Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently making moves to dissolve the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party headed by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Daily Independent has gathered.
However, Secondus, who does not want to take any chances, is said to be fighting back.
The governors, led by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, are also working at constituting a National Caretaker Committee that will pilot the affairs of the party until a national convention is held.
According to a credible source in the party, other governors with Wike in the move to dissolve the NWC are governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri; Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
He said the governors, who are worried about the defections in the party and the urgent need to reposition it ahead of the 2023 general elections, believe there is a need to put in a place a new set of executives “who can stop the hemorrhage and save the party from dying”.
When reminded that few weeks ago, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BoT) both passed votes of confidence in the national leadership of the party, our source said the governors’ action is the recent development in the party, especially as the nose-diving fortune of the party does not justify the continued stay of the Secondus-led exco.
Speaking further, he said the move by the governors to dissolve the NWC may not sail through as it does not have the backing of the party’s BoT.
“The governors cannot summon a NEC meeting. Only the national chairman of the party has powers to do so. Do you think Secondus will summon a NEC meeting where the issue of his removal will be the major issue?” he asked.
Daily Independent also gathered that Secondus who is aware of the plot by the governors to oust him is also fighting back by reaching out to them on the need for unity and stability in the party.
While other governors, who are displeased with Secondus had chosen to remain silent on the matter, Wike who is known to be fearless had publicly attacked the party leadership at several fora.
Wike, who played a key role in Secondus emergence as the national chairman, has not hidden his disdain for the NWC and had called them several derogatory names such as ‘tax payers’.
He also said that instead of focusing on strategies on how to take advantage of the alleged growing disenchantment with the APC government, the PDP-NWC was busy creating crisis among governors.
“The present National Working Committee is not interested or doing anything to take over the realms of government in 2023. When your interest is to remain in power, you are no longer interested in winning election,” he had said.
The Rivers State governor also called Secondus a liar in Abuja during the 60th birthday celebration of former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke.
He said: “If he (Secondus) had shown leadership in Cross River, our party would not have had the problem we have today.
“The national chairman said we need good leadership in the country, but if you don’t show good leadership, the party cannot produce good leaders. That is the truth of the matter.
“We talk about character.
What is leadership? Leadership is about character, boldness, selflessness and audacity.
“As a leader, you must have character. Not to speak white in the morning and you speak black in the evening. Is that leadership? What are we telling our youths? We are talking about the future of this country.”
Speaking with Daily Independent, a member of the NWC from the Northern part of the country, said it is unfair for the governors to lay the blame of the defections of state governors on the doorstep of the national chairman.
He said if for anything, the governors should take the blame for failing to persuade their colleagues not to leave the party for the APC.
“I am happy they are not accusing the national chairman or any member of the NWC of corruption. What they are hammering on is defection. But what do they expect the national chairman to do when these people have made up their minds to leave the party. Can he tie them down with a rope?
“If you recall, the governors had several meetings with their colleagues in Ebonyi, Cross River and Zamfara. When the market fire incident happened in Gusau, Zamfara State, APC governors donated N50 million but PDP governors donated N100 million, yet the governor still defected to APC. Why should you blame the national chairman for that? When the governors can’t stop their colleagues from leaving, what magic can the NWC do?
“I am appealing to the governors to fund the party. That is the way to constitute a serious opposition against a ruling party. Since 2019, the party has not received any fund from the governors, no monthly dues or whatsoever. How do they want the party to survive?” he asked.
Also speaking with Daily Independent, Chief Charles Idahosa, a foundation member of the PDP, said Secondus has performed creditably well and has the capacity to lead the party to the 2023 general elections.
He, however, said the problem in the PDP, especially between Secondus and Governor Wike, is a struggle between a godfather and his political godson, which, according him, was the same scenario that played out in the last governorship election in Edo State between Governor Godwin Obaseki and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“I think Secondus is up to the task of leading the party to the next general elections. He has done very well as the national chairman of PDP.
“I think the problem he has is the same problem we have in Edo State where you rely on a godfather to get to a particular position and the godfather wants to permanently have a hold on you. That is exactly what happened between Governor Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole. That is what is happening to Secondus now.
“Secondus got to his position as national chairman because of the support of a godfather. What we are witnessing now in PDP is a fight between a godfather and a godson who wants his freedom”, he said.