Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Working Committee (NWC) have clashed over the legality of a meeting where six members called for the immediate resignation of the National Chairman, Uche Secondus.
Daily Sun gathered that the nine NWC members led by the deputy national chairman (North), Senator Suleiman Nazif, met at Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Sunday night over the crisis in the party.
There are 19 NWC members, comprising 12 national officers, and six national vice chairmen in charge of the six geo-political zones.
However, the PDP National Legal Adviser, Emmanuel Enoidem, described the meeting as a nullity as it is only the national chairman or two-third of NWC members that can convene a meeting of the party organ.
At the end of the meeting, six of the NWC members including Nazif; Mai Adamu Mustapher, National Auditor; Sunday Udeh- Okoye; Taofiq Arapaja, national vice chairman (South West); Chief Dan Orbih, national vice chairman (South South) and Chief Ali Odefa, national vice chairman (South East) called for Secondus’ immediate resignation.
Others who attended the meeting were Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri, national secretary; Abdulahi Maibasira, national financial secretary and Chief Theophilus Dakas, national vice chairman (North Central).
The aggrieved NWC members resolved to forward their resolution to the PDP Governors Forum, the BoT and other organs of the party.
Regardless, Secondus, in a statement by his media adviser, , Ike Abonyi, insisted that he would not resign as has done nothing wrong to warrant it.
The PDP chairman challenged “tiny minority” calling for his resignation to come clean and tell party stalwarts the main reason they want him out of office.
Enoidem, in a WhatsApp message shared to some members of the NWC, noted that “by Section 29 (3) of the constitution of our party, it is the national chairman or a summon backed by 2/3 members of the NWC that can validly convene a meeting of the NWC.
Subsection (4) provides for 2/3 members of NWC to form a quorum for a meeting of the NWC.”
He contended that “as a bona fide member of the NWC, to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any meeting of NWC summoned by the national chairman or in the manner provided aforesaid.
“It is, therefore, of grave concern, and indeed, very sad to read the above position purportedly taken by some distinguished members of NWC in utter disdain and violation of clear extant provisions of our constitution.
“The issue of resignation of any officer of our party at any level is a personal decision as stipulated in Sections 45(1) & 47 (5).
“There is no provision of our constitution which donates powers to any organ, individuals or group of persons to ask an officer of the party to resign for any reason whatsoever as was purported in the so called press release.
“The powers to remove any member of the NWC and indeed any national officer is reserved in the national convention which is due for December 2021.
“This is more so when the purported meeting was said to have been convened on Sunday August 8, 2021 against the widely published position taken by the BoT advising members and leaders of our party to maintain peace until a committee set up has deliberated on the raging controversies.”
This came as some support groups under the platform of Save PDP Group and Coalition of PDP Youth Groups lent their voice to call for Secondus to resign.
During a protest at the party’s National secretariat in Abuja, the Save PDP Group and Coalition of PDP Youth Groups accused Secondus of polarising the party for his own selfish interest while also alleging that he was responsible for the defection of three governors and some senators from the party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Its leader, Tamunotonye Inioribo, who addressed the media, alleged that no department of the PDP was functioning under Secondus, and he was also creating factions within state branches of the party.
The protesters were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions such “Secondus Must Go”, “we have lost confidence in your chairmanship”, “we cannot afford to lose more governors”, among others.
The party organs, including the NWC, Board of Trustees and others, have activated conflict resolution mechanisms to wade into the crisis ahead of the party’s National Elective Convention, expected to hold in December.
This is as members of the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives have disagreed over calls for the resignation the party’s national chairman, Uche Secondus.
The PDP caucus, in the House, in a statement by Kingsley Chinda and Chukwuka Onyema, leader and deputy leader, respectively, on Sunday night, called on Secondus to resign immediate in the interest of the opposition party.
However, the minority leader, House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said he has no knowledge of any meeting by the PDP caucus, where decision was taken to call for the resignation of Secondus.
Elumelu, in a statement, yesterday, said: “If such a meeting held, it was without the knowledge of the leadership of the Minority Caucus, and therefore in breach of established procedure.”
“We are working in concert with organs of the party to ensure sustainable resolution of the current challenges that will be in the overall interest of the party and Nigerians.”
This came as former governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, opposed plans to force him out.
Dickson who represents Bayelsa West, in a statement he personally signed, said the decision of a few members of the party to force Secondus out did not represent their views.
“By the PDP constitution, only the national chairman of the party can summon and preside over meetings of the organs of the party especially the NWC of which he is chairman. So, the purported meeting and the outcome therefore are part of the plot to contrive a needless crisis in the PDP.
“It is part of the scheme to call a dog a bad name to hang it. The general public should note that the statement signed by some members: 3 members of the working committee and three vice chairmen of the party (as indicated in the press release) does not constitute a valid resolution of the National Working Committee. By the way, the NWC has 19 members and only six of them signed the statement leaving out the majority of 13 who were not at the meeting and the chairman who was not aware, who did not attend, who did not authorise and who did not preside over the said meeting and therefore it is not only a nullity but an act of gross misconduct.
“It is all an effort to contrive a crises in the party to further the ulterior objective of those who are funding it, the intent of which is to cause a major crisis in the PDP.”
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