How PDP is aiming to destroy October 30 National convention

By Ogundele Olanrewaju

A cloud of uncertainty is threatening the October 30 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The party had fixed its elective national convention for October 30 and 31 as a middle course approach to the recent leadership crisis.

At its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting two weeks ago, the party directed members, who had gone to court over the leadership crisis to withdraw them. Before the NEC meeting, a committee headed by former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, was empanelled by the caucus to interface with those involved in the crisis.

The party at the moment has been served with three court orders over the status of its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. A source at the party’s national secretariat disclosed that the October date is seriously under threat. According to the source, the principal actors in the crisis,

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and Secondus, the national chairman are not ready to shift grounds. He said: “I can tell you that David Mark committee is finding it difficult to reconcile Wike and Secondus.

None of them is ready to shift their positions. “Wike is insisting that Secondus should leave. Secondus on his part, is also insisting on his mandate. NEC is meeting on Thursday. May be, a decision will be taken when Mark’s committee presents its report. But all I can tell you now is that there is no head way.

“But I don’t think the national chairman is opposed to resolving the crisis. He told the committee when they met with him that he was ready to do anything that will make PDP return to power in 2023.” Mark’s committee had met with the national chairman in his office immediately after the caucus meeting.

Although Secondus was in his office following the Birini- Kebbi High Court ruling, which restored him to office, he was not allowed to preside over the August 27 caucus meeting.

Deputy National Chairman (South) Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, who had been bedridden for months, was brought in acting national chairman, and he had to preside over the PDP meeting. Neither Secondus nor Wike attended the August 28 NEC meeting.

An indication that Mark’s committee had met a brick wall was the suspension slammed on Secondus by his Andoni ward in Rivers State. Rivers State Chairman of the party, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, also accused the national chairman of working against southern interest.

The PDP source told Sunday Telegraph that he foresees fresh litigations coming. “I’m sure that what has prevented court orders is the intervention of the CJN. Otherwise, there would have been different court orders by now.

But that will still not stop aggrieved members from going to court. “We’re going into the national convention. Some congresses will also be conducted in some states. I think about nine of them. Those dissatisfied will likely seek redress,” he stated.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, had last Monday, invited chief judges of six states over conflicting court orders from courts in their jurisdiction.

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the umbrella body of lawyers, and senior members of the profession, had equally expressed concerns at the erosion of the integrity of the judiciary due to the activities of some lawyers and judges. Before the CJN’s intervention, the PDP crisis had attracted court orders from Rivers, Kebbi and Cross River States.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said he has been out of Abuja since Friday and would not say if David Mark’s committee has submitted its report.

Ologbondiyan admitted that the essence of the committee was to stop further escalation of the crisis, including the recent suspension of the national chairman by his ward in Rivers State. Indications however showed that the current crises rocking the PDP was about who becomes the National Chairman of the part as well as the presidential candidate.

Those who are privy to happenings in the party accused Wike of being bent on seeing the back Secondus, whom he brought in as the chairman when the going was good between them.

A source said: “Wike has an agenda which he must see to the end of it. “He brought is Secondus to be the national chairman. Now he has picked on the same Secondus as his enemy. It is nothing but who becomes the Chairman and presidential candidate of PDP.

“Due to this, he has aligned with some persons in the party. He has not yet decided who he wants between Saraki, Atiku and Tambuwal.

“He is playing a dangerous game in the party and precluded the South to become the presidential candidate.” It is certain, the PDP will still bring northern presidential candidate. It is whom he is aligning with that is not yet clear.

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