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.
“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.