Despite an order of interim injunction issued by a Kebbi State high court yesterday staying the suspension of the embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, governors of the party are insisting that Secondus must vacate office.
Secondus was suspended by a Port Harcourt high court on Monday, following the raging crisis in the party.
Sequel to his suspension, the PDP Governors’ Forum, Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday at their separate meetings adopted the party’s deputy national chairman (South), Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, as the party’s acting national chairman.
Justice Nusirat Umar in a ruling said after studying the affidavit and written address in support of the ex parte application, she was satisfied that an interim order should be granted on the purported suspension of Prince Secondus pending the determination of the suit number KB/HC/M.171/2021.
“An order of this honourable court granting leave to the first respondent (Secondus) to continue exercising all the constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of PDP (second defendant) as enshrined in both 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the Peoples Democratic Party’s Constitution pending the hearing and final determination of applicant’s motion on notice,” she said.
The suit was filed by three concerned members of the party, Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Mohammed and Bashar Suleiman through their counsel, Ibrahim Jibril Esq.
But Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, told newsmen at the end of their meeting last night in Abuja, that the suspended chairman should go in obedience to the court order.
Addressing newsmen at the end of an emergency meeting of the forum which was held at the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Tambuwal pledged that the PDP governors would support Akinwonmi as acting national chairman.
“We are a law-abiding party that believes in the rule of law. So when a high court in Port Harcourt restrained Secondus from parading himself as national chairman of the party, we advised ourselves that that was the way to go. We must comply with that court order.
“We had Akinwonmi presiding over the meeting of NWC today (yesterday) and he came to brief us on their decision which is in line with previous meetings of the Governors’ Forum and the meeting of stakeholders that there should be NEC meeting on Saturday, where we shall be discussing issues about national convention by the grace of God, which is still to be held in October.
“The road can be bumpy but the most important thing is that we are still holding together strongly and that is what we assure our members and teeming supporters across the country,” Tambuwal said.
At their meeting held earlier at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja, the NWC adopted Elder Yemi Akinwonmi as the party’s acting national chairman.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, also announced that the party had fixed this Saturday for its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
The PDP spokesman said the party’s National Caucus would meet today, in order to fine-tune arrangements for the NEC meeting slated for Saturday.
“We can have arguments and like I said, we can even have turbulence, but what is important is how we are able to cruise through the turbulence and safe landing on arrival,” he said.
Also briefing newsmen at the end of their meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen Walid Jibrin, announced the adoption of Elder Akinwonmi as the party’s acting chairman, adding that the party’s elective national convention would be held in October.
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who was part of the BoT meeting passed a vote of confidence on the Sen. Walid leadership of the Board, saying the PDP has the capacity to resolve its current crisis and live up to expectations.
Speaking during the opening session of the BoT meeting, at the PDP National Secretariat yesterday in Abuja, Atiku, the presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 general election, said crises are normal, explaining that the ability to manage the crises is what matters.
“I believe PDP will live to the expectations of Nigerians because they know us more than any other party because we provided the best governance since the return of democracy to this country and I believe Nigerians are not going to forget those good old days.
“I commend everyone for playing a role to ensure the amicable resolution of our internal crisis. The crises facing the country – banditry, kidnapping, name it, we have the capacity to resolve those crises,” he said.
At the BoT meeting were; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, former senate presidents; David Mark, Adolphus Wabara, Iyorchia Ayu, Bukola Saraki, former ministers, former governors among others.