The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, survived raging onslaught against his continued stay in office and got a soft landing a week after his position was threatened by a no confidence vote and mass resignation of some National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party.
Secondus survived increasing calls for his resignation as party leaders fixed the end of October for the national elective convention to elect its next national chairman, thereby getting a 10 weeks respite.
Although the tenure of the incumbent NWC was due to elapse on December 6, stakeholders of the party made up of 13 governors, the Board of Trustees (BoT), and other organs of the party, brought the convention forward in what is seen as a move to placate anti-Secondus forces who have been pushing for his removal.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, which lasted for about three hours, Sokoto State governor and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, said a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting will hold next week, after which a convention planning committee will be constituted.
“This meeting has agreed that immediately a NEC meeting should be convened for the party to constitute the national convention planning committee and the national convention be held latest by the end of October.
“As members of the BoT, members of the governors’ forum, members of former governors’ forum, former ministers, former Senators, former presiding officers of the National Assembly and various stakeholders, we are happy to announce that we have discussed all matters and we have resolved to continue to work as a united family. Also, the zoning committee for the party will be constituted by the same NEC immediately,” he said.
Secondus, in his capacity as chairman of the party, will convene the NEC meeting, Governor Tambuwal announced. It was learnt that Secondus and some other members of the NWC disagreed with the idea of holding the convention in October.
A source at the meeting said Secondus explained that the party had scheduled series of activities to hold between now and October. Those activities, according to Secondus, included state congresses in many parts of the country.
It was also learnt that an earlier plan to exclude members of the party’s NWC from seeking re-election into party positions was defeated. He said immediately the idea was mooted, NWC members argued that the move was not only unconstitutional, but grossly unfair.
The meeting was attended by all 13 PDP governors, including deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mohammed Mahdi Gusau, former Senate Presidents, David Mark and Bukola Saraki.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who chairs the PDP e-registration committee, told leaders of the party that less than 24 hours after the scheme was flagged off, over 10,000 Nigerians have registered as new members of the PDP.
￼The PDP has been experiencing an internal crisis leading to the resignation of at least seven principal officers. The party has also lost the Governors of Ebonyi, Cross River and Zamfara to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Monday, some party members held placards calling for the resignation of Secondus. Also, a caucus of the PDP at the House of Representatives accused Secondus of having “no clear roadmap, blueprint or policy programme for the party.” However, Secondus had said nothing, so far, warranted his resignation as national chairman.
Tambuwal, earlier in his opening remarks, charged Nigerians to dismiss insinuations that more governors will defect from PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“You can see clearly that 13 out of 13 of your governors, your ambassadors are in this meeting, fully committed to not only resolving the issues at hand, but also working assiduously toward delivering good governance in our respective states and moving our party forward.
“Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, we have resolved that we are committed to remaining in PDP. Disregard any 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.
“All parties should sheath 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,” he added.
Tambuwal asked: “If you say you are going somewhere, where will you go to? The APC is not a party. They do not have ward structures as we speak. They do not have a local government structure, state structures and 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 the Federal Government?”