All 13 governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, rose from a marathon six-hour meeting without categorical pronouncement on resolving the crisis rocking the party.
As it stands, Prince Uche Secondus, PDP national chairman, still endures an uncertain fate, as the meeting convenes again today.
At the meeting, which held at the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, the governors were unable to find a way out of the lingering leadership crisis following persistent calls for the resignation of the national chairman.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Sokoto State governor and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, expressed readiness of the governors to continue the meeting with other stakeholders, like the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Assembly caucus, until the Secondus issue is resolved.
The decision to meet with the BoT and other stakeholders is to carry them along to avoid what might be termed arbitrary decision.
“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,” he said.
Although Secondus arrived the venue of the meeting hours after it had kicked off, he remained defiant that he won’t resign from office.
It was gathered that the governors subjected Secondus to serious ‘grilling’ that lasted 40 minutes. The questioning had to do with series of allegations, including misappropriation of party funds and deliberate manipulation of party affairs resulting in serious divisions in the organs of the party.
But after the meeting, Secondus simply told newsmen that: “I can confirm that I will never resign.” He avoided any other questions and walked away.
“No, I am not going to resign,” he said, when asked if he would throw in the towel, before he jumped into a waiting car shortly after he arrived.
The governors’ indecision was said to be related to the indictment against Secondus by six members of the National Working Committee (NWC), who appended their signatures in demand for Secondus’ resignation. A report containing those allegations was submitted to the governors’ forum.
The meeting was attended by Governors Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Others at the meeting were Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Adamu Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba).
Former Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, however, has condemned calls for the resignation of the embattled PDP chairman. Protesters had stormed the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, calling for his resignation.
But Senator Dickson, who represents Bayelsa West in the Senate, said the “illegal” National Working Committee meeting and PDP caucus in the House of Representatives, including the Monday protest, were part of the plot to contrive a needless crisis in the PDP to set up a caretaker committee, which he said would be illegal.
According to him, Secondus could either be removed by the national convention or choose to resign on his volition.
He said: “There is no crisis in the party. What is happening is only a contrived media crisis orchestrated and funded by some people with a motive to hijack the party without subjecting themselves and their cronies to a democratic vote at the convention, which is due in less than four months.
“This has nothing to do with Secondus’ performance but a coup against a major democratic institution in Nigeria and must be resisted and stopped by all lovers of democracy and all men of good conscience in Nigeria.
“The decamping of governors and other leaders is not the fault of Secondus. It happens from time to time in all political parties from 1999 till date. The PDP has received governors, presiding officers of the National Assembly and other political leaders under Secondus and will continue to do so after this crisis.
“Since we lost the 2015 elections, Secondus has laboured to keep the party in spite of harassment, campaigned round to support candidates without the so-called ‘taxation’, which has been put to an end in the party. He is one of the most experienced political party administrators in the party and in the country right from his days as NPN youth leader till date. He has seen it all and done it all.
“The whole issue is that Secondus insists that party decisions should be taken by all stakeholders and not by a few, especially decisions about the direction of the party in 2023.”
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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