A new crisis has hit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as seven members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have resigned from office. Following the development, governors elected on the ticket of the party have called for calm, warning those they called detractors to stay off the main opposition party. Those involved are deputies to substantive members of the NWC.
They are deputy national publicity secretary, Diran Odeyemi; deputy national legal adviser, Ahmed Bello; deputy national women leader, Umoru Hadizat; deputy national auditor, Divine Amina Arong; deputy national organising secretary, Hassan Yakubu and Irona Alphonsus, deputy national financial secretary. The party confirmed the receipt of their resignation letters on Tuesday. As of the time of this report, no official reasons have been given for the action, but it is believed that they took the step to protest against being sidelined by the Prince Uche Secondus-led leadership, with others calling for his resignation from office.
Even though his tenure is due to end in December, Secondus is thought to be eyeing a fresh tenure in office amid resistance by some party bigwigs, including his erstwhile sponsor, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. National publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, told journalists in Abuja after the story broke that the committee is looking into the grievances of the aggrieved party officers. He said a meeting of the NWC was held to consider the issues raised by the seven officials, while assuring that the internal conflict resolution mechanism of the party would immediately be activated to deal with the matter.
Meanwhile, the PDP national youth leader, Sunday Ude-Okoye, has called for the resignation of Prince Secondus, describing him as incompetent in managing the affairs of the main opposition party. He told reporters on Tuesday that the party boss has grounded many of the departments that make up its administration.
According to him, though only seven deputies have announced their resignations, there are many members of the NWC who are more aggrieved than them.
“There is a sharp division in our NWC right now, not only me, many more NWC members are more aggrieved than myself.
“Today, I have asked him in our NWC meeting to resign his position as the chairman of this party because he cannot lead this party to victory.
“I am also asking the leaders, the governors, the founding fathers, the youth, the women to rise up to rescue our party from the hand of Secondus because he is not willing to take us to anywhere. He is just there to make sure that he enriches himself,” he said.
In his reaction to the allegation, special adviser on media to Secondus, Ike Abonyi, dismissed them, wondering why the youth leader was only just realising how incompetent the party boss is after working with him for years. He said Secondus would not be moved as any vacancy created by resignations would be filled with just a few months to the national convention of the party.
Intervening to stem the crisis, the PDP governors, in a statement issued by the chairman of their forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said they have summoned en emergency meeting to discuss the new rumblings in the party.
The statement said the governors regretted the latest development as they called on stakeholders to sheathe their swords for the sake of the party. The statement said: “The PDP Governors’ Forum has received with regrets and sadness the recent rumblings in the PDP.
“The governors hereby call on all members of the party and indeed all stakeholders to remain calm in the face of the developments.
“We plead with all aggrieved persons and those with the interest of the PDP at heart to keep their gunpowder dry, as efforts are being made in consultation with members of the PDP Board of Trustees and other stakeholders to resolve all contending issues.”