Politics

PDP chairmanship: Pressure mounts on Uche Secondus to withdraw court case

Following the emergence of a former President of the Senate, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, as the consensus candidate for the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), pressure is being mounted on the suspended national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, to withdraw the suit seeking the reaffirmation of his four-year tenure of office in line with Section 59 (3) Constitution of the PDP, it was learnt.

Ayu’s emergence is expected to pave the way for a possible southern presidential candidate in the 2023 general election.

In a new realignment of political forces in the South-west, the party stakeholders in the region may have dumped the former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and a former National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, and asked the National Vice Chairman (South-west), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to seek reelection as the Deputy National Chairman (South).

Fresh facts have also emerged on how Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State upstaged the former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and former governors of Imo State, Achike Udenwa and Emeka Ihedioha to produce a consensus candidate for the National Secretary of the PDP.

It was gathered that following the emergence of Ayu as the northern consensus candidate for the National Chairman of the PDP, some selected leaders and stakeholders of the PDP have been reaching out to Secondus to withdraw his court case because of the implications and consequences the Court of Appeal judgment may have on the preparations for the October 31 national convention of the party.

Some loyalists of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar have also called on the party to resolve all issues relating to Secondus or be ready to lose the 2023 presidential election.

The High Court of Rivers State sitting in Degema had suspended Secondus as national chairman, but the suspension was set aside by a Kebbi State High Court.

But no sooner had the Kebbi court set the order aside than another High Court in Calabar, Cross River State reinforced the suspension of the embattled national chairman.

Secondus has since appealed the orders of the two high courts at the Court of Appeal, where he is asking the court to reaffirm his four years tenure of office in line with Section 59 (3) Constitution of the PDP.

In the last sitting of the Court of Appeal, the court in a dramatic manner announced the transfer of the Secondus’ appeal to Port Harcourt, stating that it was where the substantive suit originated.

But PDP stakeholders have wondered why the President of the Court of Appeal directed that the appeal between Senator Ugochukwu Uba and Valentine Ozigbo would be heard in Abuja, instead of Enugu.

A source close to Secondus told nesmen that the embattled national chairman has adopted a studied silence and refused to respond to the barrage of requests for him to withdraw the Court of Appeal suit against his suspension.

The Court of Appeal is expected to deliver judgment at any moment.

As the party continues preparation for the October 31 national convention, Atiku’s former Special Adviser, Dr Umar Ardo, has called on the party to resolve all issues relating to Secondus or be ready to lose the 2023 presidential election.

“It is my assessment of the material politics on the ground that until the Secondus issue is justly and conclusively resolved, it ‘ll be delusional to think PDP will go into the election cycle of 2023 with the faintest hope of coming out victorious,” Ardo said in a statement.

According to him, “the variables don’t seem to add up for the simple fact that one cannot hope to win on injustice and illegitimacy because this is a logical social law!

“Still our latter-day PDP stakeholders, the old and new party oligarchs, seem to see that they can, forgetting that they’ve always in the past failed. It’s not about the individuals involved, just as of now it’s not about Secondus, but that of torching the hardcore principles of justice and rule of law. Yet, they don’t learn their lessons and make amends.

“As one who went to court 11 times against the sheer acts of impunity of the party, I know PDP lost in 2015 and 2019 presidential elections mainly as consequences of such acts,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in a new realignment of political forces in the South-west, the party stakeholders in the region may have dumped the former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and a former National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, for the position of the Deputy National Chairman of the party for South.

The South-west PDP stakeholders have asked the National Vice Chairman, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to seek re-election as the Deputy National Chairman for the South.

It was gathered that the development was due to the crisis in Osun PDP.

In compliance, Arapaja, at the weekend resigned as the vice national chairman for South-west and obtained a nomination form to seek election as the consensus deputy national chairman (South).

Before then, stakeholders of the PDP had scheduled Oyinlola as the deputy national chairman for South.

The most contentious of the positions, which party leaders tried but failed to reach an agreement on, is the seat of Deputy National Chairman (South), zoned to Osun State and desired by Oyinlola, and Oladipo.

The Sunday Bisi-led Osun State chapter of the party, said to be loyal to the PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 elections, Senator Ademola Adeleke, had nominated Oladipo for the position ahead of the convention.

But Arapaja, who is said to be loyal to the Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, was told by party leaders in the South-west to resign and obtained a nomination form for the deputy national chairman.

Meanwhile, fresh facts have also emerged on how Governors Wike of Rivers State; Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Ikpeazu of Abia State upstaged the former Senate President, Senator Anyim, and former governors of Imo State, Udenwa and Ihedioha to produce the consensus candidate for the National Secretary of the PDP.

The PDP South-east Zonal Caucus of the party had on Thursday in Enugu, adopted Senator Sam Nnaemeka Anyanwu, who was backed by Wike, as the consensus candidate of the zone for the job of PDP National Secretary.

Before the adoption, former Minister of Aviation and Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Osita Chidoka believed to be sponsored by a presidential aspirant from the South-east; and the Director-General of the PDP Governors Forum, Hon. Cyril Maduabum, who was perceived to be sponsored by the Chairman of the forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State were the front-runners.

Before the announcement of Anyanwu as the consensus national secretary, Wike flew into Enugu, where he was believed to have held brief discussions with Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu at the airport before he left.

Thereafter, Governors Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu went to the meeting where the adoption of Anyanwu was announced by the National Vice Chairman of PDP in the zone, Ali Odefa.

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