By Dirisu Yakubu
Against the backdrop of recent defections from the fold of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, a former Commissioner of Information in Edo state, Prince Kassim Afegbua has again called for the sack of the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
Afegbua’s demand is not unconnected with last week’s defection of the lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi, from the PDP to the APC, with Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle reportedly said to have perfected his defection as well.
It would be recalled that about two months ago, Afegbua petitioned the anti-graft bodies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, accusing Secondus of financial irresponsibility amongst sundry Offences.
Afegbua had specifically accused the PDP boss of failing to account for the sum of N10 billion which he claimed, accrued to the party from the sales of nomination forms for the 2019 general elections.
The PDP through its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, however, countered Afegbua, noting that the sum of N4.6 billion and not N10 billion was the actual amount generated.
Not long after the face off, Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade left the PDP for the APC.
In a statement issued, Sunday, Afegbua renewed his call for Secondus to be shown the exit door, noting that with him in the saddle, the PDP is heading to a gloomy future.
The statement read in part: “When I raised alarm two months ago about the gradual decimation of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the Uche Secondus leadership, many had thought I was raising dust over nothing.
“The events of the last one month and the continuing defection of major PDP stakeholders to the ruling All Progressives’ Congress, APC, is a further testimony to the leadership tactlessness and spinelessness of the Secondus-led National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
“It should be of urgent concern to all stakeholders and organs of the party, including the Governors’ Forum, to arrest this obvious drift which has left our dear party naked before Nigerians, home and abroad.
“There is a more compelling need to urgently call for a stakeholders meeting to mitigate, amongst other things, this obvious decimation of the PDP by a leadership that is utterly bereft of ideas, confused, intellectually hollow, phlegmatic and absent-minded in the affairs of the nation and the party. An opposition party that should be gaining momentum because of the leadership failures of the ruling APC, is at best losing some of her best hands across the nation, and losing the much needed momentum.
“When we thought Lagos state PDP was looking good, court judgment uprooted a forward looking leadership that ought to have added impetus to the party in the state. When we thought we could gain mileage in Anambra, greed and avarice have combined to ridicule the party in the state, producing two factions within 24 hours to undermine a clear opportunity to win back the state.
“As if that was not enough, sheer arrogance of power in Delta state has led to the exit of Senator Nwaoboshi to the ruling APC, leaving PDP with a Senator representing Delta on its platform. If you add salt to the injuries already inflicted, the defection of the Zamfara state Governor, Bello Mutawallen to the APC brings double jeopardy to an already bad situation.
“All these portend bad omen for an opposition party that should gain maximum mileage under a system that has been run aground by the menacing incompetence of the APC-led federal government. Rather than act appropriately by creating strategies that could nip this in the bud, the Uche Secondus leadership looks apparently helpless and dithering like a lost sheep in the desert.”
“We are already at the threshold of not fielding a candidate in the Anambra election if the stakeholders do not rally round to make a better impression about our preparedness.”
The ex-commissioner further alleged of possible connivance between Secondus and stakeholders of the APC to work hand-in-hand in favour of the ruling party.
“On a regular basis,” he continued, “critical stakeholders are defecting to the APC-such bile in the dish-following the untold hardship and sufferings the ruling party has wrought on the people. I have every cause to believe there is possibly a huge conspiracy between the Uche Secondus-led NWC and the Caretakers Committee of the APC, to keep quiet while the opposition is being plundered through defection.
“I won’t be surprised if by tomorrow Uche Secondus decides to defect to the APC for reasons that are obvious. As I write this, another PDP Governor from the South-East is also warming up to defect. Also, another PDP Governor from the North-East is warming up to defect if the right leadership is not put in place to halt this drift.
“The stakeholders of the party should urgently carry out an overhaul that could elicit hope in an atmosphere that is almost becoming hopeless amid a plethora of leadership incompetencies publicly being exhibited by Uche Secondus and his co-travellers.
“Save PDP now before it is too late. Under Uche Secondus’s watch, three validly elected governors of the PDP have flagrantly violated their oath by defecting to a party that never gave them ticket. Even when there are no crises in their respective states, the ease of their exit, tells of the crass opportunism of a leadership that is detained by gross incompetence to rally round all factors that could assuage the feelings of these stakeholders.
“The time to sack Uche Secondus leadership is now, now and now. Postponing the evil day will only deepen the crisis of confidence that is presently on full throttle across the structures of the party. The Board of Trustees and founders of the party must act urgently to recover the party before it finally explodes. The time to act is now, tomorrow might be too late.”