The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has said on assumption of office in 2018, he and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) met a psychologically traumatised PDP that was struggling to adjust to its new life as an opposition party.
Secondus dropped this hint ahead of the much expected Thursday National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, where the party is expected to make critical decisions, includingthe constitution of a national convention committee and a review of the report on the zoning of offices for the 2023 general election.
Speaking with select journalists on the state of the party before assuming office, Secondus said, “We took over the party, when it was still trying to come out of the trauma of losing election and being in opposition for two years under an intolerant ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“We met a psychologically traumatised party struggling to adjust to opposition life after 16 years in power. We inherited a party that had issues with internal democracy. Delegates were not having the final say on who flies the flag of the party in an election. Names of winners were randomly and blatantly changed in Abuja with disregard to the people and the requirements of our constitution,” he said.
The PDP chair, however, explained that, “By the time our reform programme came on stream, the party had become an attractive brand to accommodate the influx of new members that included the entire leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly then, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, others members of the parliament at federal and state levels as well as three incumbent state Governors of Benue, Kwara and Sokoto who joined us”
On internal democracy, Secondus said, “the decentralisation of powers to flow from the people made it possible for people to get party tickets at the congress venue not at party headquarters at state and national levels,” a development he said allowed popular and more acceptable candidates to emerge at state congresses and national convention.
Continuing, he said, “Our national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers state in October 2018, became the first of its kind in Nigeria. It was so transparent that there was no complaint from anybody. Instead, all the contestants resolved to support the winner. All these helped to engender confidence and trust in our leadership,” he explained.
Meanwhile, PDP stakeholders have listed what could be termed a middle-course solution to the latest party crisis that threatened to devour Secondus and other members of the NWC.
This is as the party has concluded plans to hold an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) this week Thursday, being a part of the directives by the expanded Board of Trustees that resolved the intractable leadership crisis.
The NEC meeting will dwell on two issues of the constitution of the convention committee and the review of the report of Governor Bala Mohammed committee that reviewed the 2019 presidential election as well as where the presidential standard bearer of the party wouldcome from.
Speculation had it that some other interests wanted Secondus sacked, because of the political permutations of the 2023 general election and the fear that as national chairman, he wouldplay a critical role with the NWC.
According to sources, “The fight against Secondus is principally fanned by forces desperate for the Presidential ticket of the party, and who see Secondus as an obstruction to their parochial ambition.
“Some desperate politicians are not happy with Secondus for insisting on free and fair democratic processes and not allowing the party structure to go to the so-called godfathers of the party.”
It was gathered that having instituted the culture of fairness as witnessed in the 2018 National Convention, such ambitious individuals feared that they would be unable to realise their aspirations if Secondus remained chairman.
Particularly, the source said they wanted him and the NWC to reserve the 2023 Presidential ticket for a particular bloc, explaining that such persons saw themselves as having a deep vault capable of buying up the structure of the party and as such, could do anything they wanted as far as their pockets could sustain them.
The stakeholders at the expanded BoT meeting took note of the stability of the party devoid of rancours under the Secondus-led NWC and concluded that it would not be smart to hound Secondus and the NWC out of office as was the treatment meted to other PDP national chairmen and the NWC in the past