The crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party on Monday worsened as the meeting of the governors elected under the platform of the party, called to resolve it hit a stalemate forcing the state chief executives to reconvene today (Tuesday).
The meeting was summoned to determine whether or not the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, should be removed from office as being demanded by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike-led pressure group in the party.
But after several hours of deliberation during which Secondus was later invited ostensibly to state his case, the meeting was adjourned till Tuesday to enable it to take a definite stand.
Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum (PDP-GF) and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, told journalists that the meeting deliberated on current issues concerning the party but will reconvene Tuesday.
He assured that the governors are working to ensure that all disagreements are resolved.
The Sokoto Governor said: “We discussed extensively on matters of the moment concerning our party and we have collectively resolved to continue to work together in unity. This meeting will continue on Tuesday with other stakeholders.Very soon, Nigerians and indeed, all of you will hear our resolution but we are working towards resolving all issues, as a family. By the grace of God, we are going to achieve that.”
At the meeting were Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Others are Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), and Douye Diri (Bayelsa).
While the governors meeting was ongoing, nine of the 18-member PDP National Working Committee (NWC) met over the crisis and six of them voted for Secondus to leave office on the grounds of allegedly mismanaging the PDP.
An unsigned statement, which emerged after the meeting pointed out that those who wanted Secondus to quit believed that he is “highly incompetent, factionalised the party and has lost the confidence of members of the party.”
The statement explained: “Sequel to the meeting held on the 3rd of August 2021 at the legacy house where members of the National working committee (NWC) sat and decided that a meeting of the National working committee (NWC) should be held on the 8th of August 2021 at Hilton to further deliberate on the matter bedevilling the party, the meeting held and extensively deliberated, 9 members of the National working committee (NWC) agreed that the National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus has grossly mismanaged the party, highly incompetent, factionalised the party and has lost the confidence of members of the party.
“The matter of his resignation was put to vote, 6 members voted that he should resign and 3 members abstained from voting, therefore the meeting resolved to forward the resolution taken on the 8th day of August to the governors forum, the BOT, the national assembly caucus of both house of reps and the senate. We call on all members of the party to remain calm as the party leadership is working tirelessly to resolve the leadership crisis,” he said.
Those who attended the NWC according to the statement are Sen. Suleiman Nazif, Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Umar Ibrahim Tsauri (National Secretary), Alh. Mai Adamu Mustapha (National Auditor), Abdulahi Maibasira (National Financial Secretary), and Rt. Hon. Sunday Udeh-Okoye (National Youth Leader).
Others present are Amb. Taofiq Arapaja (National Vice Chairman (South West), Chief Dr. Ali Odefa (National Vice Chairman (South East), Chief Dan Osi Orbih (National Vice Chairman (South South) and Chief Theophilus Dakas National Vice Chairman (North Central).
The statement revealed that those who voted in favour of ousting Secondus are Sen. Nazif, Mustapher, Udeh-Okoye, Arapaja, Orbih and Odefa while three members abstained.
Meanwhile, a group of youths stormed the national secretariat of the party in Abuja Monday to demand for the resignation of the party chairman.
The youths under the aegis of “Save PDP Group,” carried placards of different inscriptions some of which read: “PDP is bigger than Secondus,” “Resign Now Mr. Chairman,” “Secondus must go,” “Who are you working for to destroy PDP?”
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The embattled National Chairman was however adamant on Monday, telling those mounting pressure on him to resign from the office that he has no intention of doing so.
According to a statement issued by his spokesman, Ike Abonyi, which disclosed this, he has not seen anything on ground to get him to resign from office.
The statement added that Prince Secondus is of the view that “nothing so far warrants his resignation from the party position and those tiny minorities calling for his resignation should come clean and tell party members across the country his offense why he should resign.”
The statement said Secondus will remain focused and committed to the ideals of the party “which he swore to protect and defend upon his election to lead this great party 44 months ago.”