Politics

PDP fixes national convention for October

Amidst increasing calls for the resignation of Prince Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leaders of the party have fixed the end of October for the national elective convention.

Although the tenure of the incumbent National Working Committee, NWC, was due to elapse on December 6, stakeholders of the party made up of 13 governors, the Board of Trustees, and other organs of the party, brought the convention forward in what is seen as a move to placate anti-Secondus forces who have been pushing for his removal in the past few months.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting which lasted for two and a half hours, Sokoto state governor and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, said a National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting will hold next week, after which a convention planning committee will be constituted.

“This meeting has agreed that immediately a NEC meeting should be convened for the party to constitute the national convention planning committee and the national convention should be held latest by the end of October.

“As party members of the BoT, members of the governor forum, members of former governors forum, former ministers, former Senators, former Presiding officer of the National Assembly and various stakeholders, we are very happy to announce that we have discussed all matters and we have resolved to continue to work as a united family.

“Also, the zoning committee for the party should also be constituted by the same NEC immediately,” he said, adding that “the NEC of the party shall meet most likely next week and all the issues will be addressed.”

Secondus in his capacity as chairman of the party will convene the NEC meeting, Governor Tambuwal announced.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Tambuwal charged Nigerians to dismiss insinuations that more governors will defect from PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“You can see clearly that 13 out of 13 of your governors, your ambassadors are in this meeting, fully committed to not only resolving the issues at hand, but also working assiduously toward delivering good governance in our respective states and moving our party forward.

“Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, we have resolved; we are committed to remaining in PDP.

“Disregard any rumour, every rumour that any of these distinguished leaders are going anywhere.

“We are in PDP, we are going to remain in PDP and by the grace of God, we shall be working together to salvage Nigeria.

“If you say you’re going somewhere, where will you go to? The All Progressives Congress, APC is not a party.

“They do not have ward structure as we speak. They do not have a local government structure as we speak. They do not have state structures as we speak. They do not have national structure as we speak.

“APC has never had, and is not having, a Board of Trustees. So where are you going? Are you defecting to the federal government?

“The federal government is not there because. Ask my colleagues who are in APC.

“One of them came out to say that when his students were abducted that he saw no help. He received no help from the federal government, and he is APC governor. So what are we talking about?”

Continuing he said, “There is no party to defect to, there is no government to defect to. We better remain and work together, reinvent our party, and work towards the establishment of a government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are committed to resolving all the issues we have, and you will soon hear from us; what our own views and position are as your children, as people that you have facilitated and helped to put in office, and not your financiers.”

Meanwhile, protesters, Tuesday, again besieged the national secretariat of the PDP, calling for the removal of the national chairman.

The protesters under the aegis of Arewa PDP Support Group displayed placards with inscriptions such as “Red card Secondus”, “Secondus should resign”, “Secondus must go now” while chanting “Secondus Must Go”.

Leader of the group, Yahaya Salisu explained that they were demanding Secondus’ removal over his failure to strengthen the party since his election in 2017.

Reading a letter addressed to the Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) dated August 10, signed by the National Coordinator and National Secretary, Desmond Minakaro, the leader said, “the national leadership of Arewa PDP Support Group met with its 19 Northern states coordinators in Kaduna on 5th August 2023 and deliberated extensively on the state of affairs of our party, PDP.

“After hours of deliberations and overall assessment of the crisis rocking the party and a possible way forward, we arrived at our decisions.”

Meanwhile, the PDP meeting was attended by all 13 PDP governors including deputy governor of Zamfara state, Mohammed Mahdi Gusau, former Senate Presidents, Senators David Mark and Bukola Saraki.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state, who chairs the PDP e-registration committee, told leaders of the party that less than 24 hours after the scheme was flagged off, over 10,000 Nigerians have registered as new members of the PDP.

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