While the leadership crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the continued stay of its national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is currently at its apogee, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),which is Nigeria’s major opposition party is also having its fair share as there are subtle moves by some aggrieved ember to effect leadership changes in the party.
However, the PDP last week denied reports of an alleged crack in the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) over plot to remove Prince Uche Secondus, the national chairman of the party.
Our correspondent gathered that the NWC is sharply divided over the continued stay of Secondus in office. According to him, the division started since last year following the party’s defeat in the 2019 presidential election.
It is also gathered that top leaders of the PDP in the Southwest have begun consultations and campaigns to convince other stakeholders in the party to remove Secondus over alleged crises in the state chapters, gale of defections, House of Representatives crisis, constitutional breaches and failure of the party to win the 2019 presidential election.
A credible source in the party said “not all members of the NWC are comfortable with Secondus still piloting the affairs of the party following the strings of losses recorded by the party before, during and after the 2019 general elections”.
“Yes, there is division in the NWC but it is being managed and it is not as pronounced as what we have in the other political party. In that party, like three NWC at one time or the other have publicly said that their national chairman should resign. It is being managed and that is why it has not gone out of hand” he said.
However, when contacted, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary said the report of any crisis or division in the party is untrue.
“There is no quarrel, division or strife in the NWC. The report of any division to remove the national chairman is balderdash” he said.
In a related development, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party said the present leadership of the party cannot make headway if it continues to sideline the elders of the party and treating them with contempt as if their opinions don’t matter in the running of the affairs of the party.
George who has accused Secondus-led NWC of impunity especially as regards the power tussle in Lagos PDP said he decided to speak out because he cannot afford to fold his hands and allow the party die.
“Leadership is not something you elect, it emerges. I haven’t attended any of their meetings since 2018 when former President Goodluck Jonathan launched his book titled, “My Transition Hours” in Abuja”.
“You can see the total confusion and mess. We are suggesting that they should go back and call the elders to prepare us for the next set of elections”.
“If they feel they want to sideline the party elders and run the party on their own, let them do it. Anybody who says an elder is not a fit and proper person; he himself will become an elder soon. It is just a matter of time”.
“Those who were saying we don’t want elders to become this and that, where are they today? A child sees herbs and calls it vegetable. No matter what happens, I have said any day I quit the PDP, I am going home because the other party, APC is not a political party but a congregation of strange bedfellows”.
“As for the PDP leadership, I don’t want to fire back at them because they are junior to me in age, experience and exposure. As an elder, I can’t just watch and allow a party we labored to build just waste away like that”.
“That is why we keep shouting that they should not destroy the party. They have their period now and cannot be there in perpetuity. Secondus cannot be there in perpetuity. As an elder, there are so many information that I have and I know certain things are not right but it is not for public consumption. That is the way an elder behaves” he said.
It will be recalled that following the victory of APC in the Bayelsa governprship election, Timi Frank, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC has called on Secondus, and the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party to apologise or resign over the loss of Bayelsa State which has been under PDP’s control since 1999.
He argued that PDP had chosen to relinquish the governance of Bayelsa to the opposition APC when it decided to field a weak candidate against a popular aspirant who could have steered the party to victory.
He called on Secondus and the National Working Committee (NWC) led by him, to “immediately apologise to all leaders and members of the party in Bayelsa State in particular and the country in general, or resign their positions for deliberately trading the party’s political capital and dominance in the state for a pot of porridge.”
“Secondus and the NWC knew what to do but they neglected to do it. This defeat is directly attributable to their poor choices, myopic political calculations and selfishness.
“It is our hope that the outcome of the Bayelsa State governorship election will serve as a lesson to the party to field popular candidates in future elections. The era of imposition is over. Take note,” he said.
However, with Bayelsa now in the firm grip of PDP after the Supreme Court verdict, it seems those holding Secondus responsible for the party’s loss will loosen their grip on him.