Secondus survives onslaught

Secondus Survives Onslaught As PDP Shifts Convention To Oct

Embattled Prince Uche Secondus, National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday survived the raging onslaught to force­fully make him resign from his position.

The PDP governors, mem­bers of Board of Trustees (BoT), the National Assem­bly caucus, former gover­nors, ministers and other stakeholders on Tuesday met to resolve the lingering crisis rocking the party, which war­ranted the call by some mem­bers of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), some groups from the party and others calling for the sack of Secondus.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the stakeholders’ meeting that lasted for two and half hours, the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, dis­closed that they have decided to fix the party’s national con­vention for October as against December.

The stakeholders also empowered the National Ex­ecutive Committee (NEC) to constitute the National Con­vention Planning Committee and the Zoning Committee.

Disclosing the resolution of the stakeholders’ meeting, Tambuwal said, “There were extensive consultations with all major stakeholders in the party including the gover­nors, members of the Board of Trustees, former presiding officers and current prin­cipal officers and leaders from the National Assembly, former governors, former ministers, and indeed other leaders of the party with a view to bringing all tenden­cies within the party together in view of the urgent task fac­ing the party as the only via­ble vehicle to checkmate the abysmally poor governance of the APC led Federal Gov­ernment.

“The meeting deliberat­ed extensively on the issues thrown up and resolved as follows: that the constitution, traditions and practices of the party should be strictly ad­hered to in finding solutions to any problems.

“That all parties should sheathe their sword in the greater interest of the PDP and the need to rescue Nigeria from the avoidable national malaise and drift occasioned by the APC administration.

“That all processes leading to an early national conven­tion in October be immediate­ly activated by relevant party organs, especially National Executive Committee (NEC).

“That the party should redouble efforts to provide a credible alternative lead­ership for Nigeria as it still remains the only hope for the Nigerian people for good gov­ernance.

“The meeting requested the NEC to immediately con­stitute a zoning committee for party offices and another committee for national elec­tive offices.

“So, we thank members of the National Working Com­mittee for holding up. We thank them for their prayers and support. We also thank well-meaning Nigerians who have been waiting patiently for the resolution of these issues.

“The NEC of the party shall meet most likely next week and all the issues will be addressed. The NEC will be convened by the chairman of the party, who is constitution­ally endowed to do so.”

It was, however, gathered that even though the national convention would hold in Oc­tober, Secondus and his NWC would still be allowed to com­plete their tenure, which ends in December 9, 2021.

But, according to a source, Secondus had disagreed with October date on the ground that it is practically impossi­ble.

The source also added that Secondus explained at the meeting that the NWC had mapped out plans between now and October to resolve issues in the party, including party congresses across the country.

Even with all the explana­tions, the party stakeholders went ahead to fix October for national convention.

Speaking earlier before going into the closed door meeting, Tambuwal berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying none of PDP leaders is defecting to APC.

Secondus said: “You can see clear­ly that 13 over 13 of your gov­ernors, your ambassadors are in this meeting, fully commit­ted to not only resolving the issues at hand, but also work­ing assiduously towards deliv­ering good governance in our respective states and moving our party forward.

“Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, we have resolved, we are committed to remain­ing in PDP. Disregard any ru­mour, every rumour that any of these distinguished leaders are going anywhere. We are in PDP, we are going to remain in PDP and by the grace of God we shall be working to­gether to salvage Nigeria.

“If you say you’re going somewhere, where? APC is no party. They do not have a ward structure as we speak. They do not have a local gov­ernment (area) structure as we speak. They do not have a state structure as we speak.

“They do not have nation­al structure as we speak. APC has never had, and is not hav­ing a Board of Trustees. So where are you going? Are you defecting to Federal Govern­ment? Federal Government is not there because if it is there, ask my colleagues who are in APC. One of them came out to say that when his students were abducted that he saw no help. He received no help from the Federal Gov­ernment, and he is a gover­nor of APC. So what are we talking about?

