From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja and Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Amidst intrigues and intense powerplay over the zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), a powerful bloc has moved against members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Daily Sun gathered that though members of the Uche Secondus-led NWC are eyeing a second term, a powerful bloc is pushing for the sack of the NWC, especially Secondus, before the expiration of their tenure on December 10, 2021, over alleged poor management of party affairs.
However, on the flipside, some party leaders are pushing for Secondus and other members to be given a second term to aid the party’s preparation for the 2023 polls or at least be allowed to complete their tenure in the event that they would not be given a second tenure.
Regardless, the anti-Secondus group, which is allegedly led by one of the governors in the South South geopolitical zone is said to be more formidable and it is insisting on the sack of the PDP national chairman.
Daily Sun gathered that the leaders of the party in the South South, where the PDP chairman hails from, have already commenced a search for his successor, after efforts to broker peace, during the Yuletide, between Secondus and those seeking his ouster failed to yield result.
It was also gathered that the PDP leaders are considering either a former chairman of the party in Edo State or a former member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State as possible replacement for Secondus in event of his ouster, before the expiration of his tenure.
In recent times, there has been serious horse-trading and scheming among PDP leaders as the opposition party awaits the report of the 2019 Election Review Committee headed by Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed, which is expected to act as a guide in the zoning of its 2023 presidential ticket, vice presidential tickett and the national chairmanship position among others.
A source at the PDP National Secretariat told Daily Sun that Secondus narrowly escaped a vote of no confidence at a recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, and said the party chairman will be lucky to survive until end of his tenure in December.
“A lot of things are going on. We were in a meeting a few days ago where some stakeholders said they don’t want him (Secondus) to continue as chairman. But another group in the party is saying they don’t want a case of what happened in 2015 elections, where Adamu Muazu just came from the blues when election was nearby. This group is saying if you bring another chairman from outside, who does not have the experience, how will he handle the party matters less than one years to primaries?”
However, another source at the party headquarters, who confirmed to Daily Sun that plans to sack Secondus is thickening by the day, said regardless of the allegations against, the move to him oust him is part of ongoing powerplay ahead of the next general elections and not because of anything he had done or failed to do.
“There is almost a near consensus that the national chairman should he removed. The allegations against him is that he is not managing the party very well. They are also accusing him that the party is experiencing a lot of division and acrimony under him. The stakeholders are not comfortable with his leadership style.
“They are already looking for his replacement from the South South or to take the position to the North. PDP leaders are already shopping for a replacement. They are currently looking at two persons from Rivers and Edo State. But the truth is that he has fallen out with those who supported him to become national chairman. Besides, those interested in the 2023 presidential ticket from the South are seeing his continued stay as a threat to their ambition, so they are are pushing that the next national chairman should come from the North. But at the moment, everybody is waiting for the outcome of the Bala Mohammed Committee report,” he stated.
The NWC and particularly the PDP national chairman had come under serious criticism in recent times over their leadership style and management of party affairs and the crisis rocking the some state chapters. No fewer than 11 state chapters, including Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Cross River, Ebonyi, Osun, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Kano Adamawa, are enmeshed in leadership crisis, with six of the affected states in court with the national leadership.
Recently, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, accused the NWC of allegedly sowing seeds of discord in the party and been more interested in securing a second tenure than in positioning the PDP to win the 2023 general elections.
When contacted the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, denied knowledge of any plot against the NWC or the national chairman.
However, the Jigawa chapter of the party has conducted its congress elections after a long battle between the two factions.
The congress may have put to rest the lingering crises between the Sule Lamido-led faction and that of Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
The congress, yesterday, at the Dutse stadium had earlier suffered series of postponement due to litigation by the Ringim faction against the later. The last setback was the securing of a court injunction preventing the Sule Lamido faction from continuing with the party’s local government congress.