The past one week has been the most intense for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The move by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, to remove the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, sent the main opposition party into a feat of apprehension.
Wike criticised Secondus for mismanaging the party, blaming him for the defection of governors. Not long after, seven deputy national working committee members tendered their resignation on grounds that the Secondus-led NWC had not cared for their welfare.
Secondus, however had his own supporters speak in his defense. While Senator Seriake Dickson rejected moves to sack Secondus, the forum of PDP chairmen across the states also threw their weight behind their national chairman.
Also, party chieftains were worried that the moves to sack Secondus before his December tenure could lead to a legal slugfest, much like the long and winding court cases that characterised the Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi leadership tussle in 2016.
Secondus enjoyed more sympathy from those who are weary of the overbearing influence of governors in the affairs of the party. These group of people also pitched tent with the embattled national chairman.
Interestingly, and like previous chairmen, Secondus emerged chairman through the influence of PDP governors, spearheaded by Wike, who incidentally is from Rivers State like Secondus.
Despite the intervention of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and governors, party stakeholders remained divided on the call for his sack.
While the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives led by Hon Kingsley Chinda, called for Secondus’ sack, the House minority Leader, Hon Kingsley Elumelu said at no time had PDP members in the lower chamber discussed the sack of the national chairman.
Secondus, however, denied the allegations against him, insisting he will not resign because he had done nothing wrong.
After series of meetings by the governors and an expanded meeting of the BoT, the party found a middle ground for the two camps.
While they moved the convention forward, technically cutting short the tenure of Secondus, they also refused to endorse the sack of the national chairman.
They also resolved that a national convention planning committee be immediately set up to begin the process of the convention by October.
The committee will be ratified by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party next week.
Reacting however, former national deputy chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, commended the party leadership for resolving the crisis.
He said the party cannot be pocketed by one individual, even as he urged party leaders to ensure that the convention committee are neutral and work for the party progress.