As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) intensifies efforts to wriggle out of the crisis fuelled by attempts to remove its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, the governors elected on its platform and the 28-man committee set up by its Board of Trustees (BoT) are weighing options to save it from implosion ahead of the 2023 general election.
To this end, the PDP governors will meet tomorrow (Monday), ahead of the planned Tuesday meeting of the governors with the BoT committee, led by a former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
Investigation revealed that the PDP governors would meet in Abuja on Monday to discuss and take a position ahead of their meeting with the PDP BoT committee.
The BoT committee that will meet the governors would be led by the two-time Senate President, Mark.
Others in the peace delegation are a former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Senator Ibrahim Mantu; Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyannaya Abaribe; House of Representatives Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; former deputy speakers of the House of Representatives, Hon. Austin Opara, and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
Others are a former Senate President and Secretary of the PDP BoT, Senator Adolphus Wabara; and another former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, among others.
A major option on the table, according to party sources, is to allow Secondus-led NWC to complete their tenure and also be allowed to re-contest for their positions at the party’s national convention on December 9, 2021
One of the BoT members said that allowing Secondus and his team to re-contest is not only constitutional but will also allow the party to retain experienced and tested hands that will pilot its affairs as it faces the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
He said that if Secondus and all members of his team are stopped from re-contesting, the time will be too short for a new set of leaders to learn the ropes before the general election.
The source, however, added that if the pressure against Secondus becomes too hot that it could polarise the party ahead of the general election, the next option is that the PDP chairman would be advised to decline to contest.
He, however, ruled out the possibility of asking him to resign before completing his tenure, adding that such a step would be unconstitutional.
As a committee, we support that Secondus and the NWC must complete their four-year tenure because it is a constitutional matter based on the constitution of PDP.
“We cannot abridge anyone’s constitutional right. If any member of the outgoing NWC wants to re-contest on December 9, including the national chairman, Uche Secondus, we cannot stop anyone, it is their constitutional right,” he explained.
The source explained that their basic mission is to adopt an option that would restore peace and strengthen the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
As elders, we have listened to all sides of the divides and we believe as elders we cannot sit down in the house and allow it to divide against itself. Our intervention will bring back the vibes of the PDP as a leading opposition party ready to take over the affairs of this country. We cannot afford to fail,” he added.
Asked whether the sack of the NWC led by Secondus is a viable option, the source said: “We have passed that stage. We are in talks on restrategising the party.”
“The meeting with the governors will not only stop the current crises, but it will also create a better environment to make us far more united and make us stronger as a party,” the source said.
The PDP BoT had at their last meeting laid to rest the alleged plot to remove Secondus and the NWC, after a heated argument.
At the meeting, tempers were high to the extent that Governor Nysom Wike angrily asked the BoT members where they were when he rescued the party from the hands of the former chairman, Senator Sheriff.
He had also queried their intervention now when none of them funded the party.
Wike at the meeting told the BoT that Sheriff would have destroyed the PDP, had it not been for his intervention.
There were two opposing groups – those plotting the sacking of the NWC led by Secondus and those who wanted them to continue until their tenure ends on December 9.
The defection of three governors of the party and members of the National Assembly to the APC had worsened the crisis in the main opposition party.
The situation of the party was becoming worrisome as it lost over 17 senators and members of the PDP in the House of Representatives.
This development was believed to have diminished the fortunes of the party, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Some members believe that the best way to resolve the crisis was to sack the Secondus-led NWC.
The plot to sack the NWC thickened after seven national deputies of the party tendered their resignation letters.