…Why NWC members are uncomfortable with Akinwonmi—PDP source
…I’ll run for chairmanship if… —Oyinlola
By Dirisu Yakubu & Shina Abubakar
FOLLOWING the emergence of two acting National Chairmen of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors elected on the party’s platform are expected to meet today to nip the leadership crisis in the bud.
The meeting, called by chairman of the forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, is expected to have in attendance governors elected on its platform, former Senate Presidents, Senators Bukola Saraki and David Mark, among others.
The party’s National Vice Chairman (North), Sulaiman Nazif and his counterpart in the South, Yemi Akinwonmi are laying claim to the chairmanship position.
While Nazif declared himself the acting national chairman of the party, Akinwonmi insisted that any action or speech made in his absence was null and void.
The situation has, however, led to the polarization of the party as members of the National Working Committee, NWC, are divided into two camps.
Nazif, however, enjoys the backing of some NWC members backed by some PDP governors.
As a result, he is bent on presiding over the affairs of the party, at least in the interim.
But Akinwonmi, sources told Vanguard, may find it difficult to stay on for long given his health status, which renders total concentration untenable for now.
Since suffering from stroke in December 2020, the PDP chieftain had not been seen at party events until his sudden appearance on Tuesday to declare his position on the lingering crisis.
Why NWC members are uncomfortable with Akinwonmi—PDP source
A top PDP official, who spoke in confidence, said though NWC members do not have a problem with Akinwonmi, they are worried that he is not in a good state of health to avail the party the kind of energy it needs to put the All Progressives Congress, APC, on its toes preparatory to the 2023 general elections.
The PDP chieftain said: “Forces against embattled chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, do not see Akinwonmi as the kind of leader needed to chart a fresh path for the party.
“It’s like going from fry pan to fire as the saying goes. Constitutionally, there is no doubt that the national chairman (South) of the party, Yemi Akinwonmi is the acting chairman but are they ready to support him? Can he do the job given the reason earlier mentioned?
“On the other hand, Nazif is left with little or no choice as this is a constitutional matter. His description of Akinwonmi as incapacitated, though punchy, means very little as only a certified medical personnel can determine whether Baba (Akinwonmi) is incapacitated or not.
READ ALSO: PDP crisis is about godfatherism —Idahosa
“I think the way out is for the leadership of the party to put their heads together and support Baba to constitute a team to brainstorm on the forthcoming convention on the agreed timeline.”
I’ll run for chairmanship if… —Oyinlola
Meanwhile, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, yesterday, declared his interest in contesting the chairmanship position of the PDP.
Oyinlola, who spoke on radio programme on Rave FM, said he may contest if the chairmanship position is zoned to the southwest.
He said: “I will contest the PDP national chairman office on two conditions: if it is zoned to the South-West and if I can muster the stakeholders of the party to be behind me.
“My 10 years cumulative experience as governor is no mean feat. I was once the National Secretary of the party, the engine room of the party. What then does it take, what kind of experience does anyone want to see in the national chairman? So if those two conditions are met, I am contesting.”
PDP women group tackles Secondus
Meanwhile, the PDP Women Caucus in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, accused the embattled National Chairman, Prince Secondu of allegedly engaging in an unholy romance with APC, by challenging his suspension from Nasarawa State judiciary.
In a statement by Caucus President and Secretary, Ms. Doris Owaji and Mrs. Beauty Samuel, the women group said: “In as much as we recognise the constitutional right of Secondus to seek legal redress, we consider it, however, curious that he opted to file a suit to challenge his suspension from the PDP in Nasarawa State, governed by the APC.”