fresh crisis rocking the PDP.
Previously, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had been fingered as the chief promoter of Secondus removal.
However, some PDP leaders have alleged that the APC is responsible for the current crisis in the opposition party to distract the party from giving the ruling party serious opposition.
There were also speculations that APC leaders had commenced talks with the national officers of the PDP who resigned on Tuesday.
But the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the party was not responsible for the crisis. He also dispelled claims that they were wooing the seven national officers into its fold.
A reliable source at the PDP national secretariat who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity said, “Some critical stakeholders in the PDP were behind the current crisis as a prelude to their agenda of removing Secondus as national chairman.”
A BoT member of the party said that a meeting of a “select committee’’ of the BoT, the highest advisory body of the party was held Wednesday, ahead of today’s meeting.
“We members of a select committee of the BoT have met as a prelude to tomorrow’s (today’s) meeting to review happenings in our party,” he told one of our correspondents.
Contacted, the Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin said their today’s meeting was convened to review issues affecting the party and map out strategies to restore it to the path of progress. Jibrin, said the gale of defection rocking the party would also be discussed.
“The BOT is holding a meeting tomorrow (today) to map out strategies on how the party will be on the right track and explore actions to take. The meeting will discuss the issue of the seven deputy secretaries that resigned.
“Nigerians should have complete confidence with the BOT with the view to taking decisions in the interest of the party and Nigerians. Crisis can occur at any time but looking at the crisis, our own is 100 per cent better than the crisis in the APC. We are going to overcome all our problems by this week,” he said.
On Secondus, he said, “It is very normal for people to call on leaders to resign if they see something wrong about the person’s leadership. We are going to discuss the matter and we will act accordingly”.
NWC members shun meeting with Secondus
Meanwhile, some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party Wednesday shunned a meeting summoned by Secondus, at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
We gathered from multiple sources at the PDP national secretariat yesterday that some members of the NWC who were present at the Wadata Plaza deliberately stayed away from the meeting.
It was learnt that only Secondus, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan; Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd); Financial Secretary, Abdullahi Maibasira and one other officer attended the meeting.
“PDP stakeholders are angry with Secondus. The agenda is to force him out of office before the expiration of his tenure in December, 2021.” he said.