Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees on Thursday opposed moves to sack the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and replace it with an interim caretaker committee.
It was gathered that at a meeting, which started at 11am and presided over by the board Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, members insisted that the National Chairman, Secondus, should be allowed to complete his tenure which would soon end.
It was also learnt that the party leaders faulted what they termed as uncomplimentary remarks by some party leaders, including the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, against the NWC.
The board, according to sources, also berated Secondus over his handling of crises in some state chapters of the party.
Reports had disclosed on Thursday that the national chairman was battling to retain his position as Wike spearheaded moves to ensure his removal before the party’s National Executive Council meeting and the national convention.
According to the report, Secondus’ opponents reasoned that the national chairman would install his loyalists as members of the convention committee thus paving the way for his re-election.
It was alleged that Tuesday’s resignation of seven members of NEC was part of the moves to oust the national chairman and set up a caretaker committee, which would organise the next national convention.
At Thursday’s BoT meeting, it was learnt that the seven NEC members, who resigned, were asked to withdraw their resignation.
Findings also indicated that members insisted that Secondus should be allowed to end his tenure.
It was gathered the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, afforded party leaders the opportunity to speak frankly to one another.
A member of the board, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “ Based on the outcome of the meeting today, members want Secondus to finish his tenure, We are not in support of any interim arrangement. We spoke frankly to one another and apportioned blame where we needed to. We looked at the bigger picture, the interest of our party.
“Most of the speakers expressed dissatisfaction with uncomplimentary remarks about our chairman by one of our leaders who was present.
“Referring to our leaders as ‘tax collectors’ and ‘liars‘ was an insult on all of us and we said so.
“Of course, there were those who spoke up about the shoddy treatment our chairman had given them over matters he was expected to handle better but did not.
“Some of our senior party leaders who recently left did so in anger because they felt badly treated in their state chapters despite staying with the party through its most difficult times.
“He was also told in clear terms to improve his relationship and interaction with members because politics is a game that also involves a lot of egos.”
Recall, on June 23, 2020, Wike said, “Some NWC members are tax collectors” while announcing his withdrawal from the Edo PDP reconciliation committee.
Another source stated, “Just like many of our leaders including our ex-officio members have canvassed, the aggrieved persons who have tendered resignation and some who have threatened to follow suit were encouraged to rescind their decision in the interest of our party.”
It was, however, agreed that those who refused to withdraw should be replaced.
After Thursday’s BoT meeting, a former President of the Senate, David Mark who addressed journalists, said, “We resolved at the meeting to set up a committee that will look at the situation.
“The committee is made up of the governors, members of the BoT, members of the National Assembly, all the members of the National Working Committee, former governors, former ministers, so that they can holistically resolve the problems.“
The former Senate President expressed confidence that the peace move “will not only stop the current crises, it will lead to providing a better environment to make us far more United and make us stronger as a party.“
He also dispelled speculations t Wike was summoned to the meeting. Mark explained that Wike attended the meeting as a BoT member.
Also, the BoT Chairman, Jibrin, described the meeting as “frank and sincere“. He expressed confidence that all the issues would soon be resolved.
In his remarks, former Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “We all came together to address some issues and because of the urgency of the matter, we agreed to set up this committee urgently and within the next 48 to 72 hours, they will meet and at the end of that meeting, the country will see where the direction the party is going.
“The commitment of everybody to attend that meeting and subject themselves to the decision of that meeting shows the interest of everybody.
“The presence of all of us here is because this meeting of today is important in addressing some of those issues.
“My own message to Nigerians is that we know the importance of this party to this nation in addressing the challenges ahead of us. So let us come together as a party and salvage this country.“
Earlier, in his address of welcome, Secondus urged members of the board to consider the work so far done and the fact that any disruption of the move towards a peaceful transition in December would not be in the party’s best interest.
He said, “This is the first time in the history of our party, regardless of divergence of opinions that this current NWC has been in office and nearly three months to the convention that we will be ending this regime in a smooth transition that will be taking place without rancour or problem.
“Let me report to the BoT that of truth based on what the Chairman of the BoT has said, that seven deputies members of the principal working committee resigned.
“We met with them, the first day they brought their letters and we also met with them yesterday.
“We quickly deployed the internal conflict resolution mechanism so that the issues are not escalated to the point that our party will be greatly damaged.
“You are aware that the National Youth Leader took a stand that is outside the conduct of our normal process of settling grievances and thereafter he on his own has been going on, on the wide-scale allegations and so forth.“
“My opinion is that anything contrary to the smooth running of our party, towards these three months that is remaining will not be good enough for our party.“
Attempts to speak to the Rivers State governor after the meeting were unsuccessful. As soon as he stepped out of the PDP National Executive Council Meeting Hall at the Wadata Plaza, National Secretariat of the party, a group of reporters and cameraman approached him for an interview, he simply walked into his waiting SUV and left.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by his Media Office, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar appealed to aggrieved party members to give peace a chance.
In a statement titled, “PDP: Atiku calls for calm, urges reconciliation process be given a chance,’ signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said those who wanted Nigerians to continue with the current hardship in the land would be eager to fuel the crisis in the PDP for their political advantage.”
The former Vice President called on PDP leaders to unite for the sake of the party’s interest and the country.
Also, six-officio members of the party called for calm. In a statement signed on their behalf by Yunnana Illiya and Chief Okey Aro, they said,” We consider the recent resignation of some members of the National Executive Committee of our party, following allegations of abandonment against our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus as hasty and ill-advised. It is our considered opinion that they should have explored internal dispute resolution mechanism to resolve their grievances.
Those at the BOT meeting include PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, National Secretary, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri and Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Suleiman Nazif
Immediate Past President of Saraki, former president of the Senate, Mark, former President of the Senate, Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara
Former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi, former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Katisna State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, former Cross Rivers State Governor, Liyel Imoke, Chief Olisa Metuh, former Osun State Governor, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola. End
Deputy national publicity secretary withdraws resignation
Meanwhile, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Diran Odeyemi, who is the leader of the aggrieved deputies who resigned their positions, on Thursday rescinded his decision.
In a letter dated August 4, titled “Withdrawal of letter of resignation, addressed to the party, he said, “ I write to withdraw my letter of resignation as deputy national publicity secretary of our great party.
“This decision is taken in view of the activation of the internal method of resolving issues by our leaders across the length and breadth of Nigeria. I also wish to state expressly that whichever embarrassment the resignation has caused the party, its leaders, members and supporters is highly regretted. “
Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.
The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.
The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.
An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.
However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.
The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.
The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.
The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.
The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.
See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.
The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.
PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.
The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes
Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.
Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.
Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.
Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.
Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.
Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.
Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.
The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.
The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.
Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.
The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.
Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.
But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.
Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.
PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.
The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.
The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.
The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.
According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.
2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama
A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.
Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.
He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.
Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.
“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.
Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.
Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.
It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”
It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.
“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.
“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.
“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.
The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.
“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.
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