“There is no party to de­fect to, there is no govern­ment to defect. We better remain together and work together, reinvent our party, and work towards establish­ment of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are committed to re­solving all the issues we have, and you will soon hear from us, what our own views and positions are as your chil­dren, as people that you have facilitated and helped to put in office not your financiers.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of E-registration Committee and governor of Edo, God­win Obaseki, has said that the party is targeting 40 mil­lion Nigerians as members of PDP.

Speaking at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, Obaseki said, “Our target is to register 40 million Nigeri­ans as members of PDP and once we achieve that we shall win every election landslide going forward and there will be no basis to cheat us as was done in the past.

“I want to reiterate that the process of e-registration is local, it is meant for us lead­ers at the ward level and at the local government level to own our party, the PDP. Ev­ery leader must now show us their followers by registering their followers as members of the party, PDP.

“Once you have registered and have completed the pro­cess, your party card will be printed here at the party sec­retariat and sent to the ward for distribution to members of the party.

“As at today, we are launch­ing a pilot of the registration exercise using the following state as pilot: Adamawa State, Ekiti, Osun where we almost have 250,000 new voters reg­istered mostly by our party in the ongoing CVR exercise. The whole idea is to make sure that the bulk of those new voters are members of our party and will work for our party in the upcoming election in Osun State.

“The other states are Tara­ba State, Anambra, Enugu and Edo State. We will run a pilot from today till Sunday this week and from Monday next week, we shall com­mence a full national rollout.”

Peace Has Finally Returned To Our Party, NWC— PDP

Meanwhile, the PDP on Tuesday said peace has fi­nally returned to the party following the deal brokered by its governors and Board of Trustees (BoT) in resolv­ing the leadership crisis that plagued it in the last few days.

Speaking with Daily Inde­pendent, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, also said peace has also returned to the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Prince Uche Secondus as NWC members who had earlier resigned their position have promised to work togeth­er as a family in the interest of the party.

He said the party is now re­positioned to face the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and defeat it in the 2023 general elections.

“With today’s develop­ment, peace has returned to the PDP. Those who have grievances have also united as a family within the NWC. We are now on the same page, back together as one in the NWC. Nobody is talking about resignation again with this peace move.

“The party is being re-in­vented to take up its chal­lenges and defeat the APC in future elections”, he said.

Why Secondus-Led NWC Can’t Organise Convention— Bode George

Again, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy Na­tional Chairman of PDP, has commended the elders of the party, especially members of BoT for saving the party from implosion.

Speaking with Daily In­dependent, Bode George said the manner in which the cri­sis was resolved showed that there is a clear distinction between the PDP and the ruling APC.

He also said the Secon­dus-led National Working Committee (NWC) cannot be in charge of the convention but a Convention Planning Committee which will be set up by the National Executive Committee of the party.

“It is not the first time this will happen. I am glad that the PDP is back stronger. I am also glad the way all the elders got up and saved the party because we were wob­bling very badly.

“When people are talking about whether the NWC should go or shouldn’t go, from experience, I know that there is no perpetuity in the administration of a political party. They are there for a time and the con­gresses and convention are right here ahead of us. So, the first thing to do is to set up a National Convention Committee that will run the whole congresses. They (NWC) cannot be part of it.

“If any of them want to contest, fine but they shouldn’t be the ones organ­ising the convention. How can you be a judge in your own case? They have had their time and the failure or success of their periods will be on the pages of history. Enough is enough!

“For me, we thank God that the meeting went very well today and I am confi­dent that we will resolve ev­erything. That is the beauty of the PDP as against APC. We have a track record and culture.

“There is nobody who owns the PDP. It is a political party that should be for all comers. But the managers must realise that they must not disregard the constitu­tion which is the soul of our party. When you start acting outside the constitution and making it look as if the par­ty is your private company, then something is wrong”, he said.