By Dirisu Yakubu
A major crisis is threatening the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the recent inauguration of new ward executive committees across the country with national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus accused of manipulating the process.
Investigations by this medium showed that the tenures of the occupants, going by the constitution of the party, expired by 11: 59 PM on Thursday last week, while the new executive committees were expected to be inaugurated on Friday, May 1, in states where congresses had already been concluded but for the lockdown orders occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic across the country.
A member of the National Working Committee, NWC, Sunday, accused Secondus of not carrying all members of the committee along in key decision making; a development, he said, is capable of affecting the fortunes of the PDP, “if not properly addressed.”
ALSO READ: APC NWC not fictionalised -Spokesman
In the words of one of the NWC members not comfortable with the manner things are unfolding, “all is not well in the party right now, and our national chairman is the only one that can explain the current issues being raised concerning the inauguration of the ward EXCOS because we sat as a body and resolved that the exercise should be put on hold in some places such as Ekiti, Kano, Cross River and others where we had some issues to be resolved, but to the surprise of everyone, the press statement on the decision was never made public
“Our findings revealed that the non-release of the statement at the appropriate time gave room for manipulations. For instance, in Ekiti State where we have some issues to resolve, two parallel EXCOS were inaugurated, one on Thursday and the second one on Friday. We even learnt they went to court over the matter under this lockdown.
“Also note that there were inauguration of parallel State EXCOS in Osun, Ondo and of late, Ogun States. All these should be of concern to loyal party members and they should look into these issues before the party collapse all because of personal interest.
Accusing Secondus of undermining the leadership of the party, the source continued, “our take is that if the national chairman had allowed the press statement as resolved by the NWC, there would not have been room for the shortcomings we are witnessing now. I am afraid if something is not done urgently to rescue the party, we should as well forget 2023.
Meanwhile, it appears the issues threatening the health of the party go beyond the handling of its ward congresses, as the NWC member who pleaded not to be named had this to say.
“Another issue of contention we have been battling with is the indefinite suspension slammed on some of our lawmakers in the House of Representatives. It was supposed to last for a month but look at where we are now. We never tabled their extension at any of our meetings, the chairman only extended it by fiat through a press statement.
“Anyway, some of us kicked against it because of the realities on ground. PDP is not the only party that makes up the Minority in the House. Others met and they elected their leaders which were ratified by the House. We think that those who are representing us are doing very excellent based on their brilliant performances. They are our first eleven but we don’t know why the chairman is looking the other way.
“The time has come fo the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives to wade into the matter before the affected lawmakers will be frustrated to dump the party.
However, Secondus in a statement jointly signed by the national secretary of the party, Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, on Saturday, reacted to the inauguration of organs of the Ogun state chapter of the party, dissociating the NWC of the party from what it called “an illegal action.”
According to the statement, “the attention of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been drawn to some media publications, especially, the online media concerning a purported inauguration of certain unknown persons as state officers of the party in Ogun state on Friday, May 8, 2020
“We want to advise members of the public, especially the teeming members of our great party in Nigeria and Ogun State in particular, that the Peoples Democratic Party has not conducted any congress for the election of the party officers at any level of the party: ward, Local Government Area chapter and or state, in Ogun State.”
The leadership of the party has also appointed a caretaker committee for the Ekiti State chapter, chaired by Senator Hosea Agboola, in the wake of the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party that had two parallel ward executive committees inaugurated last week.
It is true that he takes unilateral decisions sometimes without reaching out to other members of the NWC. This is not good and we hope he would change his leadership style. Those who can’t question him are those who are particularly close to him in expectation of one favour or the other,” he said